Apologies for cross-posting

DLF and RLG Issue Guides for Digitized Visual Resources

Washington, D.C. and Mountain View, Calif. --The Digital Library Federation
(DLF) and Research Libraries Group (RLG) have issued Guides to Quality in
Visual Resource Imaging, available at
( from UK Janet sites). This
new Web-based reference is designed to serve the growing community of
museums, archives, and research libraries that are turning to digital
conversion to provide greater access to their visual resources as well as
to help preserve the original materials. "Visual resources" include
original photographs, prints, drawings, and maps. Both project managers
and technicians will find the Guides particularly valuable in filling a
gap in the literature for serious digital imaging projects. They provide
concrete guidelines as well as help in addressing rapidly changing aspects
of technology and practice.

The five guides -- which range from project planning to scanner selection,
considerations for imaging systems, digital master quality, and masters'
storage -- share the experience and knowledge of leaders in this field. In
addition to providing advice based on the uses to which the images will be
put and the technology now available, they also flag areas where further
research and testing are needed.

"Guides such as these promise to maximize effective exploitation of digital
technologies while minimizing costly redundant effort," said Dan
Greenstein, DLF's director. "The development and maintenance of good
practice guidelines is an essentially collaborative effort requiring
inclusive and iterative evaluation. We welcome comments, criticisms, and
amendments for incorporation in future revisions."

The Guides are the outcome of a project begun by DLF and RLG in 1998, when
they created an editorial board of experts to review the state of the art
in digital imaging of visual resources. Although sources for instruction in
digitizing text or text and images existed (and more have become available
since then), none specifically addressed the challenges of two- and
three-dimensional as well as color-intensive materials. These experts
outlined a set of guides needed in the science of imaging?objective
measures for image qualities and how they can be controlled in various
aspects of the imaging process. DLF then commissioned board-recommended
authors to write the guides, which the two organizations have now jointly

"We are very pleased that this collaboration between the Digital Library
Federation and the Research Libraries Group has produced a set of expert
and timely tools for project leaders and their teams around the world,"
said Linda West, RLG's director of Member and Programs Initiatives. "It is
a contribution to informed and long-lasting digital decision-making and
practices in research collections."

The five guides are:
- Planning a Digital Imaging Project, by Linda Serenson Colet, Museum of
Modern Art
- Selecting a Scanner, by Don Williams, Eastman Kodak Company
- Imaging Systems: the Range of Factors Affecting Image Quality, by
Donald D'Amato, Mitretek Systems
- Measuring Quality of Digital Masters, and
- File Formats for Digital Masters, both by Franziska Frey, Image
Permanence Institute

Each guide is a module that can stand on its own; as a set, the guides
provide comprehensive advice on how to find what an imaging team needs to
accomplish stated goals with the available technology. The Guides also help
to clarify the consequences of trade-offs that all managers must make to
stay within organizations' means. The Guides will be updated periodically.
The Digital Library Federation is a partnership of research libraries
dedicated to creating, maintaining, expanding, and preserving a distributed
collection of digital materials accessible to scholars and to a wider
public. It operates under the umbrella of the Council on Library and
Information Resources, which works in partnership with libraries, archives,
and other information providers to advocate collaborative approaches to
preserving the nation's intellectual heritage and strengthening the many
components of its information system.

The Research Libraries Group is a not-for-profit membership corporation of
over 160 universities, national libraries, archives, historical societies,
and other institutions, devoted to the mission of "improving access to
information that supports research and learning." In addition to a range of
collaborative activities that address members' shared goals, RLG develops
and operates databases and software to serve the information needs of
member and nonmember institutions and individuals around the world.

Daniel Greenstein
Director, Digital Library Federation
1755 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Suite 500
Washington DC 20036
phone 202 939 4762