Electronic Records

The Resources on electronic/digital art focus primarily on records and documents in electronic form, whether digital or analogue, and to the use of digital technologies as a preservation tool, ("Digital Preservation").

Resources covering works of art involoving electronic media and technology whether in production or as components of the work may also apear here but will likely be broken out into their own Topic area in the future. They may also be found elsewhere in CoOL, especially in Conservation Resource at Other Sites. Material in this class is, very roughly, a subset of that covered by Art and Archaeology Techncal Abstracts classification category G13.

See also

Documents by Individuals
Documents by Agency or Organization
Association of Research Libraries (ARL)
Australian Archives
California Digital Library (CDL)
Canadian Heritage Information Network
Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems
Center for Technology in Government
CENDI & International Council for Scientific and Technical Information
Columbia University Libraries
Cornell University Library
Digital Library Federation
Digital Preservation Coalition
Digitizing Contemporary Art (DCA)
EARL Consortium for Public Library
Electronic Resource Preservation and Access Network (ERPANET)
General Accounting Office, United States (GAO)
Government Printing Office, United States (GPO)
Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)
International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI)
Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
Library of Congress
National Aeronatics and Space Administration (NASA)
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
National Agricultural Library (NAL)
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
National Library of Australia
National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health
National Library of Norway
Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)
Oxford University
Public Library Association
Public Records Office Digital Preservation Department
Research Libraries Group (RLG)
Society of American Archivists (SAA)
State Agencies
University of Leeds
University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences
Documents by topic
Electronic Records, General
Caching and Replication
Bibliographic resources
Mailing Lists
World Wide Web

Documents by Individuals

Catherine Ayre & Adrienne Muir
The Right to Preserve: The Rights Issues of Digital Preservation, D-Lib Magazine, March 2004

Paul Ayris
Guidance for selecting materials for digitisation

Charles W. Bailey, Jr.
Digital Curation and Preservation Bibliography

Patricia Battin
Image Standards and Implications for Preservation

Neil Beagrie
See also EARL, below
The Warwick II Workshop on Digital Preservation Strategy, March 3-4, 1999

Neil Beagrie & Daniel Greenstein
A Strategic Policy Framework for Creating and Preserving Digital Collections

David Bearman & Jennifer Trant
Electronic Records Research Working Meeting, May 28-30, 1997: A Report from the Archives Community

Adrian Brown
Digital Archiving Strategy
Digital Preservation Guidance Note 1: Selecting file formats for long-term preservation, August 2008

Stephen Chapman & Anne R. Kenney
Digital Conversion of Research Library Materials A Case for Full Informational Capture, D-Lib Magazine, October 1996

Michael Day
Extending metadata for digital preservation, Ariadne, Issue 9, May 1997.

Luciana Duranti & Terry Eastwood
The Preservation of the Integrity of Electronic Records

Mary Feeney
Digital Culture: Maximising the nation's investment: Report of seminar

Dale Flecker
Preserving Scholarly E-Journals, D-Lib Magazine September 2001

Amy Friedlander
The National Digital Information Infrastructure Preservation Program: Expectations, Realities, Choices and Progress to Date, D-Lib Magazine April 2002

Janet Gertz
Guidelines for Digital Imaging

Anne J. Gilliland-Swetland & Philip B. Eppard
Preserving the Authenticity of Contingent Digital Objects: The InterPARES Project, D-Lib Magazine July/August 2000

Stewart Granger
Emulation as a Digital Preservation Strategy, D-Lib Magazine October 2000

Dan Hazen, Jeffrey Horrell, & Jan Merrill-Oldham
Selecting Research Collections for Digitization. August 1998

Margaret Hedstrom
Digital preservation: a time bomb for Digital Libraries

Maggie Jones & Neil Beagrie
Preservation Management of Digital Materials Workbook (Prepublication draft)

"The workbook provides a comprehensive overview of digital preservation issues and practice and will be of interest to ditigitisation projects and curators in museums, libraries, archives, and the cultural heritage, research and publishing sectors.

Brewster Kahle
Archiving the Internet, Submitted to Scientific American for March 1997 Issue

Anne R. Kenney
Digital to Microfilm Conversion: A Demonstration Project 1994-1996

Preservation Risk Management for Web Resources: Virtual Remote Control in Cornell's Project Prism, D-Lib Magazine January 2002

Michael Lesk
Preserving Digital Objects: Recurrent Needs and Challenges

"Keeping digital objects means copying, standards, and legal challenges. This is a process, not a single step. Libraries have to think of digital collection maintenance as an ongoing task. It is one that gets steadily easier per bit; last generation's difficult copying problem is now easy. However, the rise of more complex formats and much bulkier information mean that the total amount of work continues to increase. Our hope is that cooperation between libraries can reduce the work that each one has to do."

Books Into Bytes

"Libraries can improve accessibility and reduce costs by converting their old materials to digital formats.". This is the original version of and article published in Scientific American, March 1997. See also published version

Images: Quantity is not always Quality

"Abstract: People like looking at pictures. Scanning is cheaper than keyboarding. These two facts have encouraged many to design scanning projects, as a way of converting information to machine-readable form for access and preservation. This does not mean that everything should be scanned: images are also bulkier than text and less easily processed. This paper will address practical issues in scanning and manipulating images, addressing the fact that technology in some areas has outrun our knowledge of how to use it. Just because your scanner has a 2400 bpi choice in its menu, that does not mean it should be invoked, for example. Our experience on the CORE project suggests that people can read images as rapidly as other forms of scientific articles, and that 300 dpi is good enough. The main questions in image systems are bandwidth, screen display, and cataloging. The most important possible tradeoff is whether fast enough display will compensate for our inability to search images effectively."

Preservation of New Technology

Substituting Images for Books: The Economics for Libraries

"Abstract: Does it yet make economic sense for a library to replace its books with electronic copies? How should this be done? This talk reviews the balance between the cost of building shelf space and the cost of scanning, both of which are now approaching $30/volume (from opposite sides). Scanning old books just about makes economic sense now, and should be widespread in a few years.

Susan S. Lukesh
E-Mail and Potential Loss to Future Archives and Scholarship or The Dog that Did not Bark

"A pattern has emerged in starting presentations on the preservation of electronic materials: Disaster! In 1975, the U.S. Census Bureau discovered that only two computers on earth can still read the 1960 census. The computerized index to a million Vietnam War records was entered on a hybrid motion picture film carrier that cannot be read. The bulk of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's research since 1958 is threatened because of poor storage. These tales are akin to Jorge Luis Borges's short story in which the knowledge of the world is concentrated in one mammoth computer - and the key is lost.

The essential question for the Information Age may well be how to save the electronic memory (Stielow: 333).

Clifford Lynch
Canonicalization: A Fundamental Tool to Facilitate Preservation and Management of Digital Information, D-Lib Magazine September 1999

Dave MacCarn
Toward a Universal Data Format for the Preservation of Media SMPTE Journal (106:477, July 1997)

Deanna Marcum & Amy Friedlander
Keepers of the Crumbling Culture: What Digital Preservation Can Learn from Library History, D-Lib Magazine May 2003

Christopher Muller
National Information Resources Face a 'Phantom Menace'
(also available as a PDF file. 1999
Tape Preservation via CD (PDF)
Tape Processing Issues (PDF)
BDE (Business Document Exchange) Its time to Its time to trust trust the the Internet!
Secure Data Logistics for eBusiness and CSI BDE Business Document Exchange Software, January 4, 2000 (PDF)

Paul Oliver
Wotsit's Format: The Programmer's Resource

A wonderfully rich compilation of information on formats, current and past, for data, software, and hardware. Coverage includes graphics, 3d graphics, movies/animations, archive formats, binaries, spreadsheet/database, financials/stocks, fonts, games, text/documents, Internet related formats, sound and music, Windows, GIS formats, communications formats, printer formats, hardware formats, etc.

Simon Pockley
Lest We Forget, An essay which examines the fragility of digital information and identifies the web as an archival repository

T. Alex Reid
Preservation of the Electronic Assets of a University

Seamus Ross
Changing Trains at Wigan: Digital Preservation and the Future of Scholarship (PDF)

Jeff Rothenberg
Using Emulation to Preserve Digital Publications (PDF), July 2000
An experiment in using Emulation to Preserve Digital Publications (PDF), April 2000
Avoiding Technological Quicksand: Finding a Viable Technical Foundation for Digital Preservation

Avoiding Technological Quicksand: Finding A Technical Foundation For Digital Preservation

"The report follows up Dr. Rothenberg's 1995 article in Scientific American, "Ensuring the Longevity of Digital Documents" by elaborating the author's proposal for emulating obsolete software/hardware systems on future, unknown systems, as a means of preserving digital information far into the future. The report, and the research agenda it proposes, will be of interest to managers of digital information resources in libraries and archives, computer scientists, and to all those concerned about the preservation of intellectual resources and records in all formats—including government records, medical records, corporate data, and environmental and scientific data.

In the author's view, the emulation approach is not just a promising candidate for a solution to the problem of digital preservation, but the only approach offering a true solution to the problem. In the report, he explores the problem of long-term digital preservation, spells out the criteria for an ideal solution, and analyzes the shortcomings of other solutions (printing and preserving hard copy, translating digital documents so that they migrate into new systems, reading them on obsolete systems preserved in museums, or relying on standards to keep them readable). Then he describes how to encapsulate a document so that is can be decoded by an emulator, the sequence of events required to preserve the document and to read it on future systems, and the techniques that need to be developed in order to make emulation work."

Bob Savage
Introductory Notes on Digital Imaging and Preservation

Sam Searle & Dave Thompson
Preservation Metadata: Pragmatic First Steps at the National Library of New Zealand, D-Lib Magazine April 2003

Thomas Mark Shepard
Universal Preservation Format Update, D-Lib Magazine November 1997

Abby Smith
Why Digitize?

Kenneth Thibodeau
Building the Archives of the Future: Advances in Preserving Electronic Records at the National Archives and Records Administration, D-Lib Magazine February 2001

Overview of Technological Approaches to Digital Preservation and Challenges in Coming Years

"The State of Digital Preservation: An International Perspective" is the first in a series of international symposiums that are supported by a grant from Documentation Abstracts, Inc. (DAI). The institutes, presented by CLIR will address key issues in information science relating to digital libraries, economics of information, or resources for scholarship.

"This volume of conference proceedings is from the April 2002 symposium. Included are the following essays:

  • Introduction: The Changing Preservation Landscape, Deanna Marcum
  • Overview of Technological Approaches to Digital Preservation and Challenges in Coming Years, Kenneth Thibodeau
  • The Digital Preservation Research Agenda, Margaret Hedstrom
  • Understanding Digital Preservation: A Report from OCLC, Meg Bellinger
  • Update on the National Digital Infrastructure Initiative, Laura Campbell
  • Experience of the National Library of the Netherlands, Titia van der Werf
  • Digital Preservation—A Many-Layered Thing: Experience at the National Library of Australia, Colin Webb
  • Good Archives Make Good Scholars: Reflections on Recent Steps Toward the Archiving of Digital Information, Donald Waters"

Titia van der Werf-Davelaar
Long-term Preservation of Electronic Publications: The NEDLIB project, D-Lib Magazine September 1999

Deborah Woodyard
Farewell my Floppy: a strategy for migration of digital information

Documents by Agency or Organization

Association of Research Libraries (ARL)

ARL Digitization page

Digitization as a Preservation Reformatting Method (PDF)
Also available as HTML

"ARL endorses digitization as an accepted preservation reformatting option for a range of materials. This paper was prepared to facilitate the development and implementation of policies, standards, guidelines, and best practices where they do not currently exist."

Preservation of Digital Information
Proceedings of the 131st Annual ARL Meeting, Washington, D.C., October 15-17, 1997
Peter Graham
Building Research & Action Agendas for Digital Archiving
Richard Rockwell & Janet K. Vavra
Partners in Preservation: The ICSPR Experience
Jan Olsen
An Organizational Model for Preserving Digital USDA Publications
Evelyn Frangakis
UCC USDA Digital Publications: Creating a Preservation Action Plan
Deanna Marcum
Responses to the RLG/CPA Report
Donald Waters
Toward a System of Digital Archives: Some Technological, Political and Economic Considerations The Rearranging Effecta

Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access

Sustainable Economics for a Digital Planet
Ensuring Long-Term Access to Digital Information

Australian Archives

Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems

California Digital Library (CDL)

Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)

Creating and Managing Digital Content


Information Infrastructures for Digital Preservation and Preservation 2000: An International Conference on the Preservation and Long Term Accessibility of Digital Materials
Proceedings of a conference, 6-8 December 2000, York, England
Information Infrastructures for Digital Preservation: A One Day workshop 6 December 2000, York, England, Conference Presentations
Preservation 2000: An International Conference on the Preservation and Long Term Accessibility of Digital Materials 7/8 December 2000, York, England


CENDI STI Management Reference Collection

"The CENDI STI Manager is a reference collection being developed by CENDI to provide access to high-quality materials (primarily web-based) related to the management of scientific and technical information, particularly within the U.S. government. The collection is intended for researchers, students, information scientists, policy makers, educators, and members of the public interested in the creation, dissemination, use, and preservation of scientific and technical information world-wide. This site is maintained by the CENDI Secretariat."

CENDI is an interagency Working Group composed of Senior Scientific and Technical Information (STI) managers from nine major programs in eight U.S. Federal Agencies:

Covers a wide range of topics of pertaining to preservation of electronic records, including imaging, digital archives, and intellectual property

Center for Technology in Government

Kristine L. Kelly, Alan Kowlowitz, Theresa A. Pardo, Darryl E. Green
Models for Action: Practical Approaches to Electronic Records Management & Preservation [PDF] CTG Final Project Report CTG 98-1 [78 pages] July 1998 (Abstract [HTML])

Kristine L. Kelly, Theresa A. Pardo, Alan Kowlowitz
Practical Tools for Electronic Records Management and Preservation Models for Action Project Practical Product [PDF] [14 pages] January 1999 (Abstract [HTML])

Alan Kowlowitz and Kristine Kelly
Functional Requirements to Ensure the Creation, Maintenance, and Preservation of Electronic Records[PDF] Models for Action Project Working Memo CTG.MFA-004 [4 pages] April 1998 (Abstract [HTML])

Betsy Maio
A Survey of Key Concepts and Issues for Electronic Recordkeeping[PDF] Models for Action Project Working Memo CTG.MFA-001 [16 pages] August 1997 (Abstract [HTML]) Document

CENDI & International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI)

Digital Electronic Archiving: The State of the Art and the State of the Practice, 1978. (PDF)
Getting a Handle on Federal Information: Persistent Identification Using HANDLES® A CENDI Workshop. Hosted by the National Library of Medicine January 29, 2003

Columbia University Libraries

Policy for Preservation of Digital Resources (also available as PDF file

Cornell University Library

Anne R. Kenney, Nancy Y. McGovern, Richard Entlich, William R. Kehoe & Erica Olsen
Digital Preservation Management: Implementing Short-term strategies for Long-term problems

Digital Library Federation (DLF)

Caroline Arms
Enabling Access in Digital Libraries: A Report on a Workshop on Access Management, Feb 1999

Ann Green, JoAnn Dionne, and Martin Dennis
Preserving the Whole: A Two-Track Approach to Rescuing Social Science Data and Metadata (PDF),

Digital Preservation Coalition

Brian F. Lavoie
The Open Archival Information System Reference Model: Introductory Guide. Technology Watch Series Report 04-01, January 2004

EARL Consortium for Public Library Networking

Neil Beagrie
Going Digital: issues in digitisation for public libraries, written by Neil Beagrie, Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), on behalf of EARL, The Library Association and UKOLN, An issue paper from the Networked Services Policy Taskgroup

Digitizing Contemporary Art (DCA)

Quality plan (M4)
Metadata implementation guidelines for digitised contemporary artworks (M12)
Assessment of the different aggregation platforms and their aggregation requirements (M12)
Guidelines for a long time preservation strategy for digital reproductions and metadata (M14)
Dissemination plan (M3)
Presentation software template and ready-to-use presentations (M3)

Electronic Resource Preservation and Access Network (ERPANET)


"ERPANET works to enhance the preservation of cultural and scientific digital objects through raising awareness, providing access to experience, sharing policies and strategies, and improving practices. To achieve these goals ERPANET is building an active community of members and actors, constructing authoritative information resources, promoting training, and providing advice and tools.

Resources include: Workshops and training, advisory services, case studies, abstracts

XML as Preservation Strategy (Draft) (PDF). ERPANET Workshop Report, Urbino, Oct 9-11, 2002
The Long Term Preservation of Databases (PDF). ERPANET Workshop Report, Bern, Apr 9-11, 2003
Digitisation, Conservation, and Quality Control (PDF). ERPANET Workshop Report, Toledo, Jun 23-25, 2002

General Accounting Office, United States (GAO)

Information Management Challenges in Managing and Preserving Electronic Records, June 2002

Highlights of GAO-02-586, a report to Congressional Requesters

Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)

Status of Technology and Digitization In the Nation's Museums and Libraries 2002 Report
also available as PDF


ISO Archiving Standards - Overview

"ISO has undertaken a new effort to develop standards in support of the long term preservation of digital information obtained from observations of the terrestrial and space environments. ISO has requested that the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems Panel 2 coordinate the development of those standards."

Government Printing Office (GPO)

Report from the Meeting of Experts on Digital Preservation: Digital Preservation Masters. June 18, 2004(PDF)

GPO is holding a series of meetings to develop specifications for the digitization project. The first meeting of experts on digitization and digital preservation was held at the GPO in Washington, DC in March 2004. The meeting brought together practicing experts in the field of digital format conversion and digital project development to discuss the current standards and specifications for the creation of digital objects for preservation and to put forward a proposed set of minimum requirements for digitizing documents for this project."

Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)

Web-archiving: a feasibility study for JISC and the Wellcome Trust

"In March 2002, the Wellcome Trust and the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) awarded a contract to UKOLN to undertake a feasibility study into web archiving. The aims of this study were to provide the Wellcome Trust and the JISC with:

  • an analysis of existing web archiving arrangements and to determine to what extent they address the needs of the UK research and FE/HE communities
  • recommendations on how the Wellcome Trust and the JISC could begin to develop web archiving initiatives to meet the needs of their constituent communities.

The study produced two reports

Collecting and preserving the World Wide Web (PDF)
Legal issues relating to the archiving of Internet resources in the UK, EU, US and Australia (PDF)

Library of Congress

See also American Memory Project

Digital Preservation page
Sustainability of Digital Formats Planning for Library of Congress Collections
National Digital Stewardship Alliance
Web Archiving
National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program
NDIPP Partner Publications
Preserving our Digital Heritage: National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program 2010 Report

James Daly, (ed.)
Workshop on Electronic Texts Proceedings

National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIP>
Preserving Our Digital Heritage Plan for the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, A Collaborative Initiative of the Library of Congress

National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP) Convening Sessions, November 5-6, 7-8, 15-16, 2001, Summary Report

Samuel Brylawski
Preservation of Digitally Recorded Sound

Dale Flecker
Preserving Digital Periodicals

Amy Friedlander
Background Summary of Results from Interviews and Essays

It's About Time: Research Challenges in Digital Archiving and Long-term Preservation April 12-13, 2002. Sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the Library of Congress.

Mary Ide, Dave MacCarn, Thom Shepard, and Leah Weisse
Understanding the Preservation Challenge of Digital Television

Peter Lyman
Archiving the World Wide Web

Frank Romano
E-Books and the Challenge of Preservation

Howard D. Wactlar & Michael G. Christel
Digital Video Archives: Managing Through Metadata

International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI)

Gail Hodge & Bonnie C. Carroll
Digital Electronic Archiving: The State of the Art and the State of the Practices, April 1999 (PDF)

David Russon
Access to Information: Now and the Future, World Conference on Science, Budapest, June 27, 1999

Duncan Simpson
Digital preservation in the regions. Sample survey of digital preservation preparedness and needs of organisations at local and regional levels An assessment carried out from December 2004 to March 2005

The Scientific Electronic Archive
Summary of a discussion session held at the ICSTI 1997 General Assembly 6-7 June 1997, Philadelphia, PA

National Aeronatics and Space Administration (NASA)

Final Report of the Task Group on Science Data Management to the Office of Space Science, NASA, 23 October 1996

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

National Agricultural Library (NAL)

The Electronic Information Initiative Phase 1 Final Report A Key Success Factor in the NAL Strategic Plan
See especially Chapter 7 - Preservation Issues for Optical/Electronic Media

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Advanced Digital Data Storage Laboratory

"In line with the ISIS mission the advanced digital storage laboratory is focused on working with the industry, government and academia to support interoperability and reliability of optical discs, to provide the US disc industry with standards, to improve safe preservation of digital information, and to develop new technology for next generation data storage. The research presently being conducted in the advanced digital data storage laboratory can be represented in five main areas/projects:

  • A testbed for optical disc reliability;
  • A traceable industry standard for DVD reflectance calibration for the DVD industry;
  • Working with Optical Storage Technology Association (OSTA) on the MultiRead test program for improvement of interoperability for all optical discs;
  • For the purpose of data preservation, a study of life expectancy for writable and re-writable optical discs in under way;
  • A study of 3-D data storage technology.

National Library of Australia

Preserving Access to Digital Information (PADI)
Statement of Principles Preservation of and Long-Term Access to Australian Digital Objects
Digital Archives: Who Keeps Them and Who Pays?
Response on behalf of PADI Working Group to the study commissioned by the United Kingdom's National Preservation Office, August 1997.

Preserving & Accessing Networked Documentary Resources in Australia (PANDORA) Project
Papers from the National Preservation Office Annual Conference - 1995 Multimedia Preservation: Capturing The Rainbow
Preservation of Australian Digital Information Working Group (PADI)

National Library of Medicine / National Institutes of Health

Digital Library Research Program
"The digital library research program at the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications investigates all aspects of creating and disseminating digital collections including proposed and adopted standards, emerging technologies and formats, effects on previously established processes, and protection of original materials"

National Library of Norway

Svein Arne Solbakk
Long term preservation of electronic material: preliminary experiences from the Norwegian National Library


Digital preservation of e-journals in 2008: Urgent Action revisited Results from a Portico/Ithaka Survey of U.S. Library Directors

Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC)

Liz Bishoff stty: standard input: Invalid argument
Digital Preservation Readiness Webliography (2007)

Tom Clareson
NEDCC Survey and Colloquium Explore Digital Preservation Policies and Practices

Aimée Primeaux,
Surveying Digital Assets in Museums: Northeast Document Conservation Center Six Month Project Activity Report, July 1, 2006 to December 31, 2006

Maxine K. Sitts, Editor
Handbook for Digital Projects: A Management Tool for Preservation and Access.


Ricky Erway and Jennifer Schaffner
Shifting Gears: Gearing Up to Get Into the Flow (PDF)
Report produced by OCLC Programs and Research.

From Introduction"As a community, we have spent more than two decades painstakingly pursuing the highest quality in our digitization of primary resources. Through Google Books, the Open Content Alliance, and similar efforts, book collections are flying off the shelves and finding their way to users in digital form. In a world where it is increasingly felt that if its not online it doesnt exist, we need to make sure that our users are exposed to the wealth of information in special collections....

"Scaling up digitization of special collections (here defined as non-book collections, such as photographs, manuscripts, pamphlets, minerals, insects, or maps) will compel us to temper our historical emphasis on quality with the recognition that large quantities of digitized special collections materials will better serve our users. This will require us to revisit our procedures and policies. Should we be digitizing for both preservation and access, or optimizing procedures primarily for access? How can our selection approaches help us maximize both throughput and impact? Have projects produced reusable infrastructures? What is the appropriate level of description for online materials? How can we make smart partnership agreements in order to build a collective collection that will be valued by a broad audience?

"This essay endeavors—like the "Digitization Matters" forum that inspired it (see Appendix)—to challenge its audience to take a fresh look at approaches to extending access to the special collections in libraries, archives, and museums. The forum speakers were asked to be provocative, not to represent what they or their institutions have done, but to focus on ideas for significantly increasing the scale of our digitization activities. Because of this somewhat unusual approach—and because so many of the ideas were further developed in the open discussions—we're not providing attribution for each idea, but rather summarizing the outcomes of the forum as a whole.

"The essay, like the forum, focuses on digitization and related processes, but intentionally does not encompass technical specifications for various formats, born digital materials, nor rights issues (which warrant similar essays for each topic). It intends to be provocative. Not all of the ideas presented here will apply to a particular situation, but hopefully they will stimulate consideration of appropriate ways to move forward.

Special collections are stuck in an eddy, while the mass of digitized books drift by in the current of the mainstream. We need to jump into the flow or risk being left high and dry."

Working Group on Preservation Metadata
Preservation Metadata for Digital Objects: A Review of the State of the Art (PDF).

Oxford University

Oxford University Computing Service
Policy on Computer Archiving Services

Public Library Association

Richard W. Boss
Disaster planning for computers and networks

The National Archives Digital Preservation Department

Formerly: Public Records Office Digital Preservation Department

PRONOM File Format Registry

"PRONOM File Format Registry is a resource for anyone requiring impartial and definitive technical information about the file formats used to store electronic records, and the software products that are required to create, render, or migrate these"

Adrian Brown
Preserving the Digital Heritage (PDF)

New Digital Archive at The National Archives (PDF)

David Thomas Digital Preservation at the National Archives (PDF>

Guidance Notes
Graphic File Formats
Image Compression
Selecting File Formats
Selecting Storage Media
Care, Handling and Storage of Removable Media

Research Libraries Group (RLG)

Kathleen Arthur, Sherry Byrne, Elisabeth Long, Carla Q. Montori, Judith Nadler
Recognizing Digitization as a Preservation Reformatting Method (PDF)

Metadata Framework to Support the Preservation of Digital Objects (PDF)
Trusted Digital Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities (PDF)

Society of American Archivists (SAA)

State Agencies

Georgia Department of Archives and History
Machine Readable Records

Performance Guidelines for the Legal Acceptance of Public Records Produced by Information Technology Systems
State Records Center and Archives, New Mexico
SRC Rule 93-05
Draft May 5, 1993

University of Leeds

The Representation and Rendering Project
Survey and assessment of sources of information on file formats and software documentation: Final Report (PDF)

University of Pittsburgh, School of Information Sciences

Functional Requirements for Evidence in Recordkeeping

"Stimulated by intense interest in the archival and records management professions and supported by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences has conducted a research project to examine variables that affect the integration of recordkeeping requirements in electronic information systems. This project was intended to examine one means to rectify such problems. The major objectives of this research project were to develop a set of well-defined recordkeeping functional requirements -- satisfying all the various legal, administrative, and other needs of a particular organization -- which can be used in the design and implementation of electronic information systems. The project also proceeded to consider how the recordkeeping functions are affected by organizational policies, culture, and use of information technology standards, systems design, and implementation."

Documents by topic

A/V Artifact Atlas (AVAA)

"The AV Artifact Atlas is for use in the identification and definition of the technical issues and anomalies that can afflict audio and video signals. "The goal of AVAA is to advance the audiovisual archiving field generally by strengthening the practice of reformatting archival media content. Archivists can improve the outcomes of their media preservation efforts if (they can properly identify and characterize signal issues and anomalies. With a tool to facilitate building a vocabulary of terms and supporting examples, archivists will learn and be able to communicate about the problems with more clarity and understanding. With this understanding, it is more likely that fixable problems will be fixed, limited resources will be directed more appropriately, and the products of reformatting workflows will be of higher quality. "The idea to create a community-based, online resource emerged while a group of media archivists attending the Association of Moving Image Archivists 2010 annual meeting were discussing quality control over vegetarian po'boy sandwiches at the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. We were frustrated by the lack of an accessible resource covering these issues, one that can be used to support and inform quality control processes in archival media reformatting workflows. We realized that if (we gathered together our clipped examples of media issues, pooling our knowledge on the subject, and then shared it as a community resource using wiki software, we might begin to fill the glaring gap. Partners in the effort to bring about the AV Artifact Atlas include: Bay Area Video Coalition, New York University Digital Library Technology Services, Stanford Media Preservation Lab. "

Electronic Records, General
InterPARES Project

The InterPARES Project is borne out of previous research carried out at the University of British Columbia's School of Library, Archival and Information Studies.

The project is a response to the increasing demands within the archival community to develop theories and methodologies for the permanent preservation of authentic electronic records.

Caching and Replication
Permanent Publishing on the Web
Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe

"Stanford Libraries is building "persistent access" software for libraries. The project is called: LOCKSS (Lots of Copies Keeps Stuff Safe). The project is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, with contributions from Sun Microsystems, Inc. and Stanford University. This software will allow libraries to archive immutable materials delivered over the web. It will be freely distributed and will run on a small/cheap PC. Current United States alpha sites include: Stanford University, University of California Berkeley, Harvard University, Columbia University, Los Alamos National Laboratory. The prototype is in pre-alpha test. Alpha testing is scheduled for Spring 2000.


Government Printing Office (GPO)
Report on the Meeting of Experts on Digital Preservation: Metadata Specifications.
June 14, 2004. PDF

"The Report on the Meeting of Experts on Digital Preservation: Metadata Specifications is a summary of the second of two meetings held to assist GPO in developing specifications for the digitization project. This meeting, focusing on descriptive and preservation metadata, was held at GPO on June 14, 2004. A summary of the overall discussion of the experts and the necessary resources for the metadata package submission are included in the report. Also included is a listing of metadata elements that is not meant to be viewed as a final list of required metadata elements, but a list of metadata elements, based on this discussion and the recommended readings as put forth in the meeting. It provides a common set of elements from which to build for digitization project.""

International Association of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA)
Digital Libraries: Metadata Resources

International Association of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) & International Publishers Association (IPA)
Preserving the Memory of the World in Perpetuity: a joint statement on the archiving and preserving of digital information

Preservation Metadata for Digital Objects: A Review of the State of the Art (PDF)

Attributes of a Trusted Digital Repository: Meeting the Needs of Research Resources. Draft, Aug. 2001. (PDF)

"This 52-page PDF document is intended to prompt consideration and discussion worldwide. To help achieve an international consensus and shape next steps, we need dialog on the standards, criteria, and mechanisms for certifying digital information repositories...." "While intended primarily for research institutions and specifically for libraries and archives, this report contains guidance and recommendations applicable to any organization interested in long-term maintenance of and continuing access to digital materials. It highlights some key strategic issues as it focuses on practical assistance to administrators and implementers of digital archiving services"

Universal Preservation Format
UPF Home

World Wide Web
Preserving the World Wide Web

Preweb is intended to be an international discussion list and link collection on Preservation of the WorldWideWeb. It is a joint initiative of the National Libraries of Sweden, Netherlands and Australia and run by the Kulturarw3 Project of the Royal Library of Sweden. It started in August 1998 and is under construction.

Joan A. Smith and Michael L. Nelson
Creating Preservation-Ready Web Resources, D-Lib Magazine, Volume 14 Number 1/2, January/February 2008

Abstract: There are innumerable departmental, community, and personal web sites worthy of long-term preservation but proportionally fewer archivists available to properly prepare and process such sites. We propose a simple model for such everyday web sites which takes advantage of the web server itself to help prepare the site's resources for preservation. This is accomplished by having metadata utilities analyze the resource at the time of dissemination. The web server responds to the archiving repository crawler by sending both the resource and the just-in-time generated metadata as a straight-forward XML-formatted response. We call this complex object (resource + metadata) a CRATE. In this paper we discuss modoai, the web server module we developed to support this approach, and we describe the process of harvesting preservation-ready resources using this technique.

Bibliographic resources

Michael Day
Preservation of electronic information: A bibliography

Thomas Mark Shepard
Bibliography & Notes for Universal Preservation Format

Mailing Lists
Digital Libraries Research mailing list, Owners: IFLANET, Terry Kuny; Moderator: Terry Kuny

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