Micrographics, as part of a comprehensive records management program, is a vital tool used to manage efficiently the large volume of information generated and stored by North Dakota state and county offices. The standards for microfilming public records in the state of North Dakota encompass all micro photographic systems used by state agencies, including:
Standards used by ITD Media Services are derived from standards developed by the Association for Information and Image Management, the American National Standards Institute, and the Thomas Handbook of Quality Control for the Microfilm Industry. Standards for microfilming North Dakota Public Records have been developed by ITD Records Management, pursuant to North Dakota Century Code (Sections 54-46-10, 54-46-12, and 54-46.1-06).
Pursuant to North Dakota Century Code (Chapter 54-46.1), all state agencies, vendors, and service bureaus must follow the appropriate standards when performing micrographic services for state records.
All microfilm equipment utilized for filming public records, whether owned or leased by a state agency or by any vendor, must meet all minimum requirements as outlined in this publication.
Contact ITD Records Management to register and obtain approval for microfilm projects.
All records to be microfilmed must be included on a records retention schedule developed in cooperation with ITD Records Management. Only documents included on an approved records retention schedule will be authorized for microfilming. Contact ITD Records Management to obtain information on developing a records retention schedule.
A Microfilm Feasibility Study (SFN 2000) must be completed and submitted to ITD Records Management for review and approval prior to the start of any microfilming projects.
Document preparation means organizing the records in the exact order in which the documents must appear on the microfilm. It is your agency’s responsibility to complete all document preparation. If the documents are not prepared properly, they will not be scanned. You must contact ITD Media Services to obtain instructions before preparing documents.
Document preparation must be completed as follows:
If you have any questions about preparing documents for filming, contact ITD Media Services.
All microfilming must comply with Section 3. Standards for Filming and Storing Public Records.
The integrity of public records which have been microfilmed must be maintained by ensuring that the microfilm records serve the purposes for which the original records were created. ITD Media Services will check all microfilm for quality and to ensure that all the standards are met. Before destruction of the paper records, the office responsible for the records being filmed must review the microfilm and verify that the documents are satisfactorily reproduced on the microfilm. Microimages must contain all of the significant details shown on the original documents.
At approximately two-year intervals, a one percent sample of rolls of microfilm and microfiche selected at random must be inspected. For each biennial inspection, a different lot sample must be chosen, with some overlapping to determine if any changes have occurred since the previous inspection. The film must be inspected for mold or fungus, excessive brittleness, film curl or discoloration, adherence of the emulsion to the base, evidence of adhesion, the presence of blemishes or defects in the film as a result of aging, and any evidence of vinegar syndrome. A rereading of resolution targets and a re-measurement of the film density must be done. Storage containers must be inspected for evidence of rust and corrosion. If deterioration of any sample is found, a complete inspection of (1) all microfilm of all formats located within that box and (2) all microfilm processed during the same time period in which the deteriorating film was processed must be performed.
Deteriorating microfilm must be promptly removed from the storage facility. If all images are still legible, a silver-halide duplicate must be created from the original and refilled in place of the original. If images have been destroyed, appropriate measures must be taken to insure the safety of all remaining images and to reasonably recreate any lost documentation. All silver-halide duplicates must meet all appropriate standards before they will be accepted by ITD Media Services in lieu of the original.
Silver-gelatin film used to make microphotographic copies of long- term, permanent, or archival records must be processed so the residual thiosulfate ion concentration is within archival limits. Thiosulfate is a chemical used in developing microfilm. When not adequately removed by washing during processing, such residue can consume the emulsion of the film and result in permanent damage.
All microfilm processing facilities utilized by state and county offices must perform methylene blue testing to measure the residual thiosulfate on microfilm developed on each processor. The methylene blue testing method measures the concentration of a blue dye that is formed during the testing procedure. The amount of dye indicates the amount of residual thiosulfate remaining on the film.
All methylene blue testing must conform to the specifications of ISO 18917:1999. Residual thiosulfate ion concentration must be greater than zero but must not exceed 1.4 micrograms per square centimeter in a clear area. A "clear area" is that portion of the film which has been processed, but not exposed to light. This clear area must conform to the specifications for Dmin as indicated below in the Image Density section.
All methylene blue tests must be done within a week of processing.
All microfilm processing facilities, including privately-owned vendors, utilized by state and county offices must submit evidence of methylene blue testing to ITD Media Services for each processor used to process microfilm containing public records. Test results must be submitted for each week in which any long-term, permanent, or archival records are processed.
If an agency contracts with a vendor for micrographic services, that vendor is considered the primary vendor. If the vendor utilizes another service to process the microfilm, it is the responsibility of the primary vendor to provide ITD Media Services with methylene blue test results to attest to the archival quality of processing.
It is the responsibility of the state agency (and the micrographics vendors, if used) to show complete compliance with ISO 18901:2010.
All methylene blue testing must be conducted under valid testing conditions. In order to conduct a valid test for archival quality, all testing must proceed as follows:
If the methylene blue test results yield a thiosulfate ion concentration of greater than 1.4 micrograms per square centimeter, all microfilm containing images of long-term or archival documents will be rejected from the date of the last acceptable test to the date of the next acceptable test. Please note that fine grain film must yield a thiosulfate ion concentration of less than .7 micrograms per square centimeter. Film which fails the methylene blue test must be refilmed at the expense of the processing laboratory.
Cameras and Film Writers: A reduction ratio for roll microfilming of documents of 32 to 1 or less is preferred. A reduction ratio of greater than 32 to 1 may be used only if the micrographic system can maintain a satisfactory resolution as specified below at the greater reduction.
All microfilm systems filming public documents must be tested for resolution. This test must use a camera test chart as specified in ANSI/AIIM MS23-2004 or AIIM MS17-1992.
All micrographic systems used for microfilming documents must produce a resolution with a minimum of 125 lines per millimeter (lines/mm). The resolution is determined by multiplying the number identifying the smallest pattern which can be distinguished or resolved by the reduction ratio of the microfilm.
When determining resolution, the line-count method will be used. A microscope with a magnification of 5OX to 150X should be used when reading the camera test chart. In the line-count method, the person inspecting the film must be able to see and count five separate lines with absolute certainty. It is important that the Inspector be able to distinguish the area between the lines, and only readings with a clear and definite separation will be accepted.
When reading the camera test chart, the film must be processed to the density standards specified in Image Density.
All micrographic reproductions of documents must be tested to ensure that they meet the photographic background densities stated below. The density target sheet should always be a white sheet of paper the same size as the documents that are being filmed.
Microfilming projects that consist primarily of colored paper must be given special consideration when selecting a density target. Agencies that have colored documents to be microfilmed must contact ITD Media Services before beginning the project. After ITD Media Services examines a sample of the microfilming project, a decision will be made whether the density target for the project will be the same color as the majority of the documents in the microfilming project. A test must be run to determine the appropriate color to be used for the density target.
*NOTE: ITD Media Services will accept an image density in the range of 0.70 to 1.40 for microfilm that does not contain long-term, permanent, or archival records. This less-than-standard quality would only be allowed on a one-time basis, with the understanding that the next batch of microfilm must meet the established standards. ITD Media Services will notify the agency when microfilm does not meet the standards and the agency will be responsible to correct the problem before the next batch of microfilm is processed.
Roll Microfilm: Records must be indexed in an organized manner for efficient retrieval. Generally, the documents will be organized in the same sequence in which they are filed in hard copy form. Targeting as specified below must be filmed in the proper sequence and microfilm divider targets must be used to separate each file.
All filing enclosures and carton labels must contain the following information:
Roll microfilm: Proper identification targets must appear on each roll of microfilm. This is necessary to ensure ready identification of and access to the information on the film and for the information to be legally admissible in a court of law. The following targets must be used for roll microfilm in the following sequence:
It is up to the agencies themselves to do the final verification of each document before the destruction of any records. Paper records or electronic images may be disposed after the microfilm has been verified for quality and accuracy by the state agency or county office. The following conditions must be met to dispose of the paper records or electronic images:
Copies of standards and technical reports may be obtained from AIIM - The Global Community for Information Professionals.
AIIM MS17-1992 Rotary (Flow) Microfilm Camera Test Chart and Test Target - Description and Use
ANSI/AIIM MS23-2004 Recommended Practice - Production, Inspection, and Quality Assurance of First-Generation, Silver Microforms of Documents
ISO 6148:2001 Photography - Micrographic films, spools and cores -Dimensions
ISO 24537:2007 Micrographics - Dimensions for reels used for 16mm and 35mm microfilm
ISO 18901:2010 Imaging materials - Processed silver-gelatin type black-and-white films - Specifications for stability
ISO 18902:2013 Imaging materials - Processed imaging materials - Albums, framing and storage materials
ISO 18906:2000 Imaging materials - Photographic Films - Specifications for safety film
ISO 18911:2010 Imaging Materials - Processed safety photographic films - Storage practices
ISO 18917:1999 Photography - Determination of residual thiosulfate and other related chemicals in processed photographic materials - - Methods using iodine-amylose, methylene blue and silver sulfide
ITD Records Management
Records Management is the professional practice of identifying, classifying, preserving, and disposing the records of an organization, while capturing and maintaining the evidence of an organization’s business activities as well as the reducing the risks associated with it.