Baltimore, MD — December 13, 2007 — The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) announces the release of version 3 of the Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections. The third version, the development of which was generously supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), is now available on the NISO website. In addition, a community version of this document is being developed to allow for ongoing contributions from the community of librarians, archivists, curators, and other information professionals. The Framework establishes principles for creating, managing, and preserving digital collections, digital objects, metadata, and projects. It also provides links to relevant standards that support the principles and additional resources.
IMLS, which developed the first version of the Framework in 2000, transferred maintenance - with continuing strong support - to NISO in September 2003. A NISO advisory group issued the second edition in 2004 and the NISO Framework Working Group was formed in 2006 to create the third edition and oversee the community version. The third edition updates and revises the Framework, with the intention to incorporate it into a website for use by library and museum practitioners. This will encourage community participation in the framework, soliciting feedback, annotations, resources, and discussion.
The Working Group for this revision includes Priscilla Caplan, Florida College for Library Automation (chair); Grace Agnew, Rutgers; Murtha Baca, Getty Research Institute; Tony Gill, Center for Jewish History; Carl Fleischhauer, Library of Congress; Ingrid Hsieh-Yee, Catholic University of America; Jill Koelling, Northern Arizona University; and Christie Stephenson, American Museum. In addition, outside reviewers contributed their expertise to this updated Framework.
Priscilla Caplan noted, "Version 3 is a major revision and I think readers will find it much improved. I've hardly ever seen an authoring committee work so hard and so enthusiastically, and it shows."
"We believe that the Framework will help museums and libraries create and preserve high quality digital content," said Anne-Imelda Radice, Ph.D., director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). "The Framework will permit users to submit comments and case studies about specific standards and principles through a wiki-style interactive formatÑan invaluable guide for practitioners and educators." IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation's 122,000 libraries and 17,500 museums. The Institute's mission is to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas (www.imls.gov).
The Framework of Guidance is intended for two audiences: cultural heritage organizations planning and implementing initiatives to create digital collections, and funding organizations that want to encourage the development of good digital collections. It has three purposes:
- To provide an overview of some of the major components and activities involved in creating good digital collections.
- To identify existing resources that support the development of sound local practices for creating and managing good digital collections.
- To encourage community participation in the ongoing development of best practices for digital collection building.
The Framework provides criteria for goodness organized around four core types of entities: collections (organized groups of objects), objects (digital materials), metadata (information about objects and collections), and initiatives (programs or projects to create and manage collections).
Edition three of the Framework acknowledges that digital collections increasingly contain born-digital objects, as opposed to digital objects that were derived through the digitization of analogue source materials. It also acknowledges that digital collection development has moved from being an ad hoc "extra" activity to a core service in many cultural heritage institutions.
About the National Information Standards Organization (NISO)
NISO fosters the development and maintenance of standards that facilitate the creation, persistent management, and effective interchange of information so that it can be trusted for use in research and learning. To fulfill this mission, NISO engages libraries, publishers, information aggregators, and other organizations that support learning, research, and scholarship through the creation, organization, management, and curation of knowledge. NISO works with intersecting communities of interest and across the entire lifecycle of an information standard. NISO is a not-for-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). More information about NISO is available on its website: www.niso.org.