November 29, 2007 (Berlin) - The Satz-Rechen-Zentrum (SRZ) Berlin, a well-known provider in the field of libraries and archives, has joined the PDF/A Competence Center as a member. Projects implemented by SRZ include the digitization of extensive collections and catalogs and the introduction of content management systems (CMS) for presenting digital collections on the Internet. The PDF/A Competence Center hopes that SRZ’s membership will provide in particular a strong stimulus for the use of PDF/A in European libraries and archives. There are numerous digitization projects taking place or being planned.
“From the LuraTech subsidiary in the US we know that the subject of digitization and long-term archiving with PDF/A is of growing importance for librarians,” explained Thomas Zellmann, executive chairman of the PDF/A Competence Center. “This trend will soon make itself felt in Europe as well, with archives and libraries taking gradual steps toward providing information electronically. For this reason, we are pleased that SRZ now adds expertise for libraries and archives to our competence center!”
SRZ Berlin, a service provider for cross-media publishing since 1969, today offers services ranging from conventional typesetting with digital pre-press to digitizing extensive archives and library catalogs, including the development of document management systems and internet presentations to meet specific requirements. The company is converting its digitization projects to PDF/A in the medium-term. These include, for example, work for the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB) in Hanover.
The TIB is the central technical library in Germany for technology as well as architecture, chemistry, computer science, mathematics and physics. As the largest technical library in the world, it supplies domestic and international industry, business, science, research and teaching institutions with literature and technical information in printed and electronic format.
SRZ’s service to the TIB includes digitizing research reports from projects ordered by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as facsimiles, with the text scanned, and stored and linked to the tables of contents. SRZ will convert to using PDF/A format for delivering the data, integrating the scanned text and table of content links into the PDF/A files. The use of the ISO standard for long-term archiving ensures that the files will remain readable for decades. As Hans Joachim Huebner, responsible for system consulting and sales at SRZ Berlin, noted, “PDF/A is as secure as TIFF, but it can do more. The support for metadata and fulltext retrieval in the facsimile are decisive advantages.”
At the PDF/A Competence Center, it is anticipated that the demand for long-term archiving methods in European archives and libraries will increase significantly. “Then, with the help of our new member, we can provide expert information and advice to the archives and libraries,” added Zellmann. SRZ also benefits from its membership and looks forward to doing so, particularly from networking. Opportunities include the first international PDF/A user conference taking place from April 10-11, 2008 in Amsterdam. At this event, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands in The Hague) will present its PDF/A project in the track entitled “Archives + Libraries”.
The ISO 19005 standard (PDF/A) defines requirements for creating documents suitable for archiving, based on the widely available PDF format. The standard specifies in detail what content is allowed and what is not. This and other specifications are intended to ensure the long-term readability of documents regardless of the application software and operating system in which they were originally produced. Experts predict that the designation of PDF/A as an ISO standard will promote the popularity of that format, and advantages such as full-text search capabilities will lead to it replacing TIFF in the near future.
About the PDF/A Competence Center
The PDF/A Competence Center was established as an international association in 2006. The objective of the association is to promote the exchange of information and experience in the field of long-term archiving in accordance with ISO 19005 (PDF/A). The management board is composed of executives from callas software GmbH, Compart Systemhaus GmbH, intarsys consulting GmbH, LuraTech Europe GmbH, PDF Tools AG (CH) and PDFlib GmbH. More than fifty companies in over a dozen countries have joined the PDF/A Competence Center within the first year. The executive chairman is Thomas Zellmann, a managing partner of LuraTech. Hans Baerfuss, CEO of PDF Tools AG, Switzerland, is the executive vice chairman.
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