Is JPEG Good Enough for Archival Masters?

On the ImageLib mailing list, Rob Lancefield (Manager of Museum Information Services for Wesleyan University) posted a link to the Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines (UPDIG) for image creators. The introduction says: “These 12 guidelines — provided as a Quick Guide plus an in-depth Complete Guide — aim to clarify the issues affecting accurate reproduction and management of digital image files. Although they largely reflect a photographer’s perspective, anyone working with digital images should find them useful…. This document, prepared by the UPDIG working group, represents the industry consensus as of September 2007.” The listed members of UPDIG leads one to believe that this is a professional photography group. One thing in the introduction to the guidelines caught my eye, though:

The chapter on archiving now has a discussion of JPEG as an archival format.

Soundprint’s ‘Who Needs Libraries?’

OhioLINK’s Meg Spernoga pointed our staff to a 30 minute audio documentary called Who Needs Libraries? from Soundprint.org:

As more and more information is available on-line, as Amazon rolls out new software that allows anyone to find any passage in any book, an important question becomes: Who needs libraries anymore? Why does anyone need four walls filled with paper between covers? Surprisingly, they still do and in this program Producer Richard Paul explores why; looking at how university libraries, school libraries and public libraries have adapted to the new information world. This program airs as part of our ongoing series on education and technology, and is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education.

Google and DataNet: Two Ships Passing in the Night, or Maybe Something More?

Wired Magazine’s blog network says “Google to Host Terabytes of Open-Source Science Data” while the National Science Foundation (NSF) is reviewing submissions to the DataNet solicitation “to catalyze the development of a system of science and engineering data collections that is open, extensible and evolvable.” On the surface, you might think they are working on the same project, but there is more here than meets the eye (or, rather, the ear listening to these two sound-bites).

Disclosure: OhioLINK is a named party in a submission by The Ohio State University to the NSF DataNet solicitation. We’re looking forward to a positive reception to our proposal in the first round of DataNet reviews.

Xerox and Library of Congress Collaborate on JPEG2000 for Image Preservation

Xerox and the Library of Congress announced a joint effort last week to study the use of JPEG 2000. This is welcome news! The project is “designed to help develop guidelines and best practices for digital content,” a result that will be most welcome for those of us that want to do the right thing but lack the time and/or technical expertise to pin down exactly what the right thing is. I think it is safe to say that inertia has taken us this far with our collective TIFF-based practice, and even the most conservative preservationist would probably acknowledge that the state of the art has moved in the past quarter century to a point where there might be a better way.

Digital Preservation Activities: NSF’s “DataNet” and the NSF/Mellon Blue Ribbon Task Force

The past few weeks have seen announcements of large digital preservation programs. I find it interesting that the National Science Foundation is involved in both of them.

Sustainable Digital Data Preservation and Access Network Partners


The NSF’s Office of Cyberinfrastructure has announced a request for proposals with the name Sustainable Digital Data Preservation and Access Network Partners (DataNet). The lead paragraph of its synopsis is:

HTML Template of a TRAC:CC Report

Just in case this might be useful to others, I’ve created a report template based on the “Trustworthy Repositories Audit & Certification: Criteria Checklist” report. It has the section, subsection, criteria and evidence from the original report marked up in an HTML document — ready for you to add the narrative on how your repository meets the criteria. The original report included a table-style layout as an appendix; personally, I like this more free-form narrative approach.

I need to set work on this aside for a moment — if anyone gets to filling out appropriate portions based on the Fedora digital object repository, please let me know.

JPEG XR Could Be Neat, but JPEG2000 is Still Neater

On Tuesday, the Joint Photographic Expert’s Group (a.k.a. “JPEG”) announced a new work item for the standardization of Microsoft’s HD Photo as JPEG XR (XR is short for “extended range” — a reference to its improvement over the original JPEG standard). You can read the publicity details in the Microsoft press release and the JPEG press release, but beyond the public relations pieces I wonder if you are thinking about HD-Photo/JPEG-XR for digital archiving. And if you’re thinking that I’ll bet your wondering about how HD Photo compares with JPEG 2000. As with many things, the devil is in the details, so here is a first, gut-reaction pass at the details.

OAI-ORE Thoughts on Compound Documents

The Technical Committee and Liaison Group of the OAI Object Reuse and Exchange effort met last week in New York City to hammer out face-to-face some of the last remaining issues before work could begin on a draft specifications document. In preparation for that meeting, we worked on a white paper that is officially called “Compound Information Objects: The OAI-ORE Perspective” — but it might more accurately be called “Thoughts on Compound Documents”. The outline of the white paper looks like this:

  1. Introduction and Motivation
  2. An OAI-ORE Interoperability Layer for Compound Objects
  3. Exposing Logical Boundaries in the Web Graph

Two Personal Repository Services

This year has seen the release of two personal repository services: http://PublicationsList.org/ and the U.K. Depot. These two services have an admittedly different focus, but I think it is still interesting to compare and contrast them to see what we can learn.

Planning a digital preservation assessment using TRAC:CC and DRAMBORA

OhioLINK is engaged in building a “trusted digital repository” on behalf of its membership. As we build it, we want to have an understanding of what “trusted” means, and so we are engaging in an audit process to assess whether we can claim to be trustworthy. This process is panning out to have four major phases:

  1. Research common and best practices for preservation.
  2. Evaluate the OhioLINK policies and processes against common and best practices.
  3. Perform a gap analysis between where we are now and where common and best practices suggest we should be.
  4. Propose and adopt policies and processes that get us closer to the ideal common and best practices.

This is a report at the end of phase 1. Earlier this year, two major reports were released that address how one measures a “trustworthy repository.” The two reports are summarized below, followed by a recommendation.