Digitization Specs

Just for fun (and reference) I compiled the photograph digitization specifications that I could locate from the websites and publications of various libraries and cultural heritage institutions.  I thought it would be neat to see them all side by side, and as far as I know, there isn’t such a resource yet.  I’ve included specifications for color and black & white photos, in print and film form. I should add that these don’t necessarily apply to newsprint and aerial photographs.

Please do consult the Notes column, as I had to “normalize” some of the data related to size in order to keep this spreadsheet as cleanly sortable as possible.  Some general notes include the widespread acceptance of JPEG2000 as a format that can exist alongside or in lieu of uncompressed TIFFs.  Also, some of these organizations seem to have been involved with various overlapping working groups to establish specifications – particularly FADGI (Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative) in the US.

Photo by Cleve, CC license

I wanted to present this spreadsheet as a web-based document that visitors could sort however they wanted, but I couldn’t come up with a clean way of doing that.  So I’m settling for the next best thing, which is providing downloadable documents in various formats.  Actually, WordPress doesn’t support the .ods format, and the PDF version of this file is hideous, so please contact me if you’d like either format.  [megan dot amaral at gmail.com]  And fyi – I’m not claiming any rights to these, so have your way with them!  If you notice any errors, items in need of updating, or want to add some specifications, please email them to me and we’ll see how that goes.

One thought on “Digitization Specs

  1. Kevin Morrison December 24, 2010 / 10:24 am

    That is some serious nerdiness. I love it! I wonder when documents scanned at ultra-high resolution will become the go-to resource for visual inspection, since the average person’s eyes can’t resolve much more the 300ppi. Obviously, once a document (or whatever) has been scanned at even 600ppi, there’s already a chance to explore beyond the normal human range of acuity. I’m probably way behind. Digital visual inspection is probably already the preferred method for many disciplines. Now, where’s my magnifying glass?

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