The Library of Congress is actively soliciting feedback on its Recommended Format Specifications (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/rfs) for the next update, which will be issued this summer. The Recommended Format Specifications describe the hierarchies of the physical and technical characteristics of creative formats, both analog and digital, which will best maximize the chances for preservation and continued accessibility of creative content. Creators and publishers have also begun to employ a wide array of intangible digital formats, as well as continuing to change and adapt the physical formats in which they work. The Library needs to be able to identify the formats which are suitable for large-scale acquisition and preservation for long-term access if it is to continue to build its collection and ensure that it lasts into the future.
The Specifications are organized into six basic categories of creative output:
· Textual Works and Musical Compositions
· Still Image Works
· Audio Works
· Moving Image Works
· Software and Electronic Gaming
· Learning and Datasets/Databases
These categories represent significant parts of the publishing, information, and media industries, especially those that are rapidly adopting digital production and are central to building the Library’s collections. Technical teams were formed with experts from across the institution bringing specialized knowledge in technical aspects of preservation, ongoing access needs and developments in the marketplace and in the publishing world. These teams were established to identify recommended formats for each of these categories and to establish hierarchies of preference among the formats within them.
To ensure that the Specifications accomplish all this, they need to be kept in sync with changes in the development of creative works. To this end, the Library will be performing an annual review and revision of the Specifications between April and June every year.
Already the Library has identified improvements which will make the Specifications better and more useful, such as further refinement of the recommended metadata, and investigation of database archiving products and reordering some of the Still Image formats. But in order to make the Specifications as useful as possible for the Library and for all stakeholders, the Library is actively seeking any and all feedback, comments, thoughts and input which others may have on the Specifications.
The Library of Congress looks forward to receiving such input through March 31st, 2015 and can be sent to the Library through one of the e-mail contacts listed on the Recommended Format Specifications website or through the e-mail listed below.
For more information, please contact Ted Westervelt [[log in to unmask]].
(Please excuse cross-posting)