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Standards & Specifications: A How-To Guide

Learn how to search for, and locate, full text of industry standards with this how-to guide from the Iowa State University Library.

Locating ANSI standards at ISU

When American National Standards Institute (ANSI) adopts an existing standard, it retains the original standard number of the issuing agency and assigns an "ANSI" prefix. For example, the standard UL68 developed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), when adopted by the American National Standards Institute, would be identified as ANSI/UL68.

Most ANSI standards in the Iowa State University Library's collection are located in the Standards Center (Parks Library, Room 161) in filing cabinets. They are in order by standard number. We recommend you use the free scanners to scan/save copies of pages you need. The library's ANSI standards collection dates from the 1970s; however, the collection is not complete and the library does not own all the superseded editions of ANSI standards.

If you know the title of the ANSI standard:

This will find materials located in the Standards Center (Room 161), the General Collection, or the Library Storage Building. Be sure to note location and call number (or standard number) before heading to the shelf.

If you have a topic and want to search for an ANSI standard:

Use one of the links on the Standards Search Engines page of this guide.

When you have a specific ANSI number but do not know the title:

Such as ANSI B154.1-1995:

If Quick Search does not find the standard using the number, try looking the number up in IHS Global to get the title. Once you know the title of the ANSI standard, recheck Quick Search using the title. If you have an ANSI standard number that is not found by the above search, ISU probably does not own it.

If you need an ANSI standard that ISU does not own:

  1. Check Google - some industry standards are available free on the web. Very few ANSI standards are available this way, but you may get lucky.
  2. The ISU Library can possibly purchase it for the collection. See the Requesting Standards page of this guide for information on how to do this and who is eligible to request.
  3. Consider whether or not an equivalent standard would be acceptable for your particular need - e.g., would an ISO version of the ANSI standard you need be acceptable? See When All Else Fails section of this guide for more information on these.
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Kris Stacy-Bates
150 Parks Library

Iowa State University

515 294-6819

Non-affiliate questions

Iowa State University Library has a strong focus on public service. As such, we will do our best to answer standards-related questions even if you are not affiliated with Iowa State University. However, the answers we provide focus on finding and accessing standards in the ISU Library collection.

Questions about the content and use of ANSI standards, the accreditation process, and more would be better sent directly to ANSI: