Top 10 Media Preservation Related Standards Established In The Aughts

December 16, 2009

Archivists have to know a lot. Probably a lot more small details than any one person can keep in mind. (Do you have all of the Kodak edge codes memorized?) Standards, guidelines, and best practices provide necessary reference and give a structure to our work that we need. Staying updated on new or changing standards is a requirement of performing our work to the best quality possible — and one needs something to do while waiting for the next season of Mad Men to come out on DVD.

10. ISO 5758:2002, Cinematography — Labelling of containers for motion-picture film and magnetic material

Life would be a lot easier if this standard had been around since the beginning of the production of magnetic materials.

9. ISO 15707, Information and documentation – International Standard Musical Work Code (ISWC)

The ease of tracking works, rights, and licensing as well as improving wider access is dependent on consistent metadata applied by or available to all stakeholders. Perhaps this (and prior, pre-computing efforts) is why music has always seemed easier to find and license than moving images.

8. ISO 12234-2:2007, Electronic still-picture imaging — Removable memory — Part 1

Where would our culture be without the easy dissemination of embarrassing photos on Facebook?

7. AES49-2005: AES standard for audio preservation and restoration – Magnetic tape – Care and handling practices for extended usage

Few people seem to have that visceral love for magnetic tape the way they do for film, but the advances in preservation standards for tape have been equally impressive if not equally trumpeted as for film.

6. ISO 18934:2006, Imaging Materials – Multiple media Archives – Storage Environment

Though there have been many advancements in identifying the correct storage environments for all types of materials, no archival collection is a format island. The reality of the mixed-format collection where there are conflicting standards for ideal storage environments needs a sensible, viable solution for an overall standard that applies to all but the outliers.

5. NISO: A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections

Often times standards or best practices are playing catch up to establish solutions to long standing problems. The rate of fluctuation around issues regarding digital assets doesn’t allow a wait and see attitude. Preserving digital materials requires proactive efforts to ensure their persistence beyond the immediate future.

4. Sound Directions: Best Practices for Audio Preservation, Mike Casey & Bruce Gordon

Just one of the many great resources to come out of the Sound Directions project. They should probably write a best practices document for how to develop and run funded research projects that is based on their experiences.

3. IASA-TC 03, The Safeguarding of the Audio Heritage: Ethics, Principles and Preservation Strategy & IASA-TC 04, Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Objects

See description for #1.

2. ANSI/NISO Z39.87 – Data Dictionary – Technical Metadata for Digital Still Images

The basis of the Metadata for Images in XML (MIX) Schema which is a model for good digital collection management. Storage, migration, and access of materials rely in part on standardized, interchangeable metadata.

1. Audiovisual Archiving: Philosophy and Principles, Ray Edmondson & Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS), Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems

Archiving and preservation dictate technical standards and ethical standards. We cannot provide one without taking factors of the other into consideration. Like a 70s supergroup, these documents combine both as individuals and compliment each other as a duo.

— Joshua Ranger