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Digital Collections

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.


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.


Open Archives Initiative
Maintains the OAI metadata harvesting protocol and the ORE (Object Reuse and Exchange) specifications for exchange of metadata and content.

Z39.50 Maintenance Agency
Maintains not only the legacy protocol for cross-system search, but web-friendly versions SRU and SRW, and the Common Command Language.

Document markup (XML)

Cover, Robin. The XML Cover Pages
An excellent, current, comprehensive subject gateway to resources related to XML and SGML.

Text Encoding Initiative (TEI)
The TEI maintains a set of Guidelines for marking up texts in XML 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 texts.

World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
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.

Descriptive metadata

Data Documentation Initiative
A standard for describing social science datasets, represented as an XML DTD.

Dublin Core Metadata Initiative
Maintains the Dublin Core element set 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.

Offers descriptive metadata standards for the book and serials trades developed by various publishing industry groups.

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).

Getty Categories for the Description of Works of Art
Guidelines for the description of art objects and images, including a discussion of issues involved in building art information systems.

MARC Standards
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.

Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Header
The part of the TEI Guidelines for text encoding that addresses the description of encoded texts, including basic bibliographic information.

Visual Resources Association (VRA) Core
A metadata standard for describing visual resources, related to but much smaller than the Getty Categories for the Description of Art.

Other metadata

Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS)
A container schema for encoding descriptive, administrative, and structural metadata describing digital objects.

PREMIS (Preservation Metadata: Implementation Strategies
PREMIS Maintenance Activity maintains the PREMIS Data Dictionary for Preservation Metadada and supporting XML Schema.

TechMD - Technical Metadata for Text
Technical details for text files, maintained by the Library of Congress.

Technical Metadata for Digital Still Images
Detailed technical metadata primarily for TIFF files.