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Subjects read continuous text for 80 min using microfiche and video display terminals (VDTs) with negative- and positive-appearing images and printed paper copy. Measurements of visual fatigue (ocular discomfort) and reading speed were obtained periodically, and a test of reading comprehension was given at the end of each session. Visual fatigue was significantly greater when subjects read from negative microfiche (light characters, dark background) projected on a metal screen or from the screen of a VDT with positive-appearing images (dark characters, light background). However, when subjects read from microfiche projected on a high-reflectance matte screen or from the screen of a VDT with negative images, visual fatigue was not significantly greater than that reported for the printed materials. Reading speeds tended to be slower for the negative image conditions. but reading comprehension scores were similar for all conditions.