American Memory Help

Download MrSID Viewer

Selected large documents (newspapers, rare books, manuscripts, maps) are stored in the MrSID format. To download and view MrSID files offline you need a special viewer.  This page describes an older tool for 16-bit and 32-bit Windows and for MacIntosh OS9. The MrSID Viewer, which was developed, offered for free, and later discontinued by LizardTech is presented here, with links to installer files and user manuals, as a courtesy to American Memory users. Neither the Library of Congress nor Lizardtech provides support for this software, beyond the user manuals and the instructions on this page.

Other, more current viewers are available via the How to View page.

Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000, XP

Macintosh OS 9.x (latest version available)

GeoViewer (Pro and Free) replaced the MrSid StandAlone Viewer, for Windows only:

To download and view maps offline you need a special viewer. Maps are stored in MrSID format. The Library provides access to the MrSID viewer developed by LizardTech. The company has discontinued this viewer and no longer offers support on the product. The Library is providing access to this viewer until a suitable replacement is available. The Library of Congress does not provide help or support for the MrSID viewer.

Download, View, and Print Maps with the MrSID Viewer

To download and view digital images in SID format:

  1. Download MrSID Viewer 2.0 from the Library of Congress (available above).
  2. Click on the "Download MrSID image" link at the bottom of the display page.
  3. Follow the instructions on your PC for saving the file.
  4. Use MrSID Viewer 2.0 to open the file.

Convert your American Memory images from SID format to TIFF format

(We caution you to examine the file size; many MrSID files are very large and could overwhelm your computer's memory.):

  1. Open the image in the MrSID viewer (File-Open).
  2. Choose File, then Export. (or click the small TIFF button.)
  3. In the box that appears,
    1. Click "Export to" and check the location in the "Save in" box. If necessary, change the destination folder.
    2. Click the "1-1" button.
    3. Click the "full dataset" button.
    4. Click "Save."
    5. Click "Go."

View Map at Original Dimensions

American Memory images converted to TIFF from MrSID files will result in 72 dots (or pixels) per inch resolution, rather than the 300 dots (or pixels) per inch at which they were scanned. Here are the steps to change it back to 300 and the original dimensions.

  1. Note the total number of pixels in the horizontal and vertical dimensions.
  2. Find your graphic software’s image size options and change the resolution from "72" to "300," dots per inch (DPI).
  3. Find the option and select “resize” and not “resample.” Click OK. The pixel dimensions should remain unchanged.
  4. Verify the change and compare the physical dimensions in centimeters or inches, as referenced in the item record.
  5. Adjust the size, if necessary.

Print Maps

A special large format printer is required to print large items on single sheets. Some print shops and graphics firms offer large-format or poster size printing.  Save your 300 dots-per-inch file to portable media and take to one of these service providers.
Another alternative is to print these files in pieces and paste them together. An effective option requires graphics software that supports large TIFF files.  Many software titles will work; a free example is GIMP. Using your graphics software, copy sections into smaller, slightly over-lapping pieces sized to fit on an available printer. Print the parts and assemble them with glue or tape.

You may also purchase .tiff files for any items on the Library of Congress Web site in the MrSid format ($20.00 per file, plus shipping) directly from the Library's Photoduplication Service. These are from the original scans prior to any enhancement or MrSID compression. The Geography and Map Reading Room provides more information.