Len Carey (301) 504-6778
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Joint Project Will Help Libraries Care for Still-Image Collections
BELTSVILLE, MD, May 5, 2003 - The National Agricultural Library (NAL) has announced a cooperative project to improve the care and accessibility of still-image collections by developing guidelines to assist institutions in preservation reformatting projects. The joint project with the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and the Boston College Library will develop a readily accessible guide to best practices that will help libraries integrate preservation and digitization functions. NAL and the Boston College Library are both ARL member libraries.
"This is a natural project for the National Agricultural Library because Department of Agriculture agencies have created a wealth of mixed-image collections which require preservation treatment," said NAL Director Peter R. Young. "We will work with ARL and with the Boston College Library to find the best measures for creating digital images while preserving the original rich images of those USDA collections, and will document those best practices in a guide which can help other institutions look to the care and accessibility of their own still-image collections."
NAL, ARL, and the Boston College Library will survey institutions and published literature to identify procedures for preserving still images. The survey will also identify and address new issues that digitization raises for handling, stabilizing, describing, and preserving still images. The project will produce a guide to still-image preservation, expected to be available by early 2004.
NAL Preservation Officer Evelyn Frangakis is the NAL project lead and will co-author the guide. Since joining the NAL staff in 1997, Frangakis has established traditional and digital preservation programs for NAL and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In these efforts, she has worked with the USDA Digital Publications Preservation Steering Committee and with several USDA agencies.
Working on the project with Frangakis is Jill Thomas, Digital Resources Cataloger at the Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr. Library of Boston College. Thomas has had experience in the surveying and preservation of daguerreotypes and will be supervising this summer the digitization, cataloging, and Web publication of a collection of 11,000 photographs taken by a prominent photojournalist in Northern Ireland.
The National Agricultural Library), in Beltsville, MD, is one of four national libraries and the principal source in the United States for information about food, agriculture, and natural resources. The Library's expert staff, large and accessible collections, and leadership role in information services and technology applications make it the world's foremost agricultural library. The Library is part of the Agricultural Research Service, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.
The Association of Research Libraries is a membership organization composed of over 120 research libraries in North America. ARL's mission is to shape and influence forces affecting the future of research libraries in the process of scholarly communication. ARL programs and services promote equitable access to and effective use of recorded knowledge in support of teaching, research, scholarship, and community service and ARL supports innovation and improvements in research library operations.