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Using FAO microfiche with AGRIS: The FAO Microfiche Collection

A Few Words about AGRIS

AGRIS is a bibliographic database providing access to the worldwide literature on agricultural sciences and technology. Compiled by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, it contains citations to journal articles, project evaluation reports, books, unpublished scientific and technical reports, theses, conference papers, and government publications. The coverage is from 1975 to the present. As of 1993 there were more than 2,000,000 records in the database. Access to AGRIS citations from 1975 to the present is through the MSU Libraries' Electronic Resources Page.


The Michigan State University Government Documents Library (Main Library, 3rd Floor West) received the FAO fiche collection from 1977 until it ceased production in 1997. We were one of only 18 libraries in North America to purchase this collection. It is important to note that not all the material indexed in AGRIS is FAO-generated and, therefore, not all the material is included in the FAO microfiche collection. The FAO issues many classes of materials: sales publications, main documents, working papers, field documents, and information material. FAO Documentation: Current Bibliography (Gov. Docs. Index Reference, FAO D637c) is the bimonthly list of materials produced by or for the FAO. It is the comprehensive index to all classes of FAO publications and, therefore, to the fiche collection.

From 1976 to 1983, the FAO used the FAO Documentation: Current Bibliography entry number as the accession number for a given title on microfiche. In 1984, however, the system became more complex. From 1984 to 1989, the entry number is not the same as the microfiche accession number. Locating the appropriate fiche for those years requires examining the entry in the Bibliography for the microfiche number. From 1990 on, the FAO accession number is the same as the microfiche sheet number. The fiche collection includes most, but not all, of the material indexed in FAO Documentation: Current Bibliography. The main documents, working papers and field documents are in the fiche collection. The Government Documents Library also owns the main documents and a small number of the working papers in paper. The sales publications are also owned in paper.

Subject Guide

Julia Frankosky
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