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Visual Materials: Processing & Cataloging Bibliography

Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress,
Washington, DC 20540-4730

Access techniques for historical picture collections draw on conventions developed in the library, archival, and museum communities. This bibliography lists basic manuals that provide guidance in physical care and arrangement, media identification, archival and bibliographic description, subject indexing, and digital reformatting of photographs, prints, architectural and other design drawings, cartoons, and posters. The selected articles and Web sites illustrate practices in a variety of institutions to help collection managers identify approaches suitable to their organizations' pictorial holdings.

Whirlpool Rapids, looking up Niagara, N.Y., by Detroit Publishing Co.
Whirlpool Rapids, looking up Niagara, N.Y. Detroit Publishing Co., c1898 (LC-USZC2-5785)

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Table of Contents


Adelstein, Peter Z. IPI Media Storage Quick Reference. 2nd ed. Rochester, NY: Image Permanence Institute, 2009.

Archives Association of British Columbia. AABC Archivists' Toolkit, 2012,

-----, A Manual for Small Archives. Vancouver: The Association, 1988, partially rev. 1994, c1999.

Cook, Michael. Managing Archives. London: International Records Management Trust and International Council on Archives, 1999. 184 p.

Dooley, Jackie M. "Processing and Cataloging of Archival Photograph Collections," Visual Resources 11:1 (1995): 85-101.

Fischer, Monique. A Short Guide to Film-base Photographic Materials: Identification, Care, and Duplication. Andover, MA: Northeast Document Conservation Center, 2007; revised 2012.

Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation. Conservation Online (CoOL).1994- .

Fox, Michael J., and Peter L. Wilkerson. Introduction to Archival Organization and Description: Access to Cultural Heritage. Los Angeles: Getty Information Institute, 1998. 66 p.

Hamburger, Susan. Architectural Records: Arrangement, Description, and Preservation. Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, 2004. 48p.

Hodges, Ann E., and Brenda S. McClurkin. Archives and Manuscripts Processing Manual. 6th ed. University of Texas Arlington, Special Collections Library, 2011.

Library of Congress. Preservation Directorate. Care, Handling, and Storage of Photographs: Information Leaflet. Rev. 2002. //

Malan, Nancy E. "Organizing Photo Collections: An Introspective Approach," in A Modern Archives Reader. Edited by Maygene F. Daniels and Timothy Walch. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Service, 1984, pp. 181-186.

Mustardo, Peter, and Nora Kennedy. Photographic Preservation: Basic Methods of Safeguarding Your Collections. (Technical Leaflets Series no. 9) Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, 1994. 36 p.

National Park Service. Conserv O Grams 1993-2011.

National Park Service. Museum Management Program. Museum Handbook, Part II: Museum Records. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service and the Government Printing Office, 2000. Also available online at

Northeast Document Conservation Center . Preservation 101: Preservation Basics for Paper and Media Collections. 2006. [Includes photographs]

-----. Preservation Leaflets, ca. 2000-present. Online at

Pearce-Moses, Richard. The Heard Museum Library and Archives: Documentary Research Collections Processing Manual. Phoenix: Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, 1997.

Roe, Kathleen. Arranging and Describing Archives and Manuscripts. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2005. 180 p.

Research Libraries Group. Photograph Preservation and the Research Library. Mountain View, CA: RLG, 1991. 56 p. Also online at

Ritzenthaler, Mary L., and Diane Vogt-O'Conner, with Helena Zinkham, Brett Carnell, and Kit Peterson. Photographs: Archival Care and Management. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2006. 529 p.

Robl, Ernest H. Organizing Your Photographs. New York: Amphoto, 1986. 191 p.

Shepherd, Kelcy, and Waverly Lowell. Standard Series for Architecture and Landscape Design Records: A Tool for the Arrangement and Description of Archival Collections. Berkeley, CA: Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley, 2010. Available online,

Tschabrun, Susan. "Off the Wall and into a Drawer: Managing a Research Collection of Political Posters," American Archivist 66 (Fall/Winter 2003): 303-324. Also available online,


See also the online bibliography in TGM II: //

Baldwin, Gordon. Looking at Photographs: A Guide to Technical Terms. Malibu, CA.: J. Paul Getty Museum in association with British Museum Press, 1991. 88 p.

Benson, Richard. The Printed Picture. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2008. 308 p. new

Gascoigne, Bamber. How to Identify Prints: A Complete Guide to Manual and Mechanical Processes from Woodcut to Ink Jet. London: Thames & Hudson, 1986. 107 p.

Goldman, Paul. Looking at Prints, Drawings, and Watercolours: A Guide to Technical Terms. London: British Museum Publications ; Malibu, CA.: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988. 64 p.

Image Permanence Institute. Graphics Atlas. 2010-present, new

Jürgens, Martin. Digital Print Identification Web Site: 2001-2004.

Kissel, Eléonore & Erin Vigneau. Architectural Photoreproductions: A Manual for Identification and Care. Newcastle, DE: Oak Knoll Press and The New York Botanical Garden, 1999 121 pp.

Lent, John A., comp. Animation, Caricature, and Gag and Political Cartoons in the United States and Canada: An International Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994. 415 p.

Library of Congress. Prints & Photographs Division. Popular Photographic Print Processes, 2007, //

Nadeau, Luis. Encyclopedia of Printing, Photographic and Photomechanical Processes. Fredericton, N.B.: L. Nadeau, 1997. 542 p.

Philadelphia Print Shop. Reference Library. 2002. (Includes dictionary of printmaking terms, glossary of abbreviations used by printmakers, and discussion of print processes.)

Reilly, James M. Care and Identification of 19th-Century Photographic Prints. Rochester, NY: Eastman Kodak, 1986. 116 p.

Rickards, Maurice. Collecting Printed Ephemera. New York: Abbeville Press, 1988. 224 p.

Rickards, Maurice. The Encyclopedia of Ephemera: A Guide to the Fragmentary Documents of Everyday Life for the Collector, Curator, and Historian. New York: Routledge, 2000.

Rosenblum, Naomi. A World History of Photography. 3rd ed. New York: Abbeville Press, 1997. 695 p.

Weill, Alain. The Poster: A Worldwide Survey and History. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1985. 422 p.


Armitage, Linda H., and Peter G.B. Enser. "Analysis of User Need in Image Archives," Journal of Information Science 23: 4 (1997): 287-299.

Burke, Peter. Eyewitnessing: The Uses of Images as Historical Evidence. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001.

Carter, John E. "The Trained Eye: Photographs and Historical Context." Public Historian 15 (Winter 1993): 55-66.

Coventry, Michael, Peter Felten, David Jaffee, Cecilia O'Leary, and Tracey Weis, with Susannah McGowan. "Ways of Seeing: Evidence and Learning in the History Classroom." Journal of American History 92 no. 4 (March 2006),

Fineman, Mia.  Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. Online exhibition,

Hortin, John A. "Theoretical Foundations of Visual Learning." In Visual Literacy, 5-29. Edited by David M. Moore and Francis M. Dwyer. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Educational Technology Publications, 1994.

Jacobson, Colin, ed. Underexposed: Censored Pictures and Hidden History. London: Vison On, 2002. new

Kaplan, Elisabeth, and Jeffrey Mifflin. "'Mind and Sight': Visual Literacy and the Archivist." In American Archival Studies, 73-97. Edited by Randall C. Jimerson. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2000. Originally published in Archival Issues 21, no. 2 (1996): 107-127.

King, David. The Commissar Vanishes: The Falsification of Photographs and Art in Stalin's Russia. Metropolitan Books, 1997. Online exhibition at the Newseum with images from the David King Collection, new

Kingston, Maxine H. "San Francisco's Chinatown: A View from the Other Side of Arnold Genthe's Camera." American Heritage (December 1978): 36-47.

Levine, Robert M. Images of History: Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Latin American Photographs as Documents. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1989. 216 p.

Malan, Nancy. "American Women Through the Camera's Eye." In Clio Was a Woman: Studies in the History of American Women, 260-302. Edited by Mabel E. Deutrich and Virginia C. Purdy. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1980.

Mann, Thomas. The Oxford Guide to Library Research. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. 293 p.

Mattison, David."Images of History on the Web." Searcher 10 (May 2002).

Natanson, Barbara O. "Spot the Hyphen? Representations of Immigrants and Members of Ethnic Groups in Illustrated Newspaper and Magazine Stories, 1880-1925." PhD. University of Maryland College Park, 1999. 564 pp. (University Microfilm No. 9925819)

Rose, Gillian. Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials. London: Sage Publications, 2001.

Rundell, Walter. "Photographs as Historical Evidence: Early Texas Oil." American Archivist41 (Oct. 1978): 373-398. Also available online,

Scherer, Joanna C. "You Can't Believe Your Eyes: Inaccuracies in Photographs of North American Indians." Studies in the Anthropology of Visual Communication 2 (Fall 1975): 67-79.

Schlereth, Thomas J. "Mirrors of the Past: Historical Photography and American History." In his Artifacts and the American Past, 11-47. Nashville, TN: American Association for State and Local History, 1980. Reprint, Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 1996.

Schultz, John, and Barbara Schultz. Picture Research: A Practical Guide. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1991. 326 p.

Schwartz, Joan M. "'We Make Our Tools and Our Tools Make Us': Lessons from Photographs for the Practice, Politics, and Poetics of Diplomatics." Archivaria 40 (Fall 1995): 40-74.

-----, and James R. Ryan. Picturing Place: Photography and the Geographical Imagination. London: I.B. Tauris, 2003.

Severa, Joan L. Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1995. 592 p.

Smithsonian Institution Photography Initiative. Click! Photography Changes Everything, 2007-2010,

Thompson, William Fletcher. The Image of War: The Pictorial Reporting of the American Civil War. New York: T. Yoseloff, 1960. 248 p.

Vanderbilt, Paul. "The Graphic History Society of America and Its Aims." Eye To Eye (June 1953): 1-6.

Zinkham, Helena. "Reading and Researching Photographs." Archival Outlook (Jan./Feb. 2007): 6-7, 28. Available online:


Betz, Elisabeth W. Graphic Materials: Rules for Describing Original Items and Historical Collections. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1982. 155 p. (Alternative to Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Chapter 8.) Text of GM is available online in several formats at //

Encoded Archival Description (EAD). Document Type Definition and Tag Library (Version 2002) and Application Guidelines (Version 1998) are available online: // (The EAD Home Page provides links to other finding aid Web sites, and helper tools and files.)

See also EAD Best Practices at the Library of Congress, //

Library of Congress. Library of Congress Subject Headings. 34th ed. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, 2012. Available to download (no longer printed), // (P&P uses for geographic names and other proper noun subjects.)

-----. Subject Cataloging Manual. Subject Headings. Washington, DC: Cataloging Distribution Service, Library of Congress, 2008-2013. Available to download (no longer printed), // (Includes chapters on geographic names and the subdivision "Pictorial Works" H 1935.)

Library of Congress. Network Development and MARC Standards Office. MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data. MARC 21 Format for Authority Data. 1999, with updates. //

----. MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data. 1999, with updates. //

-----. MARC Code Lists for Relators. 2010, with updates. //

For an introduction to MARC format conventions, see Understanding MARC bibliographic: Machine-readable cataloging. 8th ed. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service in collaboration with The Follett Software Company, 2009. //

Library of Congress. Prints & Photographs Division. Thesaurus for Graphic Materials I: Subject Terms.(TGM I) 3rd ed., 2008, with updates. Online at: // (More than 7,00 terms for indexing pictures according to the depicted activities, objects, occupations, and events as well as concepts conveyed.)

-----. Thesaurus for Graphic Materials II: Genre/Format Terms. (TGM II or GMPGC) 3rd ed., 2008, with updates. Online at: // (About 650 terms to index media, formats, and work types.)

Library of Congress Authorities. 2002- . (Includes 500,000 subject authority records for LC Subject Headings and 8.2 million name authority records--6 million personal, 1.4 million corporate, 180,000 meeting, and 120,000 geographic names.)

See also the Authorities & Vocabularies Linked Data Service,

NACO Participants' Manual. 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, 1996. 104 p. // (Covers content and creation of Name Authority Records)

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. Geonet Names Server (GNS). (About 5 million features outside the U.S.)

RDA: Resource Description and Access. 2010-present, (Used to establish headings; descriptive cataloging guidelines are still the book "Graphic Materials.") new

U.S. Board on Geographic Names. Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). (Almost 2 million names for physical and cultural geographic features in the U.S.)


Baca, Murtha, and Patricia Harpring, eds. "Art Information Task Force Categories for the Description of Works of Art," Visual Resources 11:3/4 (1996), special issue. The CDWA is online:

Canadian Council of Archives. Canadian Commitee on Archival Description. Rules for Archival Description. 1998- , with updates and rule revisions. (Chapter 4 covers "Graphic Materials" including photographs; chapter 6 covers "Architectural and technical drawings.")

Council of Australian State Libraries. Australian Pictorial Thesaurus (APT). ("Hierarchical thesaurus of 15,000 Australian subject terms to index pictorial collections, images and other original material collections.")

Craven, Tim, Thesaurus Construction. Ontario: Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, 1997-2002.

Dane, William J. The Picture Collection: Subject Headings. 6th ed. Hamden, CT: Shoe String Press, 1968.

Dates back to ca. 1905 when the Newark Public Library started its collection of pictures arranged by subject. General terms are were subdivided to create specific topics, such as Sports--Archery. "The headings are the result of the attempt to make accessible to the average person a file of pictures which index themselves." (3rd ed., 1928, p. 28)

Describing Archives: A Content Standard. 2nd ed. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2013. Also available to download,

Dublin Core Metadata Initiative.

Visual information was the focus of a workshop described by Stuart Weibel and Eric Miller (OCLC) in "Image Description on the Internet: A Summary of the CNI/OCLC Image Metadata Workshop, September 24 - 25, 1996, Dublin, Ohio," for DLib magazine, January 1997.

EAC (Encoded Archival Context): Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families. Society of American Archivists, 2011.

Evans, Linda J., and Maureen O'Brien Will. MARC for Archival Visual Materials: A Compendium of Practice. Chicago: Chicago Historical Society, 1988. 424 p. (See especially the Conference Report, which spotlights problem areas, pp. 404-422.)

Getty Research Institute. Art & Architecture Thesaurus Online. ("As of May 2011, the AAT contained around 34,880 'records' and 245,530 terms.")

-----. Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online (TGN). (" As of May 2011, the TGN contained around 992,310 'records' and1,711,110 names.")

-----. Union List of Artist Names (ULAN). (" As of May 2011, the ULAN contained around 202,720 'records' and 638,900 names.")

Gill, Tony, Anne J. Gilliland, Maureen Whalen, and Mary S. Woodley. Introduction to Metadata. Online Edition, Version 3.0. Getty Research Institute, 2008. (Includes a crosswalk of nine schemes available for visual materials, most of which come from the art and museum communities: CDWA, MARC, Dublin Core, and EAD.) Online at

International Council on Archives. ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Descripion. 2nd ed. Ottawa: ICA, 2000. 91 p. Available online:

----. International Standard Archival Authority Record For Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families. 2nd ed., 2004. Also available online:

International Federation of Library Associations. Digital Libraries: Metadata Resources. Last revised 2005.

-----. Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. Munich: K.G. Sauer, 1998. 144 p. Also available online at:

-----. ISBD (NBM): International Standard Bibliographic Description for Non-Book Materials. rev. ed. IFLA, 1987. 79 p. Also available online at

International Organization for Standardization. ISO 8601 Representation of Dates and Times. 2004, with updates. Description available online at

-----. ISO 3166-1 Country Codes for the Representation of Names of Countries and Their Subdivisions. 2006, with updates.

International Press Telecommunications Council. IPTC Core Schema for XMP. Version 1.0, 2005 (The Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) of the Information Interchange Model (IIM) used with headers in Photoshop, JPEG, and TIFF image files.)

Library of Congress. OAI Harvestable Records for Digitized Historical Collections.
// (Includes examples of pictorial collections coded in MARC XML, MODS, and Dublin Core for the Open Archives Initiative.)

Library of Congress. Network Development and MARC Standards Office. MADS (Metadata Authority Description Schema), Version 2.0, 2011. //

-----. MODS (Metadata Object Description Schema). Version 3.5, 2013. //

-----. METS Metadata Encoding & Transmission Standard. Version 1.9, 2010. //

National Information Standards Organization. Thesauri and interoperability with other vocabularies. ISO 25964. 2011-2013,

Petersen, Toni, and Patricia J. Barnett, eds. Guide to Indexing and Cataloging with the Art & Architecture Thesaurus. NY: Oxford University Press, 1994. "Published on behalf of the Getty Art History Information Program." (See especially Chapter 5 "Archives and Special Collections," pp. 87-100 and Chapter 8 "Visual Resources," pp. 163-179.)

Porter, Vicki, and Thornes, Robin. A Guide to the Description of Architectural Drawings. New York: G.K. Hall, 1994. 324 p. Also available online at

Research Libraries Group.Descriptive Metadata Guidelines for RLG Cultural Materials. Mountain View, Calif.: RLG, 2005. 144 p.

RDA: Resource Description and Access. 2010-present, (Used to establish headings; descriptive cataloging guidelines are still the book "Graphic Materials.") new

Special Libraries Association. News Division. "Text and Photo Database Enhancement Terms," In 1998, the News's Division's Photo Archiving Task Force approved a list of almost 500 keywords for digital newsphoto archives. In 1999, several newspapers posted their indexing lists online.

Taxonomy Warehouse. Copyright 2006-present by Dow Jones Reuters Business Interactive.

Thornes, Robin. Introduction to Object ID: Guidelines for Making Records that Describe Art, Antiques, and Antiquities. Getty Information Institute, 1999. 72 p. (Outlines the minimum information needed to identify stolen art objects.) Also available online at

Visual Resources Association. Core Categories for Visual Resources, Version 4.0, 2007.

-----. Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images. Chicago: American Library Association, 2006. 396 p. Also available online at:

Walsh, Victoria I., comp. Standards for Archival Description: A Handbook. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1994. Also available online at


Alexander, Arden, and Tracy Meehleib. "The Thesaurus for Graphic Materials: Its History, Use, and Future" in Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 31: 3/4 (2001): 189-212.

Arms, Caroline R. "Getting the Picture: Observations from the Library of Congress on Providing Online Access to Pictorial Images," Library Trends 48: 2 (Fall 1999): 379-409. Also available online at //

Baca, Murtha, ed. Introduction to Art Image Access: Issues, Tools, Standards, Strategies. Los Angeles, CA: Getty Research Institute, 2002. 80 p. Also available online at

Brown, Stephanie Willen, "Indexing Photographs: Presentation at the 1998 Visual Edge Seminar," Special Libraries Association, News Division Web site,

Chittenden, Karen. "Washingtoniana II: Cataloging Architectural, Design, and Engineering Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress," in ArtMARC Sourcebook, ed. Linda McRae and Lynda S. White. Chicago: American Library Association, 1998, pp. 144-153. (Includes "Data Dictionary" by Anne Mitchell and Karen Chittenden, pp. 223-263.)

Dooley, Jackie M., and Helena Zinkham. "The Object as 'Subject': Providing Access to Genres, Forms of Materials, and Physical Characteristics," in Beyond the Book: Extending MARC for Subject Access, ed. Toni Petersen and Pat Molholt. Boston, MA: G.K. Hall, 1990, pp. 43-80.

Gordon, Andrew S. "The Design of Knowledge-Rich Browsing Interfaces for Retrieval in Digital Libraries." Ph.D. Diss., Northwestern University, 1999.

Hagler, Ronald. The Bibliographic Record and Information Technology. 3rd ed. Chicago: American Library Association, 1997. 394 p.

Harpring, Patricia. Introduction to Controlled Vocabularies: Terminology for Art, Architecture, and Other Cultural Works. Getty Research Institute, 2010. 258 p. Also available online at

Jörgensen, Corinne. "Image Indexing: An Analysis of Selected Classification Systems in Relation to Image Attributes Named by Naïve Users," Annual Review of OCLC Research, 1999.

Klijn, Edwin, and Yola de Lusenet. SEPIADES: Cataloguing Photographic Collections. Amsterdam: European Commission on Preservation and Access, 2004. 49 p. Also available online at

-----. In the Picture: Preservation and Digitisation of European Photographic Collections. Amsterdam: European Commission on Preservation and Access, 2000. 69 p. Also available online at

McRae, Linda, and Lynda S. White, ed. ArtMARC Sourcebook: Cataloging Art, Architecture, and Their Surrogate Images. Chicago: American Library Association, 1998. 287 p.

Orbach, Barbara. "Integrating Concepts: Corporate Main Entry and Graphic Materials," Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 8:2 (1987/88): 71-89.

Orbach, Barbara. "So That Others May See: Tools for Cataloging Still Images," Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 11:3/4 (1990): 163-191.

Rouse, Sarah. Into the Light: An Illustrated Guide to the Photograph Collections in the National Library of Ireland. Dublin: National Library of Ireland, 1998. 120 p.

Rorvig, Mark E., ed. "Intellectual Access to Graphic Information," Library Trends 38/4 (1990), special issue, pp. 639-818.

Shatford, Sara. "Analyzing the Subject of a Picture: A Theoretical Approach," Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 6:3 (1986): 39-62.

Shatford, Sara. "Describing a Picture: A Thousand Words are Seldom Cost Effective," Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 4:4 (1984): 13-30.

Stam, Deirdre, and Angela Giral, eds. "Linking Art Objects and Art Information," Library Trends 37/2 (1988), special issue, pp. 117-264.

Vogt-O'Connor, Diane. Guide to Photographic Collections at the Smithsonian Institution. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989-1995. 4 vol.

Zinkham, Helena. Guide to Print, Photograph, Architecture & Ephemera Collections at The New-York Historical Society. New York: The Society, 1998. 175 p.


See the document called Standards Related to Digital Imaging of Pictorial Materials (PDF file) for a list of organizations that develop standards; citations to specific standards for digitization, file formats, storage media and repositories; and information about scanning targets

Besser, Howard. Introduction to Imaging. ed. Sally Hubbard with Deborah Lenert. Rev. ed. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2003. Also available online at

Blatner, David, and Bruce Fraser. Real World Photoshop CS3: Industrial Strength Production Techniques. Berkeley, CA: Peachpit ; Adobe, 2008. 750 p.

Canadian Heritage Information Network. Creating and Managing Digital Content. 2004.

Erway, Ricky.Bringing Special Collections into the Large-Scale Digitization Milleau. OCLC Research, 2007- . new

-----. Demystifying Born Digital. OCLC Research, 2012- . new

Ester, Michael. Digital Image Collections: Issues and Practice . Washington, DC: Commission on Preservation and Access, 1996.

Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative Still Image Working Group. "Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Cultural Heritage Materials," 2010. PDF file available at:

Harvard University. Library Preservation at Harvard: Resources--Digitization. 2000- .

IFLA, ICA, and UNESCO. Guidelines for Digitization Projects for Collections and Holding in the Public Domain, Particularly Those Held by Libraries and Archives. March 2002. 59 p. (April 23, 2003)

Kenney, Anne R., and Oya Y. Rieger. Moving Theory Into Practice: Digital Imaging for Libraries and Archives. Mountain View, CA: Research Libraries Group, 2000. Available online

Library of Congress. Digital Preservation Outreach and Education; National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program; and National Digital Stewardship Alliance.2000-present, new

-----. National Digital Library Program. Building Digital Collections: A Technical Overview. // (Includes "Request for Proposal RFP 97-9: Conversion of Pictorial Materials" ... and "Recommendations for the Evaluation of Digital Images Produced from Photographic, Micrographic, and Various Paper Formats," by James Reilly and Franziska Frey, Image Permanence Institute. The 1997 " National Digital Library Project Planning Checklist" is available at //

McClung, Patricia A., ed. RLG Digital Image Access Project: Proceedings from an RLG Symposium Held March 31 and April 1, 1995, Palo Alto, California. Mountain View, CA: Research Libraries Group, 1995. 104 p. Available online

MIT Libraries. Digital Preservation Management Workshops and Tutorials. 2003-present. (Began at Cornell University)

National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH) and Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII), University of Glasgow. NINCH Guide to Good Practice in the Digital Representation and Management of Cultural Heritage Materials. 2002.

Northeast Documentation and Conservation Center (NEDCC). Handbook for Digital Projects: A Management Tool for Preservation and Access. ” Copyright 2000.

Ostrow, Stephen E. Digitizing Historical Pictorial Collections for the Internet. Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources, 1998. 36 p. Also available online at

Puglia, Steven, Jeffrey Reed, and Erin Rhodes. Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Archival Materials for Electronic Access: Creation of Production Master Files – Raster Images. Washington, DC: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, 2004. 87 p.

Reilly, James M., and Franziska S. Frey. Digital Imaging for Photographic Collections: Foundations for Technical Standards. Rochester, NY: Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, 1999. 52 p. Also available online at

Research Libraries Group and Digital Library Federation. Guides to Quality in Visual Resource Imaging. 2000. (Separate guides cover planning, scanner selection, image quality factors, and digital master quality and file formats.)

Sandore, Beth, ed. "Progress in Visual Information Access and Retrieval," in Library Trends 48/2 (1999), special issue, pp. 283-524. (Includes articles on visual indexing by color, texture, and layout.)

JISC Digital Media. Home Page.


The Online Reference Sources for Cataloging Visual Materials has a list of additional Web sites useful for verifying information about creators and subjects of pictures; also, tools for converting dates and measurements and for identifying or dating different media.

IPL2: Information You Can Trust. 1995- . ("In January 2010, the website "ipl2: information you can trust" was launched, merging the collections of resources from the Internet Public Library (IPL) and the Librarians' Internet Index (LII) websites. The site is hosted by Drexel University's College of Information Science & Technology, and a consortium of colleges and universities with programs in information science ... ")


Try the same search query in several catalogs to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of their access designs and description practices. Pick your own terms or use some of these:

children playing
sunrises & sunsets
hammer & sickle
good & evil
Niagara Falls
Battle of Gettysburg

Go to Picture Catalogs Online for a list of more than 50 sites that provide access to historical, documentary pictures.

Compiled by: Helena Zinkham, Head, Technical Services Section, Prints and Photographs Division, July 2000. Last revised: August 2013.

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