Local Records :: Acceptance of Microfilm

Statement on Acceptance of Microfilm Created from Digital Sources

The Missouri State Archives manages a secure, temperature/humidity-controlled vault for the storage of “archival” microfilm master negatives. The primary criteria for accepting film in that vault are:

  1. The film must contain only permanent records as defined by state/local retention schedules.
  2. The film must conform to the technical standards of ANSI, AIIM, and ISO governing “archival” microfilm.
  3. The film must provide a useful resource for research.

An increasing number of government entities are creating microfilm from scanned images or from “born-digital” files. The Archives may accept such film under the following conditions. The Guidelines for Microfilming Public Records will govern any topic not covered in this statement.

Content: Microfilm must consist exclusively of permanent records, as defined by the retention schedules in effect at the time the film is created.

Arrangement: Documents appearing on film must be grouped according to record series (e.g., deeds, marriage applications, planning and zoning regulations, Board minutes, Commission minutes, ordinances and resolutions, etc.).

Order of the Images: Images shall appear on film in the method generally accepted by the user community (e.g., book and page for recorded instruments, alphabetical or chronological for most others).

Index. The film must have an adequate index provided separately or at the beginning of each reel. The content of all index fields associated with the images on individual rolls shall be provided in microfilm format and shall be a part of the microfilmed series submitted for deposit. The definition of “adequate” shall be that a reasonably skilled person can readily find items on the film by using the index.

Film Stock: The film stock must meet all the specifications of Guidelines for Microfilming Public Records.

Leader & Trailer: The film must include 4 feet of leader and 4 feet of trailer.

Reduction: The lowest-possible reduction should be used, so as to approximately fill the image area.

Technical Targets: Film produced from the Kodak Archive Writer must include the Kodak-recommended test target, unscaled, in the positive mode, on the beginning and end of each roll of microfilm. The “400 ladder” must be resolved.

In addition, regardless of the device used to write the digital files to film, operators shall scan the AIIM Scanner Test Chart #2 (specified in ANSI/AIIM MS44 Recommended Practice for Quality Control of Image Scanners) to provide a measure of the quality of the capture device. The Test Chart #2 shall be scanned and included on the front and rear of representative weekly rolls. The scan chart at the beginning shall correspond to the week of the earliest scanned record on the roll, and the one at the end shall be scanned during the week of the last scan on the roll. The date that each chart was scanned must be displayed on the film.

Informational Targets: Targets must include all those specified in the Guidelines for Microfilming Public Records.

Methylene Blue Testing: Methylene blue tests must be performed as specified in the Guidelines for Microfilming Public Records, and test results must accompany the microfilm transmittal.

Density: The minimum background density on the microfilm must be within the ranges prescribed for the Archive Writer or for COM.

Print Test: The Missouri State Archives reserves the right to “test” the quality of any given roll of microfilm from scanned or born-digital images. This will be done through film duplication (to provide for a third-generation diazo use copy) and paper print from the use copy, as the final means of ascertaining the quality of the microfilm.