7. Records in Microform (Table of Contents)


When describing microforms capture data relevant to the broad class of material being described (eg., textual, cartographic, etc.). Some specialized descriptions specific to the physical nature of microfilm must be noted in the title and extent elements and in the physical description note.

Title (Rule 10.1)

If you are using the GMD option, list the relevant GMD, add a "--" and add "microform" before closing the brackets, eg.:
Title: Canada Department of Indian Affairs fonds [textual records -- microform].

Extent (Rule 10.5)

At the very minimum the archivist must record the number of units of microfilm - reels, aperture cards, etc.- as well as the number of frames if that can be readily ascertained. At its simplest the extent element for microfilm could look like this:
Extent: 10 reels of microfilm
However, the archivist should remember that certain physical details may have to be included to describe the chemical and physical nature of the microfilm as well as its dimensions. This includes height and width for aperture cards, micro-opaques and microfiche that is not 10.5 x 14.8 cm. For reels it will be necessary to know whether it is 16 or 35 millimetre microfilm. Recording this information allows future archivists to make judgements regarding the microfilm's long-term preservation requirements and tells them what kind of equipment will be needed to read it. At the sub-series level and above, the entire Physical Description area follows this template:
Extent of descriptive unit including specific material designation [16] : Other physical details, subsequent other physical details ; Dimensions.
As was noted earlier, each individual record type follows the same pattern with a ". --" between the two descriptions. An example of that could look like this:
Extent: 42 microfilm reels : negative, silver halide ; 16 mm. -- 10 aperture cards ; 9 X 19 cm.

In this case, the number of descriptive units is "42", the specific material designation is "microfilm reels", the first "Other physical detail" is that they are negatives and the subsequent physical detail is that they are made of silver halide film. The dimensions (in this case the width of the film) is 16 mm. Following this is the description of the next type of records, 10 aperture cards which are 9 X 19 cm in dimension. The archivist describing these records did not include "Other physical details" for the aperture cards.

Physical Description note (Rule 10.8B2)

This note should include information on the reduction ratio, type of microfilm reader, film format and other physical details where necessary.