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This short course was created for the IS&T Archiving 2016 conference. 

Instructors: Andrea Goethals & David Ackerman

Course description: This course provides attendees with an introduction to evaluating and comparing file formats for acceptance or use in preservation systems or workflows using the process used by Harvard Library to write policies for which formats are preferred and accepted in the Library's digital preservation repository—the Digital Repository Service (DRS). It introduces a format matrix tool used for the assessments, shows how it has been used to make decisions about different kinds of formats (video, word processing, CAD and video image sequence), and leads to an exercise in which all attendees get hands-on experience using the format matrix tool to assess formats for long-term preservation.

Benefits: This course enables the attendee to:

  • Learn about criteria that can be used to assess and compare candidate formats for use in long-term preservation systems.
  • Learn how to use the Library’s matrix tool to compare formats for preservation.
  • Gain experience using the Library’s format matrix tool so that it can be adapted by the attendee for additional formats or for the criteria that is most important to the attendee’s institution

Intended Audience: Managers, administrators, technicians, and others responsible for creating policies, guidelines, or specifications for file formats for long-term preservation, or that need to make decisions about formats for digitization projects when the content is intended to be usable long-term.

Course resources:


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