Back to Creating Digital Content
A wide variety of content creation standards exist covering photographs, images, text, moving image and sound. Standards also differ depending on whether the content is digitised or born digital. Many are proprietary, controlled by private or commercial interests, while others are not well supported. Sorting through which digital format standards to use can be challenging, as the choices made at the point of creation strongly determines its future usability.
We recommend digital format standards that follow these principles:
Continued usability in different environments and contexts is central to good practice, and all standards where possible should support this. We have identified some standards that we consider meet this test.
Two helpful online calculators are available for calculating image resolution for digital scanning. The first calculator, from Scantips.com, is designed for scanning of negatives, slides and prints of a variety of types and sizes. The second calculator, from the University of Illinois Library, calculates the resolution you need for scanning text, based on the quality index used for micrographics scanning.
Scanning and Printing Resolution Calculator, Scantips.com
Image Quality Calculator for text and manuscripts, University of Illinois Library
The following digital audio calculator will allow you to calculate the hard drive space uncompressed audio will take up at different settings.
Digital Audio Calculator, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History
We recommend the following New Zealand resources for more in-depth information:
Digitisation Guidelines Specifications for Imaging - Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, October 2006
Digitisation Standard - Archives New Zealand Government Recordkeeping Group, January 2007
A Guide to Recording Oral History - New Zealand History Online
We recommend the following international resources for more in-depth information:
A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections 3rd Edition - National Information Standards Organization, December 2007
BCR's CDP Digital Imaging Best Practices Version 2.0 - Bibliographical Center for Research, June 2008
Digital capture and image creation: standards and equipment - National Library of Australia
Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects - IASA Technical Committee, Second Edition 2009
An Introduction to Compressed Audio with Ogg Vorbis - Graham Mitchell 2004
A Primer on Codecs for Moving Image and Sound Archives (PDF) - Chris Lacinak 2010
Short Guidelines for Video Digitisation - Training for Audiovisual Preservation in Europe (TAPE)
DIY Bookscanner - a web community for DIY bookscanners and software
Still Images, Moving Images and Sound Advice - JISC Digital Media
The Text Encoding Initiative - tei-c.org
Optimising OCR accuracy on Older Documents - White Paper, US Government Printing Office, 2006 (PDF link)
Saving Tape - The New Zealand Film Archive
The Digital Dilemma: Strategic Issues in Archiving and Accessing Digital Motion Picture Materials - The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, 2007
The Safeguarding of the Audio Heritage: Ethics, Principles and Preservation Strategy - International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives, 2005
Sustainability of Digital Formats: Sustainability Factors - Library of Congress, March 2007
Back to Creating Digital Content