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U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Microfilm: Finding Content of Individual Reels

Purpose of this guide is to show how to search for NARA microfilm in our catalog and on the National Archives site.

Finding Content of Individual Reels

In order to find out what information is available on each reel of a document, if there are multiple reels, you will need to pull up the Table of Contents for that document from the NARA site.  For instructions on how to get to the Microfilm page on the NARA site go to the Finding Microfilm on the NARA Site tab in this Research Guide. 

Once you've searched for and identified the document you want to view on the NARA site, click on the Publication Title highlighted in BLUE to take you to the detailed information regarding the title. 

Search result from the National Archive's Search & Browse NARA's Microfilm Catalog page


This will pull up a detailed description of your chosen document.  To get to the Table of Contents click on the  View Important Publication Details PDF on the right side of the screen to OPEN the PDF.

Image of detailed information on a specific title/publication number from the National Archive's Search & Browse NARA's Microfilm Catalog page


On this particular example, the Contents start on the first page, but that is not the case for every document.  You may have to scroll through several pages before you find it.  For this example you can see that a range of dates for particular locations are compiled on a single reel.  

Reel index for the Project Blue Book document