The Library of Congress is pleased to announce the release of the 2017-2018 Recommended Formats Statement. We have been gratified to see how widely the Statement continues to be used throughout the stakeholder community. The goal of the Recommended Formats has always been to provide useful information furthering the shared goal of ensuring the preservation of and long-term access to creative works. By providing up-to-date information about the file types, physical and technical characteristics and associated metadata which support these worthy goals, the Statement hopes to provide the building blocks upon which libraries can build their collections, now and for the future.
There are two primary purposes of the Statement. One purpose of the Statement is to provide internal guidance within the Library to help inform acquisitions of collections materials (other than materials received through the Copyright Office). A second purpose is to inform the creative and library communities on best practices for ensuring the preservation of, and long-term access to, the creative output of the nation and the world.
In seeking this year to make the Recommended Formats even more valuable to the community of users, the resident experts on the Library’s technical teams focused on two important aspects of the Statement: metadata and integration with other crucial preservation documentation. The inherent value of metadata to preservation and access is so innate that it can occasionally be overlooked. With this edition of the Recommended Formats, we attempted to bring metadata out of the wings and more fully on to the stage, as well as adding further depth of detail to that metadata, especially with regard to Textual Works, Still Image Works and Datasets/Databases. Complementing this, we have taken full advantage of some other key works produced at the Library of Congress, providing links between the file format descriptions in the Library’s Sustainability of Digital Formats and the Statement, as well as between the Statement and the Library’s Guide to Creating Preservable Websites.
The value of each of these resources can only be magnified when used in conjunction, so providing the links will hopefully prove of great use to our stakeholders.
As an example, here is the listing for TIFF: https://www.loc.gov/preservation/digital/formats/fdd/fdd000022.shtml