Call us 877.992.3766

CD Life Expectancy Standards Release

Standards Published on Permanence of Electronic Materials



Dr. Peter Z. Adelstein
Image Permanence Institute
Rochester Institute of Technology
Gannett Bldg., 70 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5604
(tel. 716-475-2303)

The rapidly increasing use of electronics to digitally record information has raised questions about the permanence of the materials used in this process and the need for standard procedures for their testing, storage and handling. This need was addressed by a committee of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the official organization that represents the USA in international standardization. In 1989 a joint technical group was established between Subcommittee IT9-5 of ANSI and the Audio Engineering Society. Individuals and company representatives from the magnetic tape and optical disc communities have been meeting twice yearly since then to work on standards in this field.

Now the first results of these efforts have been published. ANSI/NAPM IT9.21 is a standard test method to establish the life expectancy of compact discs (CD-ROM.) ANSI/NAPM IT9.23 is a standard which provides recommendations for the storage of magnetic tape. Both documents have been presented to the International Standards Organization for consideration as ISO standards. Copies of ANSI standards can be purchased from the American National Standards Institute, 11 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036 (tel. 212-398-0023) or online at

ANSI subcommittee IT9-5, presently co-chaired by Drs. Peter Adelstein of the Image Permanence Institute and Gerry Gibson of the Library of Congress, is actively working on additional publications. Draft standards are in preparation on estimating the life expectancy of magneto-optical discs and write-only (CD-Recordable) discs. There is also work in progress on recommendations for storage of optical discs. A companion document to IT9.23 on the care and handling of magnetic tape is another high priority for the IT9-5 subcommittee.

This ANSI IT9-5/AES standards subcommittee is open to all who are interested and willing to participate. A large number of participants will result in improved documents as many specialties and viewpoints are represented. Anyone who is interested in working on this committee should contact Peter Z. Adelstein, Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Gannett Bldg., 70 Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623-5604 (tel. 716-475-2303).