Reformatting Approaches

Reformatting approaches at NARA are based on the type, intent, and goals of a digitization project, as well as characteristics of the original record, such as format and condition of the source material, quality and content of the original, anticipated use, size and format of the original, and contrast and color information of the original, among others.

The following reformatting approaches for each record type link to a chart that matches expectations for reformatting with appropriate products for each original record type. The charts describe the products created in NARA's reformatting labs, including the product outcome, scope, type, original characteristics of the source material that influence a digitization capture approach, as well as the products themselves. Each product name also links to a specification table that describes the product in greater detail, including the user, purpose, format, and technical properties of each product.

Each chart contains three rows: the top row describes the products created for long-term preservation purposes, the middle row describes the products created to improve access and minimize risk, and the bottom row describes products created for distribution purposes in various systems and on various media.

There is a consultative process that takes place between archival staff and technical staff during which the most appropriate product(s) are chosen.

Request for products not routinely created by the labs will be considered on a case-by-case basis, after a consultation takes place.

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