Format Agnostic Archival Processing: Using One Standard for All


  • Kari May University of Pittsburgh



Pooling guidance and examples from nationally and internationally known groups including the Digital Preservation Coalition, University of California Libraries, and OCLC, this article supports processing archival assets with a format agnostic perspective to promote a unified standard for all materials. Format agnostic processing can embrace and align digital and physical assets under one expectation for basic outputs regardless of their formats. In mixed material collections, digital assets are frequently seen as requiring a disassociated set of tools and knowledge and approached as unconnected to the physical assets. The format agnostic perspective can eliminate the tendency toward varying levels of processing and differing descriptions standards complicating the discovery of collection materials due to the varying formats of its assets. It can also support timely processing and preservation of digital assets to decrease the risk of data loss. Format agnostic processing would enhance discoverability while minimizing the loss of digital information.

Author Biography

Kari May, University of Pittsburgh

Archives & Special Collections Deptment, Digital Archives & Preservation Librarian


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