December 3, 2020

Digitization: New DRAFT Document from ALCTS Recommends Minimum Specifications for Sustainable Digitized Content

The following DRAFT document was released earlier this week by the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) Preservation and Reformatting Section.

From an ALA Connect Post by Ian Bogus (Chairman of Committee):

In 2011, the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services Preservation and Reformatting Section charged a task force to develop guidelines for libraries digitizing content with the objective of producing digital products that will endure. The intent of this document was to build off past works. The authors reviewed previous research, practices at over 50 organizations, and samples of digitized works to determine a recommendation of minimum specifications for sustainable digitized content. The recommendations are not intended to dictate specific technical specifications at any given institution, but rather a floor that should not be dropped below. This draft was the result of the task force’s work. It is now up for general comment before it is published in its final version.

The comment period will end on December 31, 2012. Comments will then be reviewed, incorporated into the document, and a final version will be published shortly thereafter.

From the Preface of the Document:

This document was created as a guideline for libraries digitizing content with the objective of producing a product that will not be re-digitized at a later point. Institutions can feel secure that if an item has been digitized at, or above, these specifications, they can depend on it to continue to be viable in the future. These guidelines only speak to the technical specifications of the digitized content itself and not to the larger issue of digitally preserving said content. In some cases, institutions may want to request a digital copy to preserve themselves further safeguarding materials by preserving them in multiple locations

Direct to Full Text Document: (72 pages; PDF)

Note:  Pages 32-34 of the doc provide direct links to digitization guidelines from a number of universities, archives, and professional groups.

Hat Tip/Thanks: @IMPACTOCR

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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