Library of Congress and Xerox to Team Up on Digital Formats

The Library of Congress and the Xerox Corporation have announced that they will be collaborating on a project to develop new ways to store, preserve, and access digital images, according to a press release on October 25th.  The two organizations are experimenting with the JPEG 2000 image format, a newer format for representing and compressing images, which they hope will make digital images easier to store, transfer, and display. JPEG 2000 “holds promise in the areas of visual presentation, simplified file management, and decreased storage costs,” they said.  The image format supports metadata, which allows researchers to digitally tag it with information about content, intellectual property, technical data, and other pertinent information. Xerox scientists will develop and test approaches for converting digital images to JPEG 2000 by making a trial run on one million already-digitized images (most in TIFF format) in the library’s collection, including public domain prints, photographs, maps, and other content. They will then turn over their findings and recommendations for best practices to the library. Specifically, the library and Xerox want to develop JPEG 2000 profiles, which will “describe how to use JPEG 2000 most effectively to represent photographic content as well as content digitized from maps.”  The library will make the results available to the public.

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