In 1971, Harry G. Cooper founded the National Microfilm Library to scan and create an annual collection of U.S. college catalogs onto microfiche. The goal was to save institutions of higher education millions of dollars each year by offering a low-cost alternative to the printing and shipping of paper catalogs. Placing catalog information in one easily accessible format empowered institutions nation-wide to discontinue the costly practice of storing printed catalogs in campus libraries and provided them with better, faster, and more comprehensive access to the catalogs of their peer institutions.

After a few years, the National Microfilm Library changed its name to the Career Guidance Foundation, a non-profit organization that encompassed the work of the National Microfilm Library but adopted the broader mission of providing technology solutions that promoted more employable students, higher retention rates, and a seamless path to earning post-secondary credentials.

The company was once again renamed in 2003 and incorporated as CollegeSource. Though the company’s name has changed over the years, its ownership, mission, and even much of its staff have remained the same.

In 2008, CollegeSource acquired redLantern (formerly DARS) from Miami University to expand its solution set through the addition of degree audit, academic planning, and transfer articulation software.

Today the legacy of CollegeSource, the catalog database, has reached more than 170,000 catalogs online (containing more than 139 million course description records) and supports a suite of online tools used in researching transferred credits and managing evaluation decisions.

Who we are today is because of our rich and distinct history.


Moving from microfiche to CD-ROM to relational database and cloud technology over the years, CollegeSource has managed to reinvent its methods with each successive generation of technological advancements and remain a viable and critical resource for institutions of higher education worldwide.