Suitability of JPEG2000 for preservation, help us do some further work

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By | Digital Developments

Following on from Johan van der Knijff’s guest post on this blog we were interested in following up issues that Johan raised. If, as Johan suggests, there are some gaps in the tool sets available for working with JPEG2000 in a reliable way and if some of the long term preservation issues are not well understood, perhaps we could begin to explore where the gaps are. Specifically, we were wondering if we could compare the suitability of just one part of JPEG2000 – the JP2 format – for long term preservation against the two sets of criteria that Johan mentioned.

These criteria were

1. The Library of Congress Sustainability of Digital Formats Planning for Library of Congress Collections, and
2. The National Archives Digital Preservation Guidance Note 1: Selecting file formats for long-term preservation [pdf].

Our thinking is that we could do a quick, targeted exercise utilising our community expertise to provide an overview that might reveal useful areas for future research. We propose to limit our investigation to just the JP2 format (for now) and the two sets of suitability criteria. We’re looking for high level properties of the JP2 format in relation to the TNA and LoC criteria. High level in the sense that we think that it should be possible to set out properties of JP2 as a series of bullet points against each of the TNA and LoC criteria. It’s not a perfect approach by any means, but as a starting point it seems to offer interesting possibilities.

It’s not meant to be definitive, but to serve as an information sharing exercise to help non-technical archivists/librarians better understand the suitability of JP2 to long term preservation, and to highlight areas where more work may be required. In this way we hope to point the way for developers and the more technically minded to do further work that makes JPEG2000 a more suitable format for long term preservation by providing better information/documentation to support that.

So we’re asking you to collaborate with us in this piece of work. We’ve created a framework document and put it onto Google Docs, where it can be viewed and edited. This document summarises the TNA and LoC criteria (the full criteria can be seen online, following the links given above) and space to add your response as bullet points in the right hand column.

Remember that we’re thinking about JP2 only and we’re looking for a high level overview – so be brief and stick with the bullet points for now. We’ll take on the editing and management of the document.

We will publish the results sometime in early 2011, providing we can get a sufficient and meaningful response. If you have any questions, please ask!

Christy Henshaw

Christy Henshaw

Christy Henshaw manages digitisation at the Wellcome Library. @Chenshaw. Linkedin

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