Library of Congress Releases 2016-2017 Recommended Formats Statement

The Library of Congress has released its latest version of the Library of Congress’ Recommended Formats Statement, including for audio-visual media. These recommendations are useful for organizations that are planning digitization projects or are developing methods to digitally preserve their “born digital” programming.

Print

The Library of Congress is pleased to announce the release of the 2016-2017 Recommended Formats Statement (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/rfs/).  The proliferation of ways in which works can be created and distributed is a challenge and an opportunity for the Library (and for all institutions and organizations which seek to build collections of creative works) and the Recommended Formats Statement is one way in which the Library seeks to meet the challenge and take full advantage of the opportunity.  By providing guidance in the form of technical characteristics and metadata which best support the preservation and long-term access of digital works (and analog works as well), the Library hopes to encourage creators, vendors, archivists and librarians to use the recommended formats in order to further the creation, acquisition and preservation of creative works which will be available for the use of future generations at the Library of Congress and other cultural memory organizations.

The engagement with the Statement that the Library has seen from others has been extremely heartening.  In response to interest in our work from representatives in the architectural community who see their design work imperiled by insufficient attention to digital preservation, we have updated the Statement to align more closely with developments in this field.  Most importantly of all, we now include websites as a category of its own in the Statement.  Websites are probably the largest field of digital expression available for creators today, yet most creators tend to take a passive role in ensuring the preservation and long-term access of their websites.  By including websites in the Recommended Formats Statement, we hope to encourage website creators to engage more fully in digital preservation, as we aim to do with all the other forms of digital works included in the Statement, by making their websites more preservation-friendly.

The Library remains committed to acquiring and preserving digital works and to providing whatever support it can to other similarly committed stakeholders.  We shall continue to build our collections with their preservation and long-term access firmly in mind; and we shall continue to engage with others in the community in efforts such as the Recommended Formats Statement.  We encourage any and all feedback and comments (http://www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/rfs/contacts.html) others might have on the Statement that might make it more useful for both our needs and for the needs of anyone who might find it worthwhile in their own work.  And we shall continue to engage in an annual review process to ensure that it meets the needs of all stakeholders in the preservation and long-term access of creative works.