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Program Digital Collections Management Compendium

Inventorying and Tracking Digital Formats In Use

This guidance explains the Library's approach and responsibility to monitor the inventory of file formats in its digital collections.

To manage potential risk associated with the difficulties inherent to the renderability of digital formats, Digital Collections Management and Services (DCMS) oversees an ongoing review of file formats in use in approved Inventory Systems. At a base level, the Library tracks data on file extensions, but in some cases more robust data is derived and tracked. This is enabled through tools integrated in inventory systems, which are managed and maintained by the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO). DCMS and OCIO will continue to collaborate on improvements to this functionality and integration of characterization tools. The review process provides input for ongoing refinement of the Recommended Formats Statement and informs priorities for the Sustainability of Digital Formats. Information resulting from ongoing reviews of file formats in use can be used to plan for the batch creation of derivative files that can be more easily rendered in current and future computing environments.