Advances in Librarianship, Volume 27 (Advances in by Frederick Lynden

By Frederick Lynden

TRANSFERRED TO electronic PRINTING 2005 ON COPYRIGHT web page.

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Another, preservation cannot occur. This assertion assumes a distributed, interoperable environment—probably the only viable approach to digital preservation. Libraries and other cultural institutions are seeking services that will allow them to undertake large-scale conversion of analog materials efficiently and without having the investment and ongoing re-investment in conversion facilities, equipment (scanners, cameras, labs), and specialized staff training required to prepare materials and perform the work.

Properly created and stored preservation microfilm for either high contrast (black and white) or continuous tone (grayscale) exposure has a life expectancy of at least 500 years, while properly processed and stored color microfilm has a life expectancy of 300 years. Digitization is the process of selecting, preparing, and capturing content in a digital format, then adding metadata, providing archival and derivative formats, performing quality assurance, and delivering files. Digitization, in contrast to film services, makes the intellectual content more accessible as multiple users can view the same image at the same time, while the viewing audience of a reel of archival microfilm is limited to a few.

A significant piece of digital repository infrastructure, the Global Digital Format Registry would provide unambiguous identifier authority control and standardized format descriptions for all digital objects while obviating the necessity for local repositories to create format registries. For operational digital repositories, this information is of great value for planning ongoing preservation activities or doing a bit of digital archaeology, if necessary in the future. This initiative began in January 2003 and will likely continue for several years.

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