Despite their almost universal application in science and technology, optical microscopes with submicron spatial resolution remain large, expensive pieces of laboratory equipment. In this paper, we report on our construction of a near-field scanning optical microscope (NSOM) using the MCNC MUMPs technology. The construction of our microscope required the solution of a number of technological challenges including the assembly of an XYZ stage capable of moving the sample out of the plane of the silicon wafer, the macro alignment of the fiber used as the optical probe and efficient collection of the scattered light. In this paper we describe how the NSOM was built and show some preliminary images taken with it.© (1997) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.