Friday, November 02, 2007

Press Release: Library of Congress Collaborates with Xerox to Test Format for Digitally Preserving, Accessing Treasured Images

The Library of Congress and Xerox Corporation are:
studying the potential of using the JPEG 2000 format in large repositories of digital cultural heritage materials such as those contained in the Library and other federal agencies. The eventual outcome may be the creation of leaner, faster systems that institutions around the country can use to store their riches and to make their collections widely accessible.
Later the press release states:
The images to be used from the Library's collection are already digitized (primarily in TIFF format), but JPEG 2000, a newer format for representing and compressing images, could make them easier to store, transfer and display. According to Michael Stelmach, manager of Digital Conversion Services in the Library's Office of Strategic Initiatives, JPEG 2000 holds promise in the areas of visual presentation, simplified file management and decreased storage costs. It offers rich and flexible support for metadata, which can describe the image and provide information on the provenance, intellectual property and technical data relating to the image itself.

Xerox scientists will develop the parameters for converting existing TIFF files to JPEG 2000 and will build and test the system, then turn over the specifications and best practices to the Library of Congress. The specific outcome will be development of JPEG 2000 profiles, which describe how to most effectively use JPEG 2000 to represent photographic content as well as content digitized from maps. The Library plans to make the results available on a public Web site.
This is very good news since it will help members of the cultural heritage community (libraries, archives, etc.) understand the JPEG 2000 format.

By the way, it is a shame that the format was named "JPEG 2000", since it is different than the JPEG format we all now and the "2000" puts a date stamp on the format that we won't appreciate in a few years. It is abbreviated J2K or JP2, and maybe in time we'll just use one of those abbreviations so that the reputation of JPEG isn't attached to JPEG 2000.

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