Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Report: A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections, 3rd Edition (2007)

I tripped over this yesterday while preparing for my workshop at Computer in Libraries.

The NISO Framework Working Group with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services has released the third edition of A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections. As she did on the 2001 and 2004 editions, Priscilla Caplan from Florida Center for Library Automation chaired the working group for this effort.

Released in December 2007, the 100-page document has the following sections:
  • Foreword
  • Introduction
  • Collections
  • Objects
  • Metadata
  • Initiatives
Quoting the introduction:
This Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections has three purposes:
  1. To provide an overview of some of the major components and activities involved in creating good digital collections.
  2. To identify existing resources that support the development of sound local practices for creating and managing good digital collections.
  3. To encourage community participation in the ongoing development of best practices for digital collection building.
Each section sets out a set of principles with supporting documentation/resources.

In considering how to use this document, the Introduction states:
There are no absolute rules for creating good digital collections...The key to a successful project is not to strictly and unquestioningly follow any particular path, but to plan strategically and make wise choices from an array of tools and processes to support the unique goals and needs of each collection.
This document, and the resources it contains, provide a good place for people to start as they think about their current or future digitization programs.

In order to ensure that this is a living document, the Working Group is setting up a community space on the Internet so that readers can contribute their own ideas, experiences, resources and critiques. The Community Version will be available here, once it is online.

This document has grown tremendously since the first version in 2001. While this is not a textbook (and is not suppose to be), I could see using this in the classroom as a supplement to the readings and to spark discussion. I could also see using the principles in discussions about potential projects, especially collaborative ones. I would hope that people would agree on the principles and then think about how to apply them to their specific situation.

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