New Standard Address Long-Term Preservation of E-Documents
RESTON, Va.—AIIM and NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies today announced that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has approved PDF/Archive (PDF/A). PDF/A enables organizations to archive documents electronically in a way that will ensure preservation of content over an extended period of time and that those documents can be retrieved and rendered with a consistent and predictable result in the future.
ISO 19005-1, Document management - Electronic document file format for long-term preservation - Part 1: Use of PDF 1.4 (PDF/A-1) defines a file format based on Portable Document Format (PDF) which provides a mechanism for representing electronic documents in a manner that preserves their visual appearance over time, independent of the tools and systems used for creating, storing and rendering the files. PDF/A is a subset of PDF, which is already widely accepted for the delivery of final-format documents. It is estimated that the total size of the surface Web is 167 terabytes, 9.2 percent of which consist of PDF documents.
"The speed with which PDF/A was developed is a testament to the commitment of the committee members worldwide," said John Mancini, President, AIIM. "The collaborative effort put forth by representatives from the archival, records management, government and other communities ensure that this standard will fit the needs of those communities and that our corporate and cultural memory is preserved over time."
"The development of ISO 19005-1 was a coordinated effort by several affected communities to address the critical need for a standardized method for the long-term preservation of documents," said Mary Abbott, director of standards programs at NPES. "The work was done in a way that shows that international groups can work together quickly and effectively to develop solutions through the accredited standards process."
"The publication of PDF/A will have a significant impact on the preservation of electronic documents by defining an internationally recognized standard format that is amenable to long-term preservation," said Stephen Abrams, Digital Library program manager at the Harvard University Library. "The standard will allow libraries, archives, and other electronic resource consumers to encourage their content providers to produce and deliver those resources in a form that is optimized for their effective preservation over time."