140 · Representative Documents: Format Policies
rutgerS univerSity
RUcore. Born Digital Still Images
IBB RUcore Preservation Standards Born Digital Still Images Rev: 11/18/2010
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Born  Digital  Still  Images  (Digital  Photos): 
Recommended  Minimum  Standards 
For  Archival  and  Presentation  Datastreams
(Note: This document addresses standards for born-digital still images only. For standards and requirements pertaining to digitization, i.e.
the scanning of paper, slides or other analog media into digital images, please refer to the RUcore Digital Surrogate Guidelines.)
Introduction and Rationale
Since the inception of RUcore, a significant shift in the field of photography has taken place, as
amateurs and professionals alike have migrated en masse from analog film to digital formats. Since the
first repository specifications for digital photography were drafted in 2006, we’ve seen digital
photography overtake and dominate the field, largely overtaking film as a common medium for the
capture of still images.
Of course, new objects will continue to be created using traditional film, and there is no
foreseeable end to the creation of objects that originate on paper, film, or other analog recording format,
even if those formats are relegated only to niche interest groups. To that end, the repository has
established and refined a set of clear and concise standards that serve to acquire and preserve digital
facsimiles of analog photographs, books and similar items.
Even so, digital photography brings with it new challenges and different capabilities than our
existing core set of scanning digitization standards can support. As a result, an entirely separate set of
standards dealing exclusively with digital photography and separate from those that support scanning
must be defined and adhered to.
Emerging shifts to digital photography
While we have long heard that film’s days are numbered, few have truly believed it until very
recently. Digital photography has taken more than 12 years to mature, since the introduction of the first
mass produced digital camera (the Apple Quicktake) in 1994. For a majority of this period, the switch
from film to digital was largely relegated to early adopters, and broadly shunned by professionals who
insisted film was here to stay. Within the last decade however, the quality of the hardware available as
well as the introduction of professional grade software tools has not only swayed general opinion of
digital photography, but has permitted digital photography to become a driving factor in the fate of most
corporations in the field. Additionally, a number of very recent events has permanently and irrevocably
spelled out that film’s days as a dominant medium are numbered:
October 12, 2001: Polaroid, Inc. files for bankruptcy. This is often seen as the watershed
event for the decline of analog formats. Development of instant film formats stops, and
while the popular Land Camera and a few other versions of Polaroid film survive, a wide
array of other formats were discontinued.
(Since 2001, Polaroid has been resurrected, filed for bankruptcy yet again, and the instant
film formats discontinued. At present, private enthusiasts have attempted to revive Polaroid
instant film through independent efforts.)
2001 2006: Kodak has progressively discontinued a number of film formats, though it has
stated it will aggressively pursue the continued manufacture of conventional 35mm and APS
film. Additionally, Kodak announced in 2004 that while it “is, and will remain, committed to
manufacturing and marketing the world's highest quality film," it is ending production of film
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