Microfilming Records

Obtaining Supplies and Equipment

The Preservation Section will provide advice on what types of supplies best meet the needs of the agency or local government and information on how to obtain them. Film and other supplies may be purchased directly from Preservation.

Preparation of Records

The integrity of original records must be maintained. Whatever filming method is chosen, it is the responsibility of the agency or local government to review the files prior to filming and check for misfiles and/or missing documents. Disorganized files should not be microfilmed. Microfilming is a method of copying, not organizing records.

Documents must be prepared (remove staples, smooth creases, make sure all documents are facing in the same way, etc. ) before filming. Microfilm service bureaus charge by the hour for preparation, so the more the agency can do, the less they can expect to pay.


All microfilming must be done in accordance with AIIM and with ANSI standards. For more information on these standards or assistance with ensuring that they standards are followed by private service vendors, contact the Preservation Section. Detailed instructions on filming and camera operation are provided in custom-made information packets available from the Preservation Section.


Targets are filmed messages that describe or comment on the documents being microfilmed. The information on targets is essential for identifying microforms (for research and legal purposes) and quality control. Detailed instructions on targeting and the targets themselves are provided in custom-made information packets available from the Preservation Section or online.

Previous Page | Next Page

Page Last Updated January 4, 2013.