Wednesday, February 26, 2014

PDF Archival Format Guidance Issued

The USA National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has released a bulletin on January 31, 2014 detailing guidance on the use of PDF for electronic archival records.


Thanks to the PDF Association we learned that NARA has provided detailed guidance on the use of the myriad of PDF formats for government records.

The article summarizes the following from the guidance documents:

For Scanned Text
PDF/A-1 is “preferred”
PDF/A-2 is “acceptable”

For Digital Posters
PDF/A-1 is “preferred”

For Presentation Formats
PDF/A-1 is “preferred”
PDF/A-2 is “acceptable”

For Textual Data Formats
PDF/A-1 and PDF/A-2 are “preferred”
PDF 1.7 and PDF 1.0 – 1.6 are “acceptable”

The NARA Bulletin goes into much more detail and answers questions such as “Do transfers have to be records or only one format?” and “What other steps should I take before transferring permanent electronic records?”.

And “Appendix A” to the bulletin provides even more details such as minimum resolution for photographs and documents.

NARA has been working on these issues for nearly twenty years and past E-Courts Conference agendas have highlighted the work of their ERA (electronic records archive) programs.  We very much recommend that courts study these documents and adapt and incorporate their findings into their system, document, and archival plans.

Other Court Technology Bulletin PDF articles:

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