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Microfilm Storage Guidelines

CONTENTS
 
Introduction
Microfilm
Microfiche
Optical Disks/CSs
Appendix A - Targeting
Appendix B - Conservation Items
Appendix C - List of Targets

Introduction

Imaging Services at the Library of Virginia (LVA) receives microfilm, microfiche, and optical media for security and archival storage from historical societies; archival programs; school districts; churches; colleges; universities; and state, county, and municipal governments. LVA stores archival (permanent) and long-term records of the above media in an environmentally controlled area. A barcode system is used that helps to locate and retrieve the more than 2000 items a month being sent to our facility. In the interests of security and in order to successfully capture accurate information about the records being stored, the following requirements for storing media have been established. All items sent for storage are to be accompanied by a completed RM17 form. This form is available from LVA and can be photocopied for use if required.

With your help and cooperation in following these procedures, LVA can accurately store and retrieve your media. Shipments not meeting the requirements will be returned for correction or additional information.

Microfilm

Type of Film

Use only safety based silver halide film that has been designated as having a life expectancy of 500 years (LE 500).

Quality of Film

The microfilm you submit should meet the requirements as stated in the State standards, 17 VAC 15-20 and 17 VAC 15-50. These are standards for archival microfilming and Computer-Output microfilm. If you do not have copies, please request them from the Imaging Services Branch or get them from our web site. The Standards cover such requirements as resolution, film density, and methylene blue testing. Basic requirements for archival film are:

Resolution:
90 lines and 4.0 pattern for 16mm film
90 lines and 6.3 pattern for 35mm film
120 lines and 5.0 pattern for 16mm film used in cameras in Procedural Recording in the Circuit Court Clerk's Offices or
120 lines and 3.2 pattern for 16mm film generated from optical scanning.

Density:
.8 to 1.2 all film except Computer-Output generated film which can go as high as 1.8

Methylene Blue:
A required periodic test (minimum monthly) which determines that the film has been processed properly for archival retention. If you are not certain as to whether your vendor meets this requirement, please contact LVA for verification and information about obtaining this test.

The film you submit for storage should be free from fingerprints or any other foreign substances, free from scratches in the emulsified areas, and free from microbiological growth and chemical reactions (redox); it should contain all necessary targets or information as requested below and the records filmed should be unobscured. In meeting these requirements, you or your vendor should conduct a visual check of your film using a light-box, rewinds, and an eye loupe. The camera negative film should not be placed in a reader to make the necessary inspection. As an alternative, if light-boxing is not possible, you can produce a working copy from the camera negative that can then be used on a reader to verify that the camera negative meets the requirements.

Clarification of the differences between security and archival film (both stored by the LVA) is made here in order to explain why some of the film stored by LVA may not be of the highest quality. During the course of producing a book for the Circuit Court Clerk's offices, the vendor produces a film by-product which is used to create a book or paper record. The process of using the film in duplication equipment and handling negates the film meeting normal archival standards. This film is not considered archival but is accepted for security purposes by LVA. The process to produce this film does not always meet the minimum archival standards and therefore, the film cannot be considered archival. However, the vendors can meet the identification and storage box requirements listed below and they should be encouraged to do so by your office. LVA will not longer accept poorly identified or incorrectly boxed film for security storage. It will be returned to the office of origin.

Procedures
 
1. Spooling: Microfilm must be spooled and stored correctly on the plastic reel before sending it to LVA. The beginning of the film should be at the beginning of the reel when spooling off. The emulsion side (dull) should be facing down when film is wound onto a reel with the film extending from the bottom of the roll when winding from left to right.
2. Clear Leader: Because a barcode is placed on a clear strip of leader (clear film at the beginning of each reel) and this leader is needed for duplication purposes as well, each reel must have at least 24" of clear film at the beginning. If you are generating your own reels of film, you can obtain a clear leader simply by winding off this amount of film before beginning your first exposure (about 10 turns) or advance the film about 25 exposures, covering the lens while doing this, before your first target.
3. Film Targeting: Targeting is an integral part of the microfilming process and necessary in order to properly identify records on film, serve as finding aids, conduct quality tests of the film and to provide for a legal foundation for acceptance of the film as a true and accurate copy. Targets must appear before the documents to be filmed, face in the same direction as those documents, and be filmed in a consistent sequence. According to section 5.5 of Standards for the Microfilming of Public Records for Archival Retention, microfilm identification shall conform to ANSI/AIIM MS19. To meet this requirement, targets need to be filmed as shown in Appendix A. Sample targets are included in Appendix C. You may photocopy these targets for use on your film.
Resolution charts must be purchased independently (Circuit Court Clerk's can obtain a free resolution chart by contacting LVA). The resolution charts cannot be photocopied for use.
4. Acid/lignin free boxes: All microfilm sent to LVA for storage must be placed in acid/lignin free boxes. This ensures long-term storage of the film at our facility. A list of vendors selling these type of boxes are in Appendix B. If desired, you can contact LVA for samples.
5. Labeling film boxes: Each microfilm box is to have the minimum information listed on the outside of the box. The required information is stated in Appendix A.

Microfiche

Most microfiche produced today for archival purposes are created from computer-generated tapes. This is called COM (computer-output microfilm). Roll film can also be produced from COM. Microfiche format is generally not used for the permanent storage of archival material, but there are exceptions. LVA does store microfiche for archival purposes and maintains them in acid/lignin free envelopes and containers.

LVA does not accept microfiche jackets for archival storage. Jackets are an end user product only. The original silver camera negative should be duplicated and the duplicate used to make the user microfiche jacket. The camera negative should then be sent to LVA as the archival film. We encourage you to send in microfilm rather than microfiche for permanent storage at LVA.

Type of Film

Use only safety based silver halide film that has been designated as having a life expectancy of 500 years (LE 500).

Quality of Microfiche

The microfiche you submit must meet the requirements stated below. There are standards for archival microfilming and for computer-output generated microfiche. If you do not have copies, please request them from the Information Imaging Branch. The Standards cover such requirements as resolution, film density, and methylene blue testing. A listing of currently available standards is included at the end of this document. Basic archival requirements are:

Resolution:
90 lines and 4.0 pattern

Density:
.8 to 1.2 all film except Computer-Output generated film which can go as high as 1.8

Methylene Blue:
A required periodic test (minimum monthly) which determines that the fiche has been processed properly for archival retention. If you are not certain as to whether your vendor meets this requirement, please contact LVA for verification and information about obtaining this test.

The fiche you submit for storage should be free from fingerprints or any other foreign substances, free from scratches in the emulsified areas, and free from microbiological growth and chemical reactions (redox); it should contain all necessary information as requested below and the records filmed should be unobscured. In meeting these requirements, you or your vendor should conduct a visual check of your fiche using a light-box and an eye loupe. The camera negative fiche should not be placed in a reader to make the necessary inspection. As an alternative, if light-boxing is not possible, you can produce a working copy from the camera negative that can then be used on a reader to verify that the camera negative meets the requirements.

Procedures
 
1. Fiche targets and labeling: Individual microfiche are to be identified in the header of each fiche. When sending multiple fiche, each group is to be identified on the RM17 form and the total number of original silver fiche masters is to be listed for each group sent. The microfiche box or envelopes are to contain:
Agency/Office of Origin
Records Series Title and Inclusive dates of Series
Producer and date produced

 

2. Acid/lignin free envelopes and boxes: Acid/lignin free envelopes or boxes are to be used. LVA will not accept containers that do not meet this requirement. Please see the attached addresses of vendors to obtain your own acid/lignin free envelopes and/or boxes which are to be used when sending fiche for permanent archival retention to LVA.

Optical Disks/CD's

Optical disks are accepted for security storage only and there is a fee for storing nonpermanent material. Due to the various formats, hardware and software variations, and the continuous changes occurring in the technology, it would be impossible for LVA to maintain the disks permanently. LVA will maintain any disks it generates in the course of its own scanning projects or when doing scanning for another office as part of the commitment to this technology. However, any other public entity sending disks for security storage to LVA is responsible for maintaining this information (meaning updating, recopying if necessary, maintaining the software and hardware to read it, etc.) LVA will only provide proper environmental storage for this information when requested.

1. Labeling and containers: Optical disks come housed with their own containers which adequately serve to protect the disk from contamination due to dust, fingerprints, etc.. Minimum labeling needs to include:
Agency/Office of Origin
Records Series Title and Inclusive dates of Series for each side
Disk size, producer, and format (header) used for imaging
Compression type used (ex: CCITT Group 4)
Software needed to access the images.

APPENDIX A

Proscribed Microfilm Reel Contents

  1. "START" Target
  2. Reel Number
  3. Resolution Chart X 3
  4. Density Test Document
  5. Title Page
  6. Custodian's Certificate
  7. Blank Spaces X 3
  8. Begin Records
  9. End Records
  10. Camera Operator's Declaration 3 times
  11. End of Reel
  12. Resolution Chart X 3
  13. Density Test Document
  14. Advance Film Until End of Reel

List of Targeting procedures to be followed at the beginning and end of each reel of microfilm

  1. Load Camera, Advance film (24" or 10 turns)
  2. Set reduction and focus
  3. Film START target
  4. Reel number (unique, never duplicate numbers)
  5. Resolution chart filmed three times
  6. Density target filmed once (use a sheet of blank white bond paper, the same kind each time)
  7. Title page - Locality/Agency, Records being filmed and their dates, date filmed, State or Local Seal if desired, and any other pertinent information
  8. Custodian's certificate - signed by the person who has custody of the records
  9. Leave 3 blank spaces before beginning the filming of the records
  10. Begin filming records
  11. End of series of volume target filmed after last page of records
  12. Camera operator's declaration signed and dated by individual who did the filming
  13. End of Reel
  14. Film resolution target 3 times
  15. Density target
  16. Advance film to end of reel

Minimum Labeling Required on Microfilm Box

  1. Locality/Agency name (such as Craig County, Virginia Retirement System, City of Norfolk, etc.)
  2. Records Series/Volumes and dates (such as Deeds, 5/6-95, meaning deeds covering May and June of 1995)
  3. Producer of microfilm (such as Business Records, Logan Systems, LVA, TPS, etc.)
  4. Write or stamp "silver master" or "silver copy"
  5. Negative or positive (neg or pos)

 

APPENDIX B

Conservation Items

Vendor contacts:

Hollinger Corp.
P.O. Box 8360
Fredericksburg, VA 22404
Tel: 1-800-634-0491
Fax: 1-800-947-8814

Conservation Resources, Inc.
8000 - H Forbes Place
Springfield, VA 22151
Tel: 1-800-634-6932

Microfilm Products Co.
20 Squadron Blvd.
Suite 380
New City, New York 10956
Tel: 1-800-642-7668
Fax:1 914-634-6101

Ordering:
 
Microfilm reel storage boxes
Acid/lignin free
One-piece open-end or hinged box
35mm: ca. 3.75"H x 3.75"W x 1 9/16"D
16mm: ca. 3.75"H x 3.75"W x .75"D
ORDERING RESOLUTION CHARTS
 
Applied Image, Inc.
1635 East Main St.
Rochester, N.Y. 14609
Tel: 1-800-434-9189
1-716-482-0300
Ordering:
 
Planetary type cameras
ANSI/ISO Test Chart No. 2 compliant
(reflectance type)
AIIM
1100 Wayne Ave. Suite 1100
Silver Spring, MD 20910-5603
Tel: 301 587-8202
Ordering:
 
Planetary type cameras
X303 Planetary camera test charts,
ANSI/ISO No. 2 compliant (reflectance type)
Rotary type cameras
X113 Rotary (flow) test charts (paper)

Appendix C

Imaging Targets and Certification Pages

The targets and pages are available only from a downloadable Word file at this time.

To use the file, Microsoft Word must be on your computer and your browser must be capable of accessing Word.