Standards for Digital Archives

Certificate Eligibility: 
60 minutes

Do you know the most important standards a digital archivist needs to know? What are the options, which ones apply to your work, what are the benefits, and what is practical for your particular situation? Get started with this foundational course on standards as a stepping stone to courses that focus on and/or incorporate specific standards for particular archival functions and the applications of those standards, including accession, arrangement and description, access, preservation, and outreach.


This course covers a range of national and international approaches, from those promulgated by standards setting bodies to those generated by de facto practices. Published standards addressed include:

  • ISO 19005-2: 2010 – Document management—Electronic document file format for long-term preservation (PDF/A)
  • ISO 12234-2:2001 – TIFF/EP Tag Image File Format/Electronic Photography
  • ISO 15386:2009 – Information and documentation—the Dublin Core metadata element set
  • Metadata Encoding Transmission Standard (METS)
  • ISO 15489-1:2001 – Information and documentation -- Records management
  • ISO 14721:2003 – Space data and information transfer systems—open archival information system (OAIS) reference model
  • ISO 16363:2012 – Space data and information transfer systems—audit and certification of trustworthy digital repositories
  • Metadata Object Description Schema (MODS)
Learning Outcomes: 
Explain how standards are created and the different standards creating bodies
Identify the different standards supporting digital archiving functions
Apply standards to basic digital archiving functions
Who Should Attend: 

Archivists, practitioners, managers, administrators, and IT professionals

What You Should Already Know: 

Participants are expected to have basic archival training and education and familiarity with computers

DAS Core Competency: 
2. Communicate and define terminology, requirements, roles, and responsibilities related to digital archives to a variety of stakeholders.
Most valuable aspect: "Awareness of broader archival standards for digital content. Understanding their general categories by function and scope."
"The handouts were invaluable."
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