Best Practices and Procedures Guides

Best Practices (US Sources)*

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Archival Materials for Electronic Access:
Creation of Production Master Files – Raster Images (June, 2004)

Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI)
This site is a collaborative effort by federal agencies formed as a group in 2007 to define common guidelines, methods, and practices to digitize historical content in a sustainable manner.
General site with guides to film, audio and video as well as still images:

Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Cultural Heritage Materials (FADGI Still Image Working Group, 2010)

(Additional links to specific FADGI documents are to be found under other topic headings as well.)

The California Digital Library(CDL)
Guidelines for Digital Objects  (2017, updated semi-annually)
The CDL Guidelines for Digital Objects provides metadata specifications for all new digital objects prepared by institutions for submission to CDL for access and preservation services.

The Getty Research Institute
Introduction to Controlled Vocabularies: Terminology for Art, Architecture, and Other Cultural Works (published online 2010)

Introduction to Metadata (Version 3.0, 2008)

Introduction to Imaging (Revised Edition, 2003)

Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines (UPDIG)
UPDIG-DISG Digital Image Submission Guidelines, 2007)
The DISG working group addresses standards to improve the “hand-off” (interoperable transfer) of digital image files from photographers to end users of all types. This diverse community includes stock image distributors, magazine and book publishers, publication designers, web designers, art directors, museums and fine-art publishers.

OCLC Digital Collection Services (DCS)
Guiding Digital Success (August, 2010)

A “quickstart” PDF with “Learn More” links to numerous best practice documents organized by six stages from project planning to digital collection realization.

BCR (Bibliographical Center for Research, now defunct, closed December 31, 2010)
BCR’s CDP Digital Imaging Best Practices (Version 2.0, 2008)

Formerly the Western States Digital Imaging Best Practices document (2003) from the Colorado Digitization Program (CDP), this is the updated document from the then merger of CDP with BCR.

Image Permanence Institute (sponsored by NEH)
IPI’s Guide to Sustainable Preservation Practices for Managing Storage Environments (2010)
[Print publication for purchase]

Jan Eklund, updated 02/20/2013

Best Practices (Non-US Sources)*

JISC Digital Media
JISC Digital Media, formerly TASI, is part of an independent advisory body in the UK that works with higher education by providing strategic guidance, advice and opportunities to develop and use digital collections to support learning, teaching, research and administration.
Guides page:
Metadata and Digital Images:
Directory of Metadata Schemas and Related Standards:

National Library of Australia
Digitization Guidelines:

Digital New Zealand

Europeana: Digitising Contemporary Art
Provides specifications for all new digital objects (in the area of contemporary art) prepared by institutions for submission to Europeana for access and preservation services.

*Covering aspects of image and/or metadata creation for preservation and/or access

Marta Bustillo, updated 02/20/2013