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Best Practices and Procedures * Data Standards and Metadata 
* Scanning How Tos
 * Image Manipulation Software  *  Digital Education Discussions

The California Digital Library (CDL)
Guidelines for Digital Objects

The CDL Guidelines for Digital Objects (CDL GDO, this document) provides specifications for all new digital objects prepared by institutions for submission to CDL for access and preservation services. They are not intended to cover all of the administrative, operational, and technical issues surrounding the creation of digital object collections.

Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC )
Still images, moving images and sound advice

JISC Digital Media, formerly TASI,  is part of an independent advisory body that works with further and higher education by providing strategic guidance, advice and opportunities use to use ICT to support learning, teaching, research and administration. The Digital media helps these groups to embrace and maximise the use of digital media - and to achieve solutions that are innovative, practical and cost effective.  Our advice documents cover all aspects of creating and using digital media resources. To find an advice document you can either go into the different media section (Still images, Moving images, Audio) or for issues relating to all media, use the Cross-media section. Within those sections, you can also browse by digital lifecycle stage (Managing a project, Digitising analogue media, Creating new digital media, Managing your digital resources or Finding and using digital media).

National Archives and Records Admininstratrion (NARA)
Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Archival Materials for Electronic Access:

Creation of Production Master Files - Raster Images for the Following Record Types - Textual, Graphic Illustrations/Artwork/Originals, Maps, Plans, Oversized, Photographs, Aerial Photographs, and Objects/Artifacts
June 2004

Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative

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effort by federal agencies formed as a group in 2007 to define common guidelines, methods, and practices to digitize historical content in a sustainable manner. Recognizing that the effort would require specialized expertise, two separate working groups were formed with the possibility that more tightly focused groups might be necessary as the work progressed. The Federal Agencies Still Image Digitization Working Group will concentrate its efforts on image content such as books, manuscripts, maps, and photographic prints and negatives. The Federal Agencies Audio-Visual Working Group is focusing its work on sound, video, and motion picture film.

UPDIG Digital Image Submission Guidelines (-DISG )
Universal Photographic Digital Imaging Guidelines

The DISG working group addresses standards to improve the “hand-off” 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.  Members of the DISG working group represent both digital image suppliers and user communities, including magazine publishers, stock image distributors, graphic and web designers, museums, and others.

BCR’s Collaborative Digitization Project
Digital Imaging Best Practices

Version 2.0
June 2008

(click on page to download a .pdf document.)


Library of Congress
Standards Reference Page

The Getty Information Institute, 2008
Introduction to Metadata: ,Online version 3.0
Baca, Murtha, ed, Los Angeles,

An online publication devoted to metadata, its types and uses, and how it can improve access to digital resources.

Version 3.0 of Introduction to Metadata is available in paperback from the Getty Bookstore

Visual Resource Association
Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO)

Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO) is a data content standards initiative for the cultural heritage community. CCO web resources include cataloging examples, training tools and presentations for use by practitioners, in addition to excerpts from the CCO print publication. Sponsored by the Visual Resources Association Foundation, CCO activities center on educational efforts to promote widespread acceptance of cataloging best practices for the visual resources, museum, library, and archival communities.

VRA Core 4.0

The VRA Core is a data standard for the description of works of visual culture as well as the images that document them. The standard is hosted by the Network Development and MARC Standards Office of the Library of Congress (LC) in partnership with the Visual Resources Association External Link. Questions about the standard’s schemas and documentation should be directed to

The Working Group on Preservation Metadata,
an initiative jointly sponsored by OCLC and RLG
A Metadata Framework to Support the Preservation of Digital Objects ,

The Dublin Core® Metadata Initiative

Open Archive Initiative Protocol


Square sandalwood curio box with cloud-and-dragon décor (containing 47 curios)

Ch'ien-lung era (1736-1795), Ch'ing Dynasty 
First to Catalog
H: 16.5 cm, W: 30.3 cm, L: 30.5 cm

National Palace Museum


Real World Scanning and Halftones,
David Blatner, Glenn Fleishman and Steve Roth
, 1998 Second Edition. ISBN 0-201-69683-5

Explanations, tips, and real world knowledge about making a good scan and taking it all the way to a printed piece, the Web, or film output. The book teaches how to scan, tonally and color correct, sharpen, and output

A few scanning tips

Wayne Fulton presents a little bit lighter and easier read. Many people with a great deal of digital experience use it. Especially read "Evaluating Scanner Features and Performance"


Adobe Studio Exchange

Joe Cheng, then a student at MIT's Sloan School of Management started this collection in 1996. He set out to create a community where Adobe Photoshop users could trade Photoshop Actions, those cool effect-generating macros for Photoshop. It is now run by Adobe and is a great source of free add ons to make your imaging work easier and more efficient.

color measurement and analysis tools

Informatik Reformat

a universal graphics reformatting and transformation utility, an ideal tool for document management and document imaging systems. Reformat supports single and multipage TIFF files of various compressions (and over 20 current and legacy graphics formats). The interactive program allows you to process selected files, entire directories, even nested subfolders. Included is a utility to convert Tiff files to PDF.

ThumbNailer is a Windows utility

that allows you to create thumbnail images and image galleries. You can use it to convert between one graphics format and another, change image color depth, resize images, make image galleries for the web or CD and more.


offers an array of SDKs and customizable web-based solutions for those who are rolling their own. The  software development kits include imaging conversion, tweaking, compression, viewing and PDF/A conversion

Lizardtech -

enables an efficient workflow for high-volume, high resolution images. Product line includes, MrSid file/image compression.

Picture Information Extractor 5.3

The ultimate tool for digital cameras. PIE is an unique picture browser and viewer with exquisite photo metadata and file renaming features. It extracts EXIF, XMP and IPTC from JPG, TIF and RAW files and makes it available in a convenient and welcoming interface.


Color Management and Windows:

This is a really good explanation of color management, even if quite old in digital terms.

Caution and Quick Response Offer Best Defense Against Image Corruption

Another extremely useful read for a novice to the complexities of color management. It is written by one of the experts in the field, Rob Galbraith, who has a great web site for photographers.


         The Future of Digital Learning: Institutions in a Digital Age:

Cathy N. Davidson and David Theo Goldberg with the assistance of Zoê Marie Jones
The John d. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Reports on Digital Media and Learning, 2009 

This John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Report is a redaction of the         argument in our book-in-progress, currently titled The Future of Thinking: Learning          Institutions in a Digital Age. That book, to be published in 2010, is merely the concrete (paper and online) manifestation and culmination of a long, complex process that brought together dozens of collaborators, face to face and virtually. The focus of all of this intense interchange was the shape and future of learning institutions. Our charge was to accept the challenge of an Information Age and acknowledge, at the conceptual as well as at the methodological level, the responsibilities of learning at an epistemic moment when learning itself is the most dramatic medium of that change. Technology, we insist, is not what constitutes the revolutionary nature of this exciting moment. It is,rather, the potential for shared and interactive learning that Tim Berners-Lee and other pioneers of the Internet built into its structure, its organization, its model of governance and sustainability.