Photographic Imaging, Microfilm and Textual Preservation Services

The Photographic Imaging, Microfilm and Textual Preservation Lab offer a range of services in support of the archival process for both on-site NARA staff as well as external stakeholders. The goal of these services is primarily to assist custodial units and other stakeholders make informed preservation and reformatting decisions for NARA’s photograph, text-based and object collections. Image enhancement for specific limited purposes including exhibition is available. Some physical stabilization services of physical objects is performed within the lab in order to achieve appropriate information capture, although the bulk of this work is conducted by Conservation Services staff. Technical services staff assure digital products are industry standard and of expected and consistent quality and the file format deliverables are well-formed and valid. In addition, the Photographic Imaging, Microfilm and Textual Preservation Lab offers limited technical support and training for NARA staff specifically in the Regions and Presidential Library system. Finally, the Photographic Imaging, Microfilm and Textual Preservation Lab is a conduit for information exchange between NARA and the global imaging community to help NARA’s archival process stay on pace with the latest research and developments in the field at large.

  • Consultation with NARA stakeholders

    • Advice on outsourcing to vendor versus what can be accomplished more successfully in-house
    • Advice on digital product deliverables in vendors or partner contracts
    • On-site visit to vendors/partners to review availability and condition of proposed transfer equipment
    • Provide advice on long term preservation planning options and actions
    • Provide technical guidance for digitization activities
    • Still Images: Consultation with NARA stakeholders

      • Serve as subject matter experts in raster image creation issues
  • Risk assessment

    • Physical condition assessment
    • Assist in setting priorities for yearly work plan and ongoing lab workflow
  • Enhancement for access

  • Stabilization of physical objects

    • Limited mold remediation, rehousing and cleaning for specific formats
    • All physical issues with textual and photographs are referred to Conservation staff.
  • Technical Services

    • Technical metadata identification, collection, validation and schema development
    • Tool identification, evaluation and testing
    • Format obsolescence monitoring
    • Quality assurance program development
    • Quality control of digital products through automated systems and human driven processes
    • Equipment identification, evaluation, monitoring, testing and maintenance
  • Technical Support

  • Education and Training

    • Cross training provided for NARA staff (including Regions and Presidential Libraries)
    • Teach internal and external workshops and other classes
    • Host interns and lead departmental tours
    • Give presentations at professional conferences
    • Author articles, publications, or programs for internal and external journals as well as for events
  • Collaboration and outreach beyond NARA

    • Participate in the development of tools and standards
    • Monitor technical compliance with industry standards
    • Survey developments in comparable institutions in both process and products
    • Photographic Imaging, Microfilm and Textual: Collaboration and outreach beyond NARA

      • Develop and maintain essential relevant interaction beyond NARA through active participation in professional organizations including the Society for Imaging Science and Technology (IS&T) as well standard committees such as FADGI (Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization).

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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