A volunteer and collaborative effort to bring information about shared microscopy facilities to the University of Arizona and the community.

History and Rationale

versions of the webpage over the years

"Microscopy & Imaging Resources on the WWW" first came on-line in February of 1996 as a sub-set of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center's Experimental Pathology Core (the name was changed to the Cellular Imaging Core in Nov 2002 and then to the Cellular Imaging Facility Core in Nov 2008). The Core's role is to provide microscopy & imaging related technical support for SWEHSC Investigators. Developing educational materials about microscopy and imaging techniques seemed like a natural outgrowth of the mandate to support members of the Center.

There is a wealth of information on the WWW about microscopy and imaging techniques, however, it has never been well cataloged. I have tried to collect relevant sources that provide educational and technical information about biological microscopy and imaging in a manner that is non-commercial (in the case of information from vendors) and clear enough for graduate students who are neophytes to microscopy and imaging. I regularly update and add to the links on these pages, as well as add my own original material as I have the time to develop it.

Back in the late 1990s and 2000s, this site was referenced on a number of curated lists (how we did things before search engines got so powerful). Most of these links have since disappeared. A few highlights: Professional Societies (MSA, AAA, ASCB), Publications (New Scientist, 2000; Microscopy and Microanalysis, 2002; Science 2001, 2003; Microscopy and Analysis, 2003, 2004, 2005; Academic Medicine, 2007), and other collections (MSA's Project MICRO; The Internet Scout Report, 2000;  ISI's Current Web Contents directory, 2001).

I (Doug Cromey) have managed this site since it first came online. I have collected these sites as much for my own reference as for the members of the SWEHSC and other visitors from around the world.


I have "glossed over" a number of minor changes that occurred over the last few years, as well as the semi-regular updates and checks for "bad links". 

  • Spring 1996 - the site began with individual pages on histology, confocal microscopy, digital imaging and free publications of interest to microscopists.
  • September 1996 - the home page "Microscopy & Imaging Resources on the WWW" was added, as well as an electron microscopy page.
  • October 1996 - the site was announced on the Microscopy & Confocal listservs.
  • March 1998 - the site was completely overhauled and redesigned.
  • Summer 1998 - the web server's domain name was changed from www.pharm.arizona.edu to www.pharmacy.arizona.edu, however the old domain is still (to this day) being forwarded.
  • March 2000 - the existing pages were moved from the pharmacy web server to the new swehsc.pharmacy.arizona.edu server.
  • Summer 2000 - the web pages were completely updated and reorganized, the HTML was modified to fit the official SWEHSC design templates, several new pages were created (K-12 educational resources, links to on-line microscopic images, light microscopy, fluorescence techniques).
  • March 2001 - The site was formally announced on the Microscopy, Confocal & Histology listservs. Page requests for the "old" pages are now being forwarded to the new site. Digital Imaging page is expanded to four pages, including the Ethics page.
  • Fall/Winter 2002-2003 - The Core's name was changed from the "Experimental Pathology Core" to the "Cellular Imaging Core". The web pages were updated to reflect this name change, links were checked/added and a number of downloadable PDF document resources were added.
  • Winter 2004 - The SWEHSC web site was redesigned in the Fall of 2003. The new design was "rolled out" in March 2004.
  • Spring 2008 - The SWEHSC web site was again redesigned in the Fall of 2007. The new design was "rolled out" in October 2008. Based on low usage statistics, a few pages (Search, References for Writers, References for Scientists) were retired this time around.
  • June 2010 - Added Google Analytics to the Cellular Imaging Core pages, link and content updates, etc.
  • March 2012 - The process was begun to port the HTML site over to Drupal. This involved updating pages and matching the new site design. Since this is (at least) the sixth design some of these pages have worn, the hope is that by going to Drupal we can change the site's theme without a lot of extra work required to change the content.  Since the site has had so many different domain names, the decision was made to make a clean break with past URLs and a We've Moved page was created to collect requests to the old URLs and then help people locate the new URLs. The ability to blog and have news feeds led to the decision to stop creating a 5x/year PDF newsletter.
  • May 2017 - The SWEHSC is moving from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 and a new site design. With the move, the decision was made to greatly simplify the website. We opted to move the Microscopy & Imaging Resources from the SWEHSC Cellular Imaging Facility Core to the UA Microscopy Alliance, with the hope that at this new location these resources will reach a broader audience. The plan is to update and expand the content, possibly drawing on the expertise of other colleagues at the University of Arizona.
  • March 2023 - After six years on the Drupal 7 version of the Microscopy Alliance website, the pages were migrated to the Drupal 9 version (Arizona Quickstart theme). Over that time, a number of PDF resources were created and added to the Printable Resources page, along with a core facility manager's page with an extensive bibliography.