FADGI’s 10th Anniversary: Adapting to Meet the Community’s Needs

This is a guest post by Kate Murray, IT Specialist in the Library of Congress’s Digital Collections and Management Services.

FADGI logo

Note the dot over the “i” in Guidelines connects with the “g” in Agencies, which reflects FADGI’s collaborative ethos of working together and that guidelines should always intersect with agency needs.

Started in 2007 as a collaborative effort by federal agencies, FADGI has many accomplishments under its belt, including the widely implemented Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Cultural Heritage Materials (newly updated in 2016); open source software, including OpenDICE and AutoSFR and BWF MetaEdit; file format comparison projects; standards work, including the MXF AS-07 Application Specification and Sample Files; projects related to scanning motion picture film; embedded metadata in Broadcast Wave, DPX and TIFF (PDF) files and many more. Check out the handy summary chart (PDF) of our accomplishments, impacts and benefits to date.

Our 10th anniversary is 2017, so it’s a good time to think about a bit of an update as we head into our second decade.

First let’s talk about our name. “FADGI” (fah – jee), we readily admit, does not exactly roll off the tongue. But we’re a well-established brand name now so “FADGI” we stay but with an update. Up until now, the FADGI acronym stood for the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative because we’ve mainly been focused on developing technical guidelines, methods and practices for the digitization of historical content in a sustainable manner. In recent years however, the FADGI Still Image and Audio-Visual working groups have expanded their projects to include selected aspects of born-digital content alongside content reformatted through digitization.

FADGI 2.0 is now reborn as the Federal Agencies Digital Guidelines Initiative. Same acronym that we’ve grown to love, same great people (now up to 20 federal agencies) now with a new logo, updated website and expanded scope. FADGI will still focus on determining performance measures for digitization and develop methods for validation, recommending methods for digitization and exploring sustainable digital formats for still image and audiovisual material. But we’ll add some new ingredients to the mix, including recommending methods for creating and maintaining sustainable born-digital material. One example of this revised scope is the Creating and Archiving Born Digital Video project, which includes high-level recommended practices (PDF) for file creators.

More good news on the FADGI front is that our published guidelines will now carry the CC0 1.0 Universal license to declare unambiguously that the work is available for worldwide use and reuse. Because FADGI work is the product of US federal government personnel in the scope of their employment and therefore is not subject to copyright in the United States (17 U.S.C. §105), FADGI’s work products have always been in the public domain. The inclusion of the CC0 1.0 Universal license clarifies these statements for both US and international users of the FADGI guidelines.

All United States federal agencies and institutions involved in the creation or collection of digitized or born-digital content of a cultural, historical or archival nature are welcome to participate in FADGI. Please join us as we look forward to our next chapter and our next 10 years!

New FADGI Guidelines for Embedded Metadata in DPX Files

The Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative Audio-Visual Working Group is pleased to announce that its new draft publication, Embedding Metadata in Scanned Motion Picture Film Files: Guideline for Federal Agency Use of DPX Files, is available for public comment. The Digital Picture Exchange format typically stores image-only data from scanned motion picture film or born-digital […]

FADGI MXF Video Specification Moves Up an Industry-organization Approval Ladder

The following is a guest post by Carl Fleischhauer, who organized the FADGI Audio-Visual Working Group in 2007. Fleischhauer recently retired from the Library of Congress. The Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative Audio-Visual Working Group is pleased to announce a milestone in the development of the AS-07 MXF video-preservation format specification. AS-07 has taken shape […]

Avoid Jitter! Measuring the Performance of Audio Analog-to-Digital Converters

The following is a guest post by Carl Fleischhauer, a Project Manager in the National Digital Initiatives unit at the Library of Congress. It’s not for everyone, but I enjoy trying to figure out specialized technical terminology, even at a superficial level. For the last month or two, I have been helping assemble a revision […]

Digitizing Motion Picture Film: FADGI Report on Current Practices and Future Directions

The following is a guest post by Carl Fleischhauer, a Digital Initiatives Project Manager at the Library of Congress. More often than not, the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative Working Groups (one for still images, one for audio-visual) find themselves walking a line between codifying widely adopted practices and exploring new ideas and new technologies […]

Improving Technical Options for Audiovisual Collections Through the PREFORMA Project

The digital preservation community is a connected and collaborative one. I first heard about the Europe-based PREFORMA project last summer at a Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative meeting when we were discussing the Digital File Formats for Videotape Reformatting comparison matrix. My interest was piqued because I heard about their incorporation of FFV1 and Matroska, […]

All in the (Apple ProRes 422 Video Codec) Family

We’ve spent a lot of time recently thinking about digital video issues. As mentioned in a previous blog post, the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative published several reports on this topic including “Creating and Archiving Born Digital Video.” Work on the “Eight Federal Case Histories” (PDF) report nudged us to add the Apple ProRes 422 […]

New FADGI Report: Creating and Archiving Born Digital Video

As part of a larger effort to explore file formats, the Born Digital Video subgroup of the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative Audio-Visual Working Group is pleased to announce the release of a new four-part report, “Creating and Archiving Born Digital Video.” This report has already undergone review by FADGI members and invited colleagues including […]

Comparing Formats for Video Digitization

The following is a guest post by Carl Fleischhauer, a Digital Initiatives Project Manager in the Office of Strategic Initiatives. FADGI format comparison projects. The Audio-Visual Working Group within the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative recently posted a comparison of a few selected digital file formats for consideration when reformatting videotapes. We sometimes call these […]

Audio for Eternity: Schüller and Häfner Look Back at 25 Years of Change

The following is a guest post by Carl Fleischhauer, a Digital Initiatives Project Manager in the Office of Strategic Initiatives. During the first week of October, Kate Murray and I participated in the annual conference of the International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives in Cape Town, South Africa.  Kate’s blog describes the conference.  This blog […]