National Archives and Library of Congress Join PDF Association
Press Release · Thursday, July 13, 2017

Washington, DC

Federal Agencies Advocate for Needs of Cultural Heritage Communities in Vendor-neutral Environment

Today, the National Archives and the Library of Congress announced joining the PDF Association, which promotes adoption of international standards for portable document format technology, as partner organizations. Both federal agencies collect, and produce, numerous documents as PDFs.

“In our roles as both producers and custodians of PDF documents, the National Archives and the Library of Congress seek to engage with the PDF standards and vendor communities to advocate for the needs of cultural heritage communities in the vendor-neutral space offered by the PDF Association,” said Laurence Brewer, Chief Records Officer for the National Archives. “Working together with other PDF Association partner organizations, we gain the opportunity to influence the development of PDF specifications, tools, and systems to meet the business needs of archiving and long-term access.”

“The Library's participation will foster enhanced relationships with industry, providing more opportunities for the Library to communicate its needs to the community that develops the software which content producers and publishers use for digital documents and more,” said Mark Sweeney, Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress.

Founded in 2006 as the PDF/A Competence Center, the PDF Association exists to promote the adoption and implementation of International Standards for PDF technology. Its mission is to promote open-standards-based electronic document implementations using PDF technology through education, expertise and shared experience for stakeholders worldwide.

“We feel strongly that PDF Association members will learn from enhanced opportunities for dialog with Library of Congress and National Archives personnel, and in addition, that the two federal agencies will further their missions by way of enhanced access to technical experts throughout the PDF industry,” said Duff Johnson, PDF Association executive director.

The Portable Document Format, or PDF, family of standards is managed by International Standards Committee ISO/TC 171/SC 2 of which the National Archives is an active member. PDF includes subset formats appropriate for a variety of uses, including PDF/A, with characteristics appropriate for archival collections.

About the National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), an independent federal agency, is the nation's record keeper. Founded in 1934, its mission is unique—to serve American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our Government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. NARA ensures continuing access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. It supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. The National Archives meets a wide range of information needs, among them helping people to trace family histories, making it possible for veterans to prove their entitlement to medical and other benefits, and preserving original White House records. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and online at

About The Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services, and other programs, or plan a visit at; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at; and register creative works of authorship at

About the PDF Association

Founded in 2006 as the PDF/A Competence Center, an initiative of the Association for Digital Document Standards (ADDS), the PDF Association exists to promote open-standards-based electronic document implementations, using PDF technology, through education, expertise, and shared experience for stakeholders worldwide. The current membership includes around 140 enterprises and numerous individual subject-matter experts from more than 25 countries. The association is geared towards developers of PDF solutions; companies working with PDF in document management systems and electronic content management, interested individuals, and users who want to implement PDF technology in their organizations. More information is available at


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This page was last reviewed on July 13, 2017.
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