Council on Library and Information Resources

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CLIR Press Release

subject: digital library collections DLF libraries Digital Library Federation digital collections


For Immediate Release: March 1, 2002

Contact: Daniel Greenstein 202-939-4762

DLF Endorses Two New Aids For Developing Digital Library Collections

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Digital Library Federation (DLF) has formally endorsed new aids of two kinds to help research libraries achieve quality in digitizing books and other material for online use. One is a set of principles for good digital collections. The other is a set of technical specifications for achieving fidelity in digitizing items for such collections.

The DLF, a consortium of 28 research institutions, uses endorsements to promote attention to standards and best practices of use to its members and others involved in digital library development.

The newly endorsed principles for digital collections are embodied in a paper entitled, "A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections." Members of a Digital Library Forum convened by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) produced the framework. They intend that grant applicants to IMLS and other federal agencies will use it, not as a set of requirements but as a resource for developing good digital objects, metadata, collections, and projects. Standards of "goodness" in the principles embrace not only how useful and accessible digital materials are but also how fully they may be interoperable, reusable, and enduring (persistent). The principles also incorporate needs for verification, documentation, and respect for intellectual property laws. The IMLS framework is online at The DLF endorsement statement is at

The technical specifications for digital fidelity are in a paper entitled, "Benchmark for Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials." A group convened by the DLF on preservation reformatting practices produced the benchmark, which identifies minimum level characteristics for digital page images contained in a preservation digital master. Libraries that meet or exceed these specifications in reformatting books and other holdings for online use will ensure their collections of interoperability with others. Patrons will be able to access books and serial publications digitally copied and managed at different sites with assurance of fidelity to originals. The benchmark paper as endorsed by the DLF is accessible online at

The Digital Library Federation is a consortium of libraries and related agencies that are pioneering in the use of electronic-information technologies to extend their collections and services. Through its members, the DLF provides leadership to libraries broadly by—

  • identifying standards and "best practices" for digital collections and network access
  • coordinating leading-edge research and development and
  • helping start projects and services that libraries need but cannot develop individually.

The DLF operates under the administrative umbrella of the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) in Washington, D.C. For more information visit or call 202-939-4750.

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