Microfilm Today


10. Standards for microfilm

Those concerned with the planning and implementation of microfilm systems may feel that national and international standards are more relevant to suppliers of equipment and materials than users.  It is true that standards were once largely confined to sizes and tolerances to ensure compatibility between products from different suppliers, but recommendations and advisory standards, aimed at users, have also been introduced to encourage them to adopt best practices, achieve optimum quality and ensure maximum archival life.

BSI is the prime UK source of BS and ISO standards. G G Baker & Associates were closely involved in the development and improvement of British standards for micrographics and assisted with progress towards international integration. The International Standards Organisation (ISO) now lists many standards relating to micrographics and electronic records management, most of which are based on previous BSI standards. All BS and ISO standards are available from the British Standards Institution at www.bsigroup.com. G G Baker & Associates no longer stock them. BSI Non-member prices are quoted in the following lists - there are discounts of up to 50% for BSI members.

Gerald Baker was the Chairman of the BSI and ISO micrographic committees for many years and he also Chaired the working group responsible for COM. G G Baker & Associates used to organise seminars on document management subjects and one of the questions most frequently asked by delegates related to the legal status of microfilmed documents. At one of these seminars, held at the Chartered Accountant's Hall in London in 1982, Mrs H S Fletcher Rogers, who represented the Bar Association for Commerce, Finance & Industry, presented a paper which had far-reaching consequences because it sparked a demand for an advisory standard on the subject.

Gerald Baker wrote to all of the microfilm associations elsewhere in the world asking for a brief description of the legal position in their countries - their replies were included in a paper he presented at the same seminar. He then headed a BSI working group which prepared a Draft for Development - it was issued in 1984 under the title Preparation of Microfilm and Other Microforms that may be required as evidence.  It is still available today as BS 6498: 2002 and remains one of the best available sources of guidance. It has since been used as a model for subsequent standards relating to the legal aspects of digital images. Unfortunately it is now priced at 116 for those who are not members of BSI.

When preparing the following lists we have  tried to include all of the main standards and publications relating to the legal status of microfilmed and scanned documents as we are aware of the widespread interest  on this subject. We have ignored many standards applying to very limited applications or industries - such as those only applying to aviation. We have also omitted many standards and recommendations which specifically apply to public libraries and public archives as they will be very familiar with them.

When seeking a standard by its reference number, please note that we have now listed BS and BS ISO standards by number - ignoring any prefix. We hope that this will lead to faster searches when only the number is known. Most standards have titles that are self-descriptive but we have added a few notes where the content is not so obvious.

Standards relating to micrographics

Available from BSI

BS ISO 446 : 2004 - Micrographics. ISO character and ISO test chart No 1. Description and use.
Replaces  BS 4189 : 1967. 116

BS 1153 : 1992. Recommendations for processing and storage of silver-gelatine-type microfilm.  98

BS EN 2499 : 1990 - Specification for computer output microfiche (com) A6 microfiche. 98

BS EN 2547 : 1989. Specification for filming of documents. Microfilm 105mm. Generation of A6 microfiche. 98

BS ISO 3272 : Microfilming of technical drawings and other drawing office documents. This now a five-part standard.

  Part 1 : 2003 - Operating procedures. Guidance for system designers and operators. 116

Part 2 : 1994 - Quality criteria and control for 35mm silver-gelatin microfilms. 98

  Part 3 : 2001- Aperture cards for 35mm microfilm. Dimensions and tolerances. 116

  Part 4 : 2004 - Microfilming of drawings of special and exceptional elongated sizes. 98

  (Note -  Part 5 has been withdrawn)

  Part 6 : 2000 - Quality criteria and control of systems for enlargement from 35mm microfilm.
Printout etc. 98

BS ISO 4087 : 1991 - Micrographics.  Microfilming of newspapers for archival purposes on 35mm film. Withdrawn

BS 5444 : 2008 - Physical attributes of documents for microfilming or scanning. Code of practice.  Replaces the identically numbered standard which was limited to preparation of copy for microcopying. Relates to filming in accordance with BS ISO 6199 or scanning at a minimum of 200 dots per inch. 98

BS 5536 : 1988 - Recommendations for preparation of technical drawings and diagrams for microfilming.
Applies to drawings to be filmed at reductions of 1:30. Covers sheet sizes, borders, centring marks, drawing methods and materials. 98

BS ISO 6148 : 2001 - Photography. Micrographic films, spools and cores. Dimensions. 164

BS ISO 6196-1 : 1993 - Micrographics. Vocabulary. General terms. 164

BS ISO 6196-2 : 1993 - Micrographics. Vocabulary. Image positions and methods of recording. 116

BS ISO 6196-3 : 1997 - Micrographics. Vocabulary. Film processing. 116

BS ISO 6196-4 : 1998 - Micrographics. Vocabulary. Materials and packaging. 164

BS ISO 6196-5 : 1987 - Micrographics. Vocabulary. Quality of images. Legibility inspection. 98

BS ISO 6196-6 : 1992 - Micrographics. Vocabulary. Equipment. 190

BS ISO 6196-7 : 1992 - Micrographics. Vocabulary. Computer micrographics. 164

BS ISO 6196-8 : 1998 - Micrographics. Vocabulary. Use. 91

BS ISO 6196-10 : 1999 - Micrographics. Vocabulary. Index. 116

BS ISO 6198 : 1993 - Micrographics. Readers for transparent microforms. Performance characteristics, 116

BS ISO 6199 : 1991 - Micrographics. Microfilming of documents on 16mm and 35mm silver-gelatin type microfilm. operating procedures. This standard has been withdrawn.

BS ISO 6200 : 1991 - Micrographics. First generation silver-gelatin microforms of source documents. Density specifications and methods of measurement. This standard has been withdrawn.

BS 6313 : 2003 - Micrographics. 35mm microfilming of serials. Specification.  Covers preparation, microfilming and storage of serials other than newspapers on black and white silver halide roll film. 116

ISO 6342 : 2003 Ed 2 - Micrographics. Aperture cards. Method of measuring thickness of buildup area. 30

BS 6359 : 1983 - Specification for dimensions and position of microfiche heading coating (colour stripe). 98

BS 6498 : 2002 - Guide to preparation of microfilm and other microforms that may be required as evidence. Covers the setting up of a suitable microfilming procedure, the forms and records required and a summary of the legal position in the UK. 116

BS ISO : 6660 1985 - Guide to setting up and maintaining micrographics and digital imaging units. Micrographic Units.  This standard has been withdrawn.

BS ISO 7565 : 1993 - Micrographics. Readers for transparent microforms. Measurement of characteristics. 116

ISO 7761 : 2004 Ed 1 - Micrographics. Single-core cartridge for 16mm processed microfilm. Dimensions and operational constraints. 91

BS ISO 8126 : 2000 -  Micrographics. Duplicating film, silver, diazo and vesicular. Visual density. Specifications and measurement. 98

BS ISO 8127-1 : 1989 - Micrographics. A6 size microfilm jackets. 5 channel jacket for 16mm microfilm. Stipulates dimensions and tolerances. 98 (Note: Part 2 of this standard has been withdrawn.)

BS ISO 8514-1 : 1992- Micrographics. Alphanumeric computer output microforms. Quality control. Characteristics of the test slide and test data. This standard has been withdrawn.

BS ISO 8514-2 : 1992 - Micrographics. Alphanumeric computer output microforms. Quality control. Method. This standard has been withdrawn.

BS ISO 9001: 2015 - Quality Management Systems. Requirements. Assists when an organisation needs to prove compliance with all regulatory requirements and aims to improve customer confidence in strict control of operating procedures. Covers key processes in the business, methods of monitoring and verifying effectiveness and adequate record keeping. Adopted by several UK service bureaux. 114

ISO 9878 : 1990 - Micrographics. Vocabulary. Graphical symbols for use in microfilming. 30

BS ISO 9923 : 1994 - Micrographics. Transparent A6 microfiche. image arrangements. 164

BS ISO 10197 : 1993 - Micrographics. Reader-printers for transparent microforms. Characteristics. 98

BS ISO 10198 : 1994 - Micrographics. Rotary camera for 16mm microfilm. Mechanical and optical characteristics. 98

BS ISO 10550 : 1994 - Micrographics. Planetary camera systems. Test target for checking performance 98

ISO/TR 10593 (R10) : 1997 - Micrographics. Use of microfilm jackets. 45

BS ISO 10594 : 2006 - Micrographics. Rotary camera systems. Resolution test chart for checking performance. Flexible test chart suitable for rotary cameras. This standard has been withdrawn.

BS ISO 11142 : 2005 - (RO9) Ed 1 - Micrographics. Colour microfilm. Application of the exposure technique to prepare the line originals and continuous tone originals. 68

BS ISO 11506: 2009 - Document management applications. Archiving of electronic data. Computer output microfilm (COM) / Computer output laser disc (COLD). 190

BS ISO 11698-1 : 2000 - Micrographics. Methods of measuring image quality produced by aperture card scanners. Characteristics of the test images. 116

BS ISO 11698-2 : 2000 - Micrographics. Methods of measuring image quality produced by aperture card scanners. Quality criteria and control. 116

BS ISO 11928-1 : 2000 - Micrographics. Quality control of graphic COM recorders. Characteristics of the test frames. 98

BS ISO 11928-2 : 2000 - Micrographics. Quality control of graphic COM recorders. Quality criteria and control. 116

BS ISO 11962 : 2002 - Micrographics. Image mark (blip) used with 16mm and 35mm roll microfilm. 98. Blip sizes for automated retrieval systems.

BS ISO/TR 12031 : 2000 - Micrographics. Inspection of silver-gelatin microforms for evidence of deterioration. 164

PD ISO/TR 12036 : 2000 - Micrographics. Expungement, deletion, correction or amendment of records on microforms. 116

BS ISO 12656 : 2001 - Micrographics. Use of bar codes on aperture cards. 98

BS ISO 14648-1 : 2001 - Micrographics. Quality control of COM recorders that generate images using a single internal display system. Characteristics of the software test target. 98

BS ISO 14648-2 : 2001 - Micrographics. Quality control of COM recorders that generate images using a single internal display system. Method of use. How to employ the test software specified in part 1 above. 86

BS ISO 15489-1 : 2016 - Information and documentation. Records management. Concepts and principles. Applies to management of records in all formats or media, created or received by any public or private organisation or any individual with a duty to create and maintain records. Offers help for those seeking to comply with ISO 9001. 182

BS ISO 24537 : 2007 - Micrographics. Dimensions for reels used for 16mm and 35mm microfilm. 98

BS ISO 30301 : 2011 - Information and Documentation. Management system for records. Requirements. Specifies requirements for a  Management System for  Records enabling demonstration of ability to create and control records in accordance with a records policy.190

Available from The National Archives

The National Archives offer a wide range of downloadable PDF files covering all aspects document archiving, preservation and records management. Training courses are also available.

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1. Introduction

2. Microfilm today

3. Getting started

4. Input and output methods

5. Indexing and retrieval

6. Management and control

7. Storage and preservation

8. Hybrid systems

9. Services available

10. Standards

Webmaster: Gerald Baker     Last update 14/1/2018     G G Baker & Associates 2018