The Library of Congress is once again calling for input as it looks forward to the upcoming review and revision of the Recommended Formats Statement (https://www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/rfs/
). In April, the teams of experts charged with maintaining, improving and ensuring the accuracy of the Statement will begin the annual process of examining the Statement and the creative works represented in it, to ensure that it reflects correctly the technical characteristics which best encourage preservation and long-term access. Given the interest and the feedback received over the past few years since the Statement was first issued in 2014, we at the Library of Congress feel that the Statement could benefit this time around by focusing the review and revision process on a few key areas.
The first of these is the metadata which is so crucial to preservation and access. This has long been an important part of the Statement, but we are aware that it can sometimes be overshadowed by questions of file formats. This year we plan on taking a more focused look at options for metadata, including the work of the Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative (FADGI) (http://www.digitizationguidelines.gov/) to determine what might be applicable to the Recommended Formats Statement. Similarly, work by the Library of Congress on the archiving of podcasts has raised some interesting questions about the metadata used for this particular and important type of sound recording, which potentially might be included in the Statement as well. Taking a closer look at metadata across the creative categories has the potential to better identify metadata or even metadata schemas which could prove very valuable for preservation and long-term access and should be included in the upcoming version of the Recommended Formats Statement.
This is not to exclude the examination of other aspects of the Statement. As this is the first year in which Websites have been included, we are very interested in reviewing the first iteration and determining what holds up and what should be changed – and the Library would very much like to get feedback from external stakeholders in the web archiving community on this as well. Likewise, we will be asking about how best to ensure that, when it comes to Software and Electronic Gaming and Learning, we are very clear on the preference of source code and of direct file submission. If this is not absolutely clear, we need to know.
So, the Library of Congress requests that anyone with input, comments or feedback, either on the topics above or on any aspect of the Recommended Formats Statement, including on ways in which to make it more user friendly, please share that with us by March 31, through one of the e-mail contacts listed on the Recommended Formats Statement website or through the e-mail address listed below.
(Please excuse cross-posting)
Library of Congress
ILS Program Office