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Document Code No.: INF 12-1 (AP)
Department/Issuing Agency: Division of Records and Elections
Effective Date: February 11, 1989
Approved: /s/ Tim Hill
Type of Action: New. (Replaces Form RM-6, "Transferring Silver Microfilm to the State Archives.")

Signed document (PDF, 432 KB)

1.0 SUBJECT TITLE: Transfer of Security Microfilm and Access to Security Microfilm


2.1 To establish procedures for the transfer of original microfilm negatives from King County departments to the State Archives for security purposes, and for retrieving copies of such film.


3.1 All Executive agencies, offices, and departments.

3.2 King County Records Center.

3.3 Division of Records and Elections, Records Management Section.


4.1 Form RM-5, 1987, "Microfilm Quality Control Inspection Procedures and Requirements."

4.2 Form RM-6, 1987, "Transferring Silver Microfilm to the State Archives."

4.3 Form RM-7, 1987, "Records Management Services."

4.4 "Security Microfilm Transfer and Storage for State and Local Government Agencies" published August, 1984, by State Division of Archives and Records Management.


5.1 "Security Microfilm": Silver halide camera negative microfilm sent by King County to the State Archives.

5.2 "Quality Control Standards": Minimum technical measurements required by King County from microfilm service bureaus and County agencies engaged in filming County records. Resolution and density are to be listed on box labels and image permanence is attested to by most recent methylene blue test certificate issued by vendor. (See Appendix 9.1.)

5.3 "Records Center": The King County Records Center, 1215 E. Fir St., Seattle.

5.4 "State Archives": The Division of Archives and Records Management, Office of the Secretary of State, Olympia.


6.1 The silver halide camera microfilm produced from filming King County public records which are deemed to be vital records, or which are designated permanent or archival on State-approved records retention schedules shall be transferred to the State Archives for secure storage.

6.2 All transfers of security microfilm to the State Archives shall be coordinated by the Records Management Officer and carried out by the Records Center Supervisor.

6.3 All security microfilm submitted for transfer to the State Archives must meet the quality control standards listed in Appendix 9.1 and must be accompanied by documentation stating the results of tests for thiosulfate residue.

6.4 All security microfilm submitted for transfer to the State Archives must be boxed and labeled in accordance with the instructions listed in Appendix 9.2 prior to the Records Center assuming custody of it.

6.5 The Records Center Supervisor shall issue a receipt to the office of origin for all security microfilm accepted for transfer to the State Archives.

6.6 The Records Center Supervisor shall assume responsibility for the safe storage of security microfilm until such time as the microfilm is delivered to a representative of the State Archives.

6.7 Security microfilm shall be transferred from the Records Center into the custody of the State Archives in as short a period of time as is practical.

6.8 The Records Management Officer shall provide the proper forms to County agencies requesting to transfer security microfilm to the State Archives.

6.9 The State Archives provides secure, environmentally controlled storage of security microfilm to local government agencies at no charge.

6.10 The State Archives reserves the right to decline to store any microfilm which is not essential to the continuity of government, or is not of historic, legal or research value.

6.11 It is the policy of the State Archives to prohibit temporary removal of security microfilm for any purpose. This is to protect the film from the damage it may incur outside of the State Archives vaults through usage or adverse environmental conditions.

6.12 Copies of security microfilm can be obtained from the State Archives, Microfilm Service Bureau. Agencies will be charged the current rate for copies (five dollars per roll in 1988) and UPS shipping costs.

6.13 County agencies may permanently remove their security microfilm from the State Archives if 30 days notice is given, all arrangements for removal and shipping are made by the agency, and if the film is to be relocated to a public-owned facility which has been inspected and approved by the State Archives for storage of security microfilm.



Action By: County Agency


7.1 Receives original microfilm negative from service bureau or from in-house microfilming personnel.

7.1.1 Ensures that film is properly boxed and labeled. (See Appendix 9.2.)

7.1.2 Checks quality control test results to see that County standards have been met. (See Appendix 9.1.)

7.2 Contacts Records Management Officer to request transfer forms.

7.3 Fills out transfer forms.

7.3.1 Contacts King County Records Center to arrange for transfer of microfilm.

Action By: Records Center Supervisor


7.4 Schedules time to pickup microfilm at County agency's location.

7.5 Checks boxes for correct labeling. (See Appendix 9.2.)

7.5.1 Checks quality control results for proper standards.

7.5.2 Checks transfer form against boxes for completeness and accuracy.

7.6 If all conditions are met, issues receipt to agency and transports film, methylene blue certificate and transfer forms to Records Center.

7.6.1 Makes 1 copy of all documents.

7.6.2 Places microfilm and accompanying documents in secure area of Records Center for storage until transfer to State Archives takes place.

7.7 Contacts State Archives to arrange for transfer of microfilm into State custody.

7.8 Either delivers microfilm to State Archives Branch in Burien or gives microfilm to State Archives representative at Records Center.

7.8.1 Gives Archives representative the transfer forms and copy of methylene blue certificate.

7.8.2 Obtains signature of State Archives representative on receipt acknowledging transfer of microfilm.

7.8.3 Forwards copy of documentation to Records Management Officer.

Action By: Records Management Officer


7.9 Files transfer forms and methylene blue test results.


Action By: County Agency


7.10 Sends written request for diazo copies of specified security microfilm to:

 State Security Microfilm Archivist Division of Archives and Records Management P.O. Box 9000 Olympia, WA 98504

7.10.1 For emergencies, request may be made by telephone, with written request provided later (SCAN 321-6232).

Action By: State Archives


7.11 Makes copies of requested microfilm.

7.11.1 Ships diazo copies to requesting agency.

7.11.2 Bills County agency for copying and shipping costs.


8.1 County Agencies are responsible for obtaining transfer forms from Records Management, for ensuring that microfilm meets County specifications, for accurately completing transfer forms, for seeing that security microfilm is properly boxed and labeled, and for contacting the Records Center to arrange for microfilm to be transferred to the Records Center.

8.2 County Agencies are responsible for contacting the State Archives to request copies of security microfilm held by the State.

8.3 The Records Center is responsible for checking boxes of microfilm for correct labeling, for checking the quality control results, for checking the transfer forms, for issuing a receipt for the microfilm, for transporting the microfilm to the Records Center, for storing the microfilm until it is transferred to the State Archives, and for making the arrangements for transferring film to the State.

8.4 The Records Management Officer is responsible for providing transfer forms to County agencies upon request, and for storing completed transfer forms and image permanence test results for microfilm transferred to the State.


9.1 King County Microfilm Quality Control Standards.

9.2 Security Microfilm Boxing and Labeling Instructions.


Appendix 9.1:


Camera film must be optically inspected for density using a transmission type densitometer designed to measure diffuse density according to ANSI PH 2.19. Results must be within the following limits.

 Background Density Camera Negative Image Master Microfilm 1.0 - 1.2 Camera Positive Image Master Microfilm 0.16 maximum


Resolution is determined by visual examination of a resolution target and is expressed in lines per millimeter. The lines per millimeter measurement is obtained by multiplying the power of the reduction by the number of the smallest discernable resolution pattern. For example, a reduction of 30 times with the smallest discernable target being number 4.5 gives a result of 135 lines per millimeter (30 x 4.5 = 135).


Image permanence is determined by the level of residual fixer (thiosulfate ion) left on silver microfilm after processing. The level is measured by the Methylene Blue test and is expressed in micrograms per square centimeter.

Maximum allowable reading for original camera microfilm (positive or negative) is 0.7 micrograms per square centimeter.


Appendix 9.2:


Microfilm boxes must meet archival standards and be made of acid-free materials. The preferred container is a one piece, open-end design made from .020 inch thick bleached kraft pulpboard, free of lignins, metal particles, waxes, plasticizers, adhesives, and with all peroxide-generating materials removed, dyed with a light, fast, nonbleeding dye, with a smooth surface and a pH of between 8.5 and 10.2.

The polypropylene plastic boxes in which silver microfilm is shipped by the manufacturer are also acceptable.


Label on the front of box should contain the following information:

(1) King County

(2) Department

(3) Office, Division, or Section

(4) Roll or box Number

(5) Range of file numbers or alphabetical listings

(6) Inclusive dates

(7) Date of filming

(8) Density

(9) Resolution

Label on the end (top) of the box should show:

(1) King County

(2) Department

(3) Office, Division, or Section

(4) Inclusive file numbers or dates

(5) Roll or box number