May 26, 2017

LC Reviews its File Formats for Preservation Recommendations

lcIn an ongoing commitment to keep up with the changing world of preservation, the Library of Congress is doing it’s annual review of its “Recommended Formats Statement”. The stated purposes of the document are:

One purpose of the Statement is to provide internal guidance within the Library to help inform acquisitions of collections materials (other than materials received through the Copyright Office). A second purpose is to inform the creative and library communities on best practices for ensuring the preservation of, and long-term access to, the creative output of the nation and the world.

In other words, for those of us interested in keeping both physical and digital works around for as long as possible we should pay attention to what LC says on the subject. For most material types they provide “Preferred” formats and “Acceptable”. In some cases, there are no “Acceptable” recommendations.

Now given that care is taken to try to pick the most long-lived formats it’s unlikely that the recommendations will change very much from year to year, but it’s worth paying attention anyway. This is our chance to provide feedback to the Library of Congress on anything we want to see changed in future iterations of this useful document. If preservation is an orchard you labor in, now is the time to take another look at this. See the blog post linked above for your options for providing feedback.

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Roy Tennant About Roy Tennant

Roy Tennant is a Senior Program Officer for OCLC Research. He is the owner of the Web4Lib and XML4Lib electronic discussions, and the creator and editor of Current Cites, a current awareness newsletter published every month since 1990. His books include "Technology in Libraries: Essays in Honor of Anne Grodzins Lipow" (2008), "Managing the Digital Library" (2004), "XML in Libraries" (2002), "Practical HTML: A Self-Paced Tutorial" (1996), and "Crossing the Internet Threshold: An Instructional Handbook" (1993). Roy wrote a monthly column on digital libraries for Library Journal for a decade and has written numerous articles in other professional journals. In 2003, he received the American Library Association's LITA/Library Hi Tech Award for Excellence in Communication for Continuing Education. Follow him on Twitter @rtennant.