We present recent results of the study of surface properties and quantum efficiency (QE) of CsI photocathodes prepared on various substrates. Microanalysis methods provide laterally resolved surface morphology and chemical composition of the photoemissive film. Integral measurements of the QE of CsI were done with a monochromator system and a RICH device. It was shown that CsI films deposited on large area Ni- or Ni-Au-coated printed circuit electrodes have a uniform crystalline structure and an average QE close to that reached on polished stainless steel. The films have a good stability in air over periods of Ih. On a microscopic scale of 3-30 mu m, the films exhibit nonuniform emission properties correlated with variations in the chemical composition.