In 2007, a dozen U.S. federal agencies formed a group, under the support of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, to discuss guidelines, methods, and best practices for digitizing historical data. These agencies shared a common conviction that establishing digitization guidelines “will enhance the exchange of research results and developments, encourage collaborative digitization practices and projects among federal agencies and institutions and provide the public with a product of uniform quality.”  This group has unveiled a new initiative that has created two working groups, the Federal Agencies Still Image Digitization Working Group, which will focus on image content such as books, manuscripts, maps, and photographic prints and negatives and the Federal Agencies Audio-Visual Working Group, which will focus on sound, video, and motion picture film.

Its current members include the Library of Congress, the National Agricultural Library, the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Gallery of Art, the National Library of Medicine, the National Technical Information Service, the National Transportation Library, the Smithsonian Institution, the US Geological Survey, and the US Government Printing Office.  Participation is on a voluntary basis and any and all United States federal agencies and institutions involved in the digitization of a cultural, historical or archival nature are welcome to participate.

To learn more about the working groups, see a glossary of terms, and learn about events and news concerning the effort, visit http://www.digitizationguidelines.gov/.