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General Information on Born-digital
Digital Image Preservation
Digital Asset Management for Photographers
Digital Print Preservation
Image Metadata Tools
Licensing and Rights
Photographic File Formats
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born digital photographs
The International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES), now in its third phase, "aims at developing the theoretical and methodological knowledge essential to the long-term preservation of authentic records created and/or maintained in digital form" Among the research papers produced by InterPARES during the first and second phase is "Survey of the Record-keeping Practices of Photographers Working with Digital Materials." The survey was undertaken by Marta Braun and Jessica Bushey under the auspices of InterPARES 2. The final report for participants is available at:
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress Web site "Sustainability of Digital Formats Planning for Library of Congress Collections" (
; updated 12 Dec 2011) contains information about three areas: Sustainability Factors, Content Categories, and Format Descriptions. The most recent updates to Web pages are from mid 2007.
The Personal Archives Accessible in Digital Media (paradigm) project sees the major research libraries of the Universities of Oxford and Manchester come together to explore the issues involved in preserving digital private papers through gaining practical experience in accessioning and ingesting digital private papers into digital repositories, and processing these in line with archival and digital preservation requirements.
Design rule for Camera File system (DCF)
The "Design rule for Camera File system" (DCF) is the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) industry standard (specification number CP-3461) that defines the file format and file system for specific digital camera models, including file naming method, character set, file format, and metadata format. (
) The file format is based upon the Exif 2.2 specification (see below).
International Imaging Industry Association (
The not-for-profit International Imaging Industry Association (I3A) "is the largest imaging industry group worldwide. I3A's member companies from around the world are dedicated to developing and promoting the adoption of open industry standards, addressing environmental issues and providing a voice for the industry that will ultimately benefit all users. I3A is the product of the merger of the Digital Imaging Group (DIG) and the Photographic and Imaging Manufacturers Association (PIMA), with almost 60 years of combined imaging industry leadership."
The organization's IT10 and WG18 committees develops standards for Electronic Still Picture Imaging.
[may need to update with stuff from here:
IT10 (link no longer extent)
The scope of the I3A/IT10 committee includes specifying storage media, device interfaces, and image formats for electronic still picture imaging. The committee also works on standardizing measurement methods, performance ratings for devices and media, and definitions of technical terms.
WG18 (link no longer extent)
WG18 focuses its efforts on standards development in the following areas:
Device interface requirements
Specification of image processing methodology for electronic still photography image data
Rating and classifying performance characteristics of devices and materials used in electronic still photography
Development of recommended practices for assurance of image integrity and security
Society for Imaging Science (
"The Society for Imaging Science and Technology is an international non-profit organization whose goal is to keep members aware of the latest scientific and technological developments in the field of imaging through conferences, journals and other publications. We focus on imaging in all its aspects, with particular emphasis on silver halide, digital printing, electronic imaging, photofinishing, image preservation, image assessment, pre-press technologies and hybrid imaging systems."
Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines (UPDIG) Working Group
The UPDIG Working Group is an "ad-hoc industry consortium of non-profit associations . . . along with allied trade groups and manufacturers . . . and digital imaging professionals . . . dedicated to promoting worldwide standards in the commercial application of digital imaging." The group publishes "Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines" (Version 3 published September 2007). The Digital Imaging Submission Guidelines Working Group issued a separate set of standards "to improve the 'hand-off' of digital image files from photographers to end users of all types."
Digital Images Archiving Study (
The Arts and Humanities Data Service, a national service funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee, produced a final report in 2006 on the practical issues related to the preservation of digital images. The lengthy report discusses the nature of digital images (i.e., content, format, size, metadata requirements), and the potential preservation methods to ensure long term access and use. This report recognizes that the majority of research into the preservation of digital images has focused upon the theoretical and has been general in nature. Topics covered in this 155 page report: User Requirements, Properties of Digital Images, Preservation Methods, Images Metadata, Life Cycle and Organizational Models, and Assessing Preservation Costs.
Digital Asset Management for Photographs
Krough, Peter. The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers. O'Reilly, November 2005.
Publisher's Web Page for The DAM Book
Author's Web Page for The DAM Book (includes links and updates)
O'Reilly Digital Media
"Peter Krough on Digital Asset Management." Derrick Story interview (10/11/2007) with Peter Krough, author of The DAM Book: Digital Asset Management for Photographers. (MP3 file)
Adobe developed the .DNG ("digital negative") file format in response to issues associated camera manufacturers' proprietary RAW file formats. DNG is a subtype of TIFF 6.0. Some cameras offer the ability to save work as a DNG; some photographers convert images into DNG from a camera RAW format to avoid the proprietary issues associated with a manufacturer's RAW format (e.g. Canon's .CR2, Nikon's .NEF, etc.). The appeal to archives is the ability to convert all digital images file to one format (normalization).
Library of Congress
The Library of Congress currently has not established a preference for the DNG format in its "Sustainability of Digital Formats" Website.
JPEG2000 in Archives and Libraries
"Although members of the library and archives communities were not explicitly involved with the creation of the new standard, the characteristics of JPEG2000 files are of great interest. JPEG2000 is not only an evolutionary progression of formats but also as a revolutionary step that changes best practices in ways that can sustain the profession for a long period of time."
"The goal of OpenRAW is to encourage image preservation and give creative choice of how images are processed to the creators of the images. To this end, we advocate open documentation of information about the how the raw data is stored and the camera settings selected by the photographer."
Extensible Metadata Platform (.xmp)
Adobe Systems's Extensible Metadata Platform, XMP, is a "labeling technology" that allows metadata to be embedded into a file itself. Programs such as Photoshop use XMP to record descriptive metadata using IPTC Core (see below) fields, among other descriptive metadata. It can also be used to record photographic processing instruction sets, such as cropping, contrast and colour adjustments, etc. Many of the metadata tags are Dublin Core. In Adobe Photoshop there is an option to save XMP information in a "sidecar file" that has it's own .xmp file extension. (Confirm and clarify this distinction between sidecar and embedding.)
Exchangeable Image File Format (Exif)
An unofficial site dedicated to Exif and related resources. The Web site describes Exif as "a standard for storing interchange information in image files, especially those using JPEG compression. Most digital cameras now use the EXIF format. The format is part of the DCF standard created by JEITA (see above) to encourage interoperability between imaging devices."
International Press Telecommunications Council (IPTC)
"The IPTC . . . is a consortium of the world's major news agencies, news publishers and news industry vendors. It develops and maintains technical standards for improved news exchange that are used by virtually every major news organization in the world."
IPTC Core is the "set of metadata primarily for photos to be used with Adobe's Extensible Metadata Platform XMP."
Items of note available on the IPTC Metadata Web page include links to "Photo Metadata White Paper, 2007" and the "IPTC Photo Metadata Roadmap." The latter (released 3 July 2007) "outlines planned photo metadata activities of the IPTC and in particular of its Photo Metadata Working Group." The white paper, published in May 2007, covers a list of "metadata properties, . . . a set of typical photo workflows, . . . and a discussion of how photo workflows can be improved by a consistent use of metadata."
IPTC Photo Metadata 2008 IPTC Standard Photo Metadata 2008
The specification is divided into two schemas: IPTC Core schema which refers to properties from the IPTC Information Interchange Model, and the IPTC Extension schema which extends the IPTC Core schema and incorporates related properties from the PLUS metadata schema.
Licensing and Rights
PLUS (Picture Licensing Universal System) has been created by the PLUS Coalition, "an international non-profit initiative on a mission to simplify and facilitate the communication and management of image rights. Organized by respected associations, leading companies, standards bodies, scholars and industry experts, the PLUS Coalition exists for the benefit of all communities involved in creating, distributing, using and preserving images. Spanning more than thirty countries, these diverse stakeholders have collaborated to develop PLUS, a system of standards that makes it easier to communicate, understand and manage image rights in all countries. The PLUS Coalition exists at the crossroads between technlogy (sic), commerce, arts, preservation and education."
Publications and Other Hard Copy Resources
AIC Guide to Digital Photography and Conservation Documentation. See the AIC publication catalog with order form
Research Libraries Group. "Automatic Exposure: Capturing Technical Metadata for Digital Still Images." Mountain View, California: Research Libraries Group, 2004. Associated Web page
Theses and Dissertations
Bushey, Jessica E. “Born Digital Images as Reliable and Authentic Records.” Master’s thesis, University of British Columbia, 2005.
Jessica Bushey, "Key Issues in the Creation, Delivery, and Preservation of Born Digital Images." In: International Symposium on Technologies for Digital Fulfillment Abstracts and CD-ROM. Las Vegas, Nevada; March 3, 2007; pages 4-7. ISBN: 0-89208-269-0.
International Symposium on Technologies for Digital Fulfillment. Las Vegas, Nevada; March 3, 2007; pages 4-7. ISBN: 0-89208-269-0.
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