American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
ANSI does not develop standards but accredits and coordinates
qualified standards development groups. ANSI also coordinates
US participation in international arenas and is the official
US representative to the International Organization for
Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM)
AIIM is a trade association for users and suppliers of
content, document and process management technologies.
Its membership includes many hardware manufacturers of
storage, scanning and micrographics technologies. Its
arm is an ANSI-accredited standards developer
in the area of micrographics and electronic imaging.
Book And Serial Industry Communications (BASIC)
BASIC is the standards forum of the Book Industry Study
Group (BISG), a US research organization supported by
over 200 publishers, booksellers, librarians, wholesalers,
book manufacturers and suppliers. Formed through the union
of BISAC (books) and SISAC (serials), BASIC works closely
with its European counterpart, EDItEUR and focuses on
EDI formats, standard numbering systems, and metadata.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
ISO is a federation of national standards organizations
from roughly 130 countries. ISO develops international
standards via a hierarchy of technical committees (TCs),
subcommittees (SCs) and working groups. Some technical
committees of interest to digital libraries are JTC1 Information
Technology, TC42 Photography, and TC46 Information and
International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
The ITU has a standards arm, ITU-T which develops "recommendations" in
the areas of voice and data communications. These include
X.25 (packet switching), X.28 (ASN.1), and the X.500 directory
National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
NISO is an ANSI-accredited standards developer in the
area of libraries, primary and secondary publishing, and
information services. NISO develops standards in many
areas relevant to digital library applications including
identifiers (ISBN, DOI, etc.), protocols (Z39.50, circulation
interchange), and metadata.
The Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information
Standards, is an international industry consortium dedicated
to accelerating the adoption of product-independent formats
based on public standards including HTML, SGML, and XML.
While OASIS does not develop standards itself, it does
issue guidelines to facilitate product interoperability.
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
The W3C develops "recommendations" related to
use of the World Wide Web, including HTML, XML, metadata
(PICS and RDF), and stylesheets (CSS and XSL). The W3C's
Web Accessibility Initiative
(WAI) has produced a number
of guidelines for the development of websites and web-based
applications accessible to users with visual, hearing,
physical, or cognitive disabilities.
World Standards Services Network (WSSN)
The WSSN maintains a portal to international, regional,
and national standards organizations.
Bibliographies and General Information
Besser, Howard. Image and MultiMedia Database Resources
A bibliography of resources in many categories including
digitization, metadata, legal and ethical issues, retrieval
and costs, with particular focus on visual resources.
Howard uses this for his classes at Berkeley, so it
tends to be updated each semester, though not all links
Institute for Museum and Library Services. A Framework
of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections.
A framework for identifying, organizing and applying existing
guidelines related to the creation of good digital objects,
metadata, collections and projects. Includes pointers
to a number of quality resources.
Library of Congress. Building Digital Collections
Specifications, guidelines, reports and other documents
related to American Memory, covering technical practices,
workflow and production, rights and restrictions, and
Book Item and Contribution Identifier (BICI)
The BICI is a NISO Draft Standard for Trial Use available
in PDF form from the NISO website. It is an identifier
derived from bibliographic data that can be used to
identify component parts of books and non-serial publications.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
The DOI is an identifier developed by publishers and maintained
by the International DOI
Foundation. The DOI syntax is
OpenURL is a way of carrying metadata in an actionable
URL which can be used as a tool for providing extended
services such as links to related objects and services.
It has been implemented in SFX and other services, and
may be proposed for development as an ANSI/NISO standard.
Persistent Uniform Resource Locator (PURL)
PURLs are URLs that point to a redirection service (a
PURL server) which associates the PURL with the actual
URL of the object. They were developed by OCLC as a means
of supporting persistence through indirection.
Serial Item and Contribution Identifier (SICI)
The SICI is an identifier derived from bibliographic data
that can be used for journal issues and contributions
(e.g. articles) within issues. The SICI syntax is ANSI/NISO
Z39.56-1996 Version 2.
Besser, Howard. Procedures and Practices for
Written for the Canadian Heritage Information Network.
Cornell University Library. Moving Theory into Practice:
Digital Imaging Tutorial
An online tutorial with a process-oriented approach to
planning and executing imaging projects. It can optionally
be used with the published volume Moving Theory Into Practice:
Digital Imaging for Libraries and Archives, by Ann Kenney
and Oya Reiger (RLG, 2000).
JPEG and JBIG homepage
Homepage of ISO/IEC JTC1 SC29 Working Group 1, more commonly
known as the JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) and
JBIG (Joint Bi-level Image Experts Group), the committee
responsible for standards for still image compression.
Library of Congress. Digital Formats for Content Reproduction
Prepared primarily for LC/Ameritech grant winners, this
1998 document by Carl Fleishhauer recommends physical
specifications and capture approaches for images of text,
visual material, maps and other types of materials.
Research Libraries Group and Digital Library Federation.
Guides to Quality in Visual Resource Imaging
A series of five topical guides to digital imaging of
visual materials, including original photographs, prints,
drawings, maps, etc.
Text and Optical Character Recognition
UNICODE Consortium home page
Includes a link to Chapter 1 of the UNICODE standard (you
have to buy the rest) and a surprising amount of understandable
information, including a fairly extensive FAQ.
University of Virginia. Text Scanning: A Basic
A short practical guide to getting started, prepared by
the University of Virginia's Electronic Text Center.
Cover, Robin. The XML Cover Pages
An excellent, current, comprehensive subject gateway to
resources related to XML and SGML.
Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) home page
The TEI maintains a set of Guidelines for marking up texts
in SGML for linguistic analysis and humanities research.
A simplified version known as "TEI-Lite" is
frequently used as a mark-up standard in digital library
applications. Part of the mark-up standard, the "TEI
Header", addresses Descriptive
Metadata for encoded
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) homepage
The place to start for information on HTML, XML and related
specifications such as stylesheets. Links to the current,
authoritative (if not always easy to read) versions of
standards (recommendations) and working drafts.
Data Documentation Initiative
A standard for describing social science datasets, represented
as an XML DTD.
Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (DCMES)
A set of 15 elements for simple resource description,
used heavily in digital library applications, especially
for visual materials and items in collections where full
cataloging may not be warranted.
Encoded Archival Description (EAD)
Machine-readable representation of archival finding aids,
represented as an SGML DTD.
Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)
The FGDC maintains this portal to geospatial metadata
resources, including the Content
Standard for Digital Geospatial Metadata (CSDGM).
The LC Network Development and MARC Standards Office maintains
this site relating to MARC Standards, which includes an
HTML version of the MARC21
Concise Format for Bibliographic Data and other documentation.
Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS)
An emerging schema for encoding descriptive, administrative,
and structural metadata regarding objects within a digital
A descriptive metadata standard for the book trade, developed
by various publishing industry groups. Described as a
subset of the larger EPICS
Data Dictionary which is supposed
to be conformant with the INDECS
The SCHEMAS Project of the European Union's Information
Society Technologies (IST) Programme aims to inform developers
and implementers of metadata schema about the status and
proper use of new and emerging metadata standards. The
Watch section of the site tracks international
metadata developments in academic and other sectors including
audio-visual, GIS and publishing.
Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Header
The part of the TEI Guidelines for text encoding (see "Document
Markup") that addresses the description of encoded
texts, including basic bibliographic information. Often
used for SGML-encoded documents even when these are not
marked up according to TEI guidelines.
Visual Resources Association Core Categories Version 3
A metadata standard for describing visual resources, related
to but much smaller than the Getty Categories
for the Description of Art.
The committee of the Digital
Imaging Group responsible
for developing metadata standards, they have been focusing
on technical metadata for images output from digital
NISO Standards Committee on Technical Metadata for Still
An outcome of a 1999 Workshop
on Technical Metadata for Images this Standards Committee is charged with drafting
a data dictionary of metadata elements for describing
still images. The goal is to issue the document as a Draft
Standard for Trial Use in 2001.
Open Archives Initiative
The home site for metadata harvesting, a relatively simple
way of building large union "catalogs" of
The international standard protocol for cross-system search
Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR)
CLIR supports a series of initiatives related to strategies
for digital archiving.
CURL Exemplars in Digital Archives (CEDARS)
The primary digital preservation initiative in the UK.
National Library of Australia. Preservation Metadata for
A draft for comment of a preservation metadata element
set informed by the OAIS model.
PADI: Preserving Access to Digital Information
The premier subject gateway to international digital preservation
resources, maintained by the National Library of Australia.
A project of the National Library of Australia, PANDORA
has established a national archive of Australian online
publications including electronic journals and government
publications, and is developing approaches, policies and
procedures for the longterm preservation of these publications.
Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System
A draft ISO standard developed by the Consultative Committee
for Space Data Systems (CCSDS), OAIS is becoming heavily
used in the digital library community as the basis for
the development of policies and metadata standards for
long-term retention and preservation.
The RLG Preservation Program (PRESERV)
A program addressing longterm preservation of digital
resources. The website includes many useful resources
including the report of the RLG
Working Group on Preservation Issues of Metadata, better known as the PRESERV metadata
Journals and Newsletters
A quarterly magazine published by UKOLN (UK Office for
Library and Information Networking), Ariadne focuses
on digital library issues and initiatives of interest
to academic librarians. It can be seen as the European
counterpart to D-Lib Magazine.
The premier North American ejournal covering digital library
applications and research. In addition to articles, each
monthly issue includes an extensive list of upcoming conferences,
workshops and other events.
A monthly email newsletter of the Institute
of Museum and Library Services, Primary Source covers current IMLS
news, grant deadlines and announcement dates, new publications,
and highlights of funded projects.
A bimonthly newsletter focusing on issues related to digital
preservation, conservation and archiving. DigiNews is
produced for RLG by the Cornell University Library Department
of Preservation and Conservation with some support from