Standard & Specifications Resources


What are Standards? 
Selected Books & Magazines

Selected Internet Sites

Other Local Libraries 


What are Standards?

Standards and specifications are documents that recommend or stipulate how a product should be made or how it should perform or how a service should be performed.  Engineering design standards form the basis of national building codes.


Most industrial standards are considered voluntary. When governments mandate standards, they become laws or regulations.


Standards are written by technical and trade associations, or professional societies, or national standards bodies, or international standards agencies, or private companies, or government agencies.

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Selected Books and Magazines

Try searching the Spokane Public Library On Line Catalog using these search terms:

standardization and specifications.

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Selected Internet Sites

How to Find Standards, a tutorial hosted by UC's Berkeley Library.

Document Center: Your Standards Library provides an index to standards and an opportunity to purchase the ones you want.

IHS Engineering is the leading worldwide provider of technical standards and specifications. Their web page will help you identify standards.
Defense Standardization Program allows users to find military specifications (milspecs) online.

ASTM (The American Society for Testing and Materials) is a major international organizer and publisher of standards.

NIST (The National Institute of Standards and Technology) is a federal agency that develops and promotes standards.

ANSI (The American National Standards Institute) is a nonprofit organization that coordinates and publishes standards in the US.

NSSN (National Standards System Network, developed by NIST and ANSI) lets you search for standards.

ISO (The International Organization for Standardization) is the major international standards organization.

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Other Local Libraries

The Gonzaga Foley Center Library has ASTM standards and the ASTM index.

Eastern Washington University's JFK Library has the ASTM index and some ANSI and NIST publications.


Washington State Library will send us up to 20 pages of an ANSI standard via their Inter-library loan service. This service requires two weeks and a Spokane Public Library Card in good standing. You need the ANSI title and code number.  Visit or call the Downtown library to request this service. 

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