18th Annual Preservation Conference

Preservation Reformatting:
Digital Technology vs. Analog Technology

Held March 27, 2003
National Archives at College Park, Maryland
Auditorium and Conference Rooms

The National Archives and Records Administration's Annual Preservation Conferences cover topics on the creation, use, exhibition, care-and-handling, conservation, duplication, and long-term storage of information on paper, film, tape, and disk.

The 2003 conference brought together archivists, librarians, and records managers to discuss the access/preservation trade-offs of analog/digital reformatting.

Conference Theme: Advantages and disadvantages of digital and analog formats

  • Digital Images vs. Microfilm
  • Digital Audio vs. Analog Tape
  • Digital Video vs. Motion Picture Film
  • Access vs. Preservation
  • What is available on the market vs. what is best for long term preservation


  • Reformatting options overview.
  • Digital images for library materials rather than microfilm, establishing a digital repository rather than a microfilm collection.
  • Long term maintenance of digital repository.
  • Managing a large digital project.
  • Digital audio and video alternatives to analog tape.
  • Is film the only archival medium for the preservation of motion pictures?
  • Metadata and technical information needed to manage and use digital images that reproduce a variety of pictures, documents and artifacts.
  • Preservation challenges of digital television.
  • NARA's goal to preserve and provide access to any kind of electronic record.
  • Standards outlook for long term retention and use of digital and analog audio recordings and moving images.


Steven Puglia
"Overview: Analog vs. Digital for Preservation Reformatting"

Howard Besser
"Moving Image Preservation: Analog or Digital?"

Carl Fleischauer
"Audio and Video- Library of Congress Perspective"

Ed Zwaneveld
"Audio and Video- Perspective on Standards"

Abby Smith
"The Evidence in Hand - Artifacts in Collections"

Stephen Chapman
"Preservation Reformatting- Harvard Perspective"

Kenneth Thibodeau
"Preserving Digital Information- Electronic Records Archives Perspective"