PDF files deliver a complete package of information that defines a document; everything that’s needed to represent the text, graphics and layout that the recipient receives. To most people, PDF is “electronic paper” – the digital expression of a cellul …The only digital document format
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The articles of this chapter contain the content of the Conference-Track A: Archives & Libraries, Public Sector/ eGovernment.
For archives and libraries, long-term archiving can virtually mean for ever! Special measure are required for both hardware and software, and PDF/A can many of the requirements for software and file formats.
Hans-Joachim Hübner from the SRZ gives a very good introduction into Digital Preservation and Retrospective digitization with PDF/A. As his company SRZ is working for a long time in this sector, he adds a lot of details and best practices from real world projects.
Archives are typically receivers of documents, and from their point of view it would be optimal when the filestheyreceivearealreadyinPDF/Aformat.Thiscan be achieved through proper communication and or- ganisation with the suppliers. There are many PDF/A scanning solutions that can applied when existing docu- ments in an archive are to be converted into electronic format. For files that are delivered in other electronic formats, numerous tools are offered for converting to PDF/A. It may be desired to archive both the original format (e.g. Microsoft Word) as well as a PDF/A version of the document.
During the Conference, we are quite happy to have the two leading German archives in PDF/A adoption pre- senting with Mrs Kathrin Schroeder from the German National Archive and Dr. Christian Keitel, Regional State Archive of Baden-Württemberg.
The article from Anton Zagar, EU Publications Office brings us to the world of libraries and he describes very
well their PDF/A project. Please see also the keynote arti- cle of Dr. Silke Stapel who describes the overall PDF/A projects in the EU Publications Office.
In general, libraries are both receivers and suppliers of documents. When existing files are converted into a new format, the digital original (e.g. uncompressed TIFF or JPEG2000 lossless) may still be retained. PDF/A can be created from the original file and serves as an ideal deliv- ery format, enabling full-text search and supporting em- bedded metadata. With respect to digital documents, ex- isting or newly delivered books can be converted to PDF/A. PDF/A can be used for archiving postgraduate work in university libraries as well, and would itself be an interesting topic for such work. There are an increasing number of recommendations and requirements for PDF/A in archives and libraries, for example with the German National Library.
Last but not least, PDF/A has also made its way heavily into the public sector. Most RFP for new projects require PDF/A these days already due to the superior functional- ity and long-term safety. There are a lot of recommenda- tions and requirements in multiple countries now like Italy, Norway and Switzerland.
I would like to thank the authors for their excellent contribution of articles which hopefully makes this chap- ter a worthwhile reading for you! If you want to talk to international archives and libraries, please do not hesitate to contact the PDF/A Competence Center which will be happy to connect you with them.