NDSA:Standards and Best Practices Working Group

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Standards and Practices Working Group

NDSA:Standards and Practices Working Group Charter (December 10, 2010)

Current Members

A list of current members is posted here: NDSA:Standards and Practices Working Group Members.

Statement of Purpose

The Standards and Practices Working Group will work to facilitate a community-wide understanding of the role and benefit of standards in digital preservation and how to use them effectively to ensure durable and usable collections. The Group will also develop, recommend, promote, and disseminate information about effective methods for selecting, organizing, describing, managing, preserving and serving digital content, in collaboration with other individuals and organizations where appropriate.

Current Projects

Working group members may initiate and engage in new work at any time by forming Action Teams focused on specific projects or tasks.

NDSA:iPRES 2015 Poster Proposal

During the NDSA:April 20, 2015 Standards & Practices Working Group Notes, wg members brainstormed on a poster proposal reflecting S&P work and activities.

TDR Self-assessment and Audit: Understanding options for addressing standards and requirements

With the release of ISO 16363 that specifies the requirements for the audit and certification of trustworthy digital repositories, the digital community would benefit from a review of current options for organizations to demonstrate comformance and from ongoing monitoring as options emerge and evolve.

Digital video exploration

Past Projects

Digital Preservation Wikipedia

This is an ambitious and on-going project using Wikipedia to promote the use of digital preservation standards and best practices. The objectives are to:

  • identify and describe existing digital preservation standards and best practices
  • identify gaps in digital preservation standards and best practices coverage that could be addressed by this working group in collaboration with others
  • sustain this activity by building a community of Wikipedians to join us in this activity

The categories of digital preservation standards and best practices we will focus on include: Content models, Content packaging, Content transfer, Digital preservation strategies and techniques, Digital preservation terms and concepts, File formats, Encodings, Metadata exchange, Metadata schemas, Repository architecture, Repository certification and trustworthiness, Repository operations, Repository policies

Status of activities and deliverables:

  • creation of Digital Preservation "WikiProject" within Wikipedia as an umbrella for collaborating with others on this project -- COMPLETE 6/2012
  • redevelop the current Wikipedia "Digital Preservation" page so that it can serve as an appropriate launch page to more detailed information about standards and best practices -- IN PROGRESS, 11/2012-
  • create / update pages describing current standards and best practices in the field of digital preservation
  • consult with others involved in digital preservation to encourage their input and contributions to the effort
  • report back to the NDSA steering committee with updates and proposals as to how to continue this effort into the future

Links related to this project:

Survey of digital preservation staffing

Related action team on distributed digital preservation

Items related to the exploration of the challenges of preserving PDFs, especially PDF/A documents, including PDF/A-3

One of the great strengths of PDF, including the recent PDF/A-3 standard, is its ability to contain a variety of sometimes complex digital objects within a single file. Long term preservation of these files, however, can be problematic because current digital preservation tools are not able to consistently identify the existence of the embedded content nor identify its format. The NDSA Standards sub group is interested in exploring the boundaries of applicability for PDF in preservation environments, especially as a carrier of complex formats such as audio, video and geospatial information.

The interest in this project grew out of a Signal blog post on PDF/A-3 by Butch Lazorchak (LOC) about embedded files in PDF/A (http://blogs.loc.gov/digitalpreservation/2012/11/all-in-embedded-files-in-pdfa/) as well as discussions between NARA and depositing agencies who are starting to use PDF/A-3 as a de facto normalization wrapper format to contain many media types including audio and video. Caroline Arms (LOC) has already produced a helpful background document to kick start this work.

In-depth Explorations

Member Interests

Digital and Software-Based Art

Optical Media


Meeting Schedules, Minutes and Agendas