Welcome to Florida Memory

Digitization Guidelines for the Florida Memory Program

  1. Selecting Materials for Digitization
  2. Standards
  3. Metadata
  4. Preservation and Maintenance of Digital Files
  5. Sources Consulted/Bibliography
  6. Appendices

The State Archives of Florida is mandated by law to collect, preserve and make available for research the official records of Florida state government. The Archives also maintains and provides access to private manuscripts, local government records, photographs and other materials that complement official state records.
The purpose of Florida Memory (FM) is to provide enhanced public access to the collections of the State Archives and the special collections of the State Library. FM utilizes a web-based platform for providing access to primary records that illustrate significant moments in the state's history, and delivers educational resources for students of all ages by utilizing original documents, photographs and other materials from these collections.

The following considerations are made as part of FM digitization process:

I. Selecting Materials for Digitization

  • Selection: Patron feedback, collections usage statistics and recommendations from Archives staff are used to select specific documents and/or collections for digitization. The proposed materials must have sufficient educational, intrinsic and research value for patrons. Particular care is taken to ensure that digitized materials do not duplicate resources available from other institutions or repositories.
  • Copyright/Custody:  Materials chosen for digitization must have a deed of gift or transfer form assigning copyright and ownership to the State Archives of Florida.
  • Level of Access:  Potential materials must be arranged and described to provide sufficient user access. Collections with restrictions are not eligible for digitization.
  • Preservation: Materials selected must be in a physical condition that allows for digitization without damage to the records. Time and funds for any required preservation work are considered as part of the selection process.
  • Results:  Collections targeted for digitization will result in enhanced access and provide information useful to researchers.

II. Standards

The State Archives of Florida employs digitization methods that meet both national and international standards. Digitized resources will be available through the variety of hardware platforms supported by the Florida Department of State, with easy-to-use and readily-available delivery methods.  

Photographic Imagery
Dimension Specification
File Format: TIFF (Tagged Image File Format)
Encoding: Adobe 6.0
Compression: Uncompressed
Bit-Depth: 16 Bit Grayscale; 48 Bit Color
DPI: Minimum 600 DPI
Image Dimensions: Minimum 4,000 pixels, width or height
Dimension Specification
File Format: JPEG (Joint Photographic Expert Group)
Encoding: Adobe 6.0
Bit-Depth: 16 Bit Grayscale; 48 Bit Color
DPI: 96
Image Dimensions: 600 pixel width
Dimension Specification
File Format: GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
Bit-Depth: 8 Bit Grayscale; 8 Bit Color
DPI: 96
Image Dimensions: 120 pixel width

Sound Recordings
Master Sound Recording
Dimension Specification
File Format: Broadcast WAVE (BWF)
Encoding: Uncompressed Pulse-code modulation (PCM)

Monophonic or stereo, depending upon characteristics of source item

Sampling Frequency: 96 or 48 kHz, depending upon characteristics of source item
Word Length: 24 bit
Enhancement: No cleanup

Access Sound Recording
Dimension Specification
File Format: Broadcast WAVE (BWF)
Encoding: Uncompressed Pulse-code modulation (PCM)
Configuration: Two channel (dual mono or stereo), according to Red Book CD standards
Sampling Frequency: 44.1 kHz
Word Length: 16 bit
Enhancement: Minimal cleanup (some removal of unrecorded segments, hisses, hums, artificial tones, and clicks as needed; compression and gain adjustments as needed)
Web-Deliverable: Streaming Audio File
Dimension Specification
File Format: MP3 (MPEG-2 Audio Layer III)
Bitrate: 128kbps

Moving Image Materials
Dimension Specification
Image Size: 720 X 480 resolution
Frame Rate: 29.97 fps (frames per second)
Format:            AVI (uncompressed)
Codec:             UYVY
Field Order:      Progressive
Pixel Aspect Ratio:  Standard 4:3 (0.9091)
TV Standard: NTSC
Audio Codec: Uncompressed
Audio Mode:     Stereo
Audio Sample Size:   16 Bit
Dimension Specification
Image Size: 720 X 480 resolution
Frame Rate: 29.97 fps (frames per second)
Format: MPEG 4
Codec: H.264 (Preset: NTSC DV)
Field Order: Progressive
Pixel Aspect Ratio: 0.9091
TV Standard: NTSC
Audio Codec: AAC
Bitrate: 192kbps (kilobits per second)
Sample Rate: 48,000 HZ
Enhancement: Minimal cleanup (some color correction and audio gain adjustments or conversion to dual channel simulated stereo as needed)

Born Digital Formats

Born digital audiovisual materials may exist on physical carriers, such as digital tape, memory cards and disc formats, and files may be received on hard drives or via online file transfer.

Photographic Imagery

To ensure that images are of sufficient quality for guidelines set forth by the State Archives and Florida Memory, minimum specifications must be met. Images that do not meet the minimum standards set forth in this document are not considered adequate for inclusion on Florida Memory.

Digital Photo Requirements
Dimension Specification

File Format:

TIFF; JPEG; Digital Negative (DNG)

Unacceptable File Formats:

GIFF; Portable Network Graphic (PNG); RAW


8 or 16 Bit Grayscale, 16 or 48 Bit Color

Image Dimensions:                  

Minimum 3,000 pixels width or height

File Size:

2 mega pixel file or greater with a minimum pixel array of 1,600 pixels by 1,200 pixels

Sound Recordings

Born digital sound recordings are created and stored in a variety of file formats. While the State Archives of Florida accepts digital sound recordings in most formats, it is preferred that recordings are in the uncompressed WAV format with the following minimum specifications:

Minimum WAV Quality
Dimension Specification


Linear pulse-code modulation (PCM)

Sampling Frequency:

Minimum 44.1 kHz, or same as in digital original


Minimum 16 bit word length, or same as in digital original

File Format:

Broadcast WAVE File (BWF)

Moving-Image Materials

Born digital video recordings are created and stored in numerous file formats.  Florida Memory can accept digital video recordings in most common container formats and codecs. Some examples include: AVI (.avi) Quicktime, WMV (.wmv) MPEG, DV.

Digital video may be preserved in its original format as well as converted to the current lossless format used for digitized video master copies. Proprietary formats and codecs that cannot be converted, have poor quality or are a degraded video intended for web streaming or other purposes may not be considered for inclusion in Florida Memory.

III. Metadata

Administrative Metadata
  1. Digital file attributes (such as bit depth, DPI, sample rate and process history) are embedded in file headers.
  2. Rights management metadata will be documented on Florida Memory and in ReDiscovery, the Archives' collections management system.
  3. Technical metadata for source audio objects will be documented in Excel spreadsheets.
Structural Metadata
  1. Multi part digital objects will use sequence indicators in the file name and/or directory hierarchy to facilitate navigation.
  2. Audio recordings will use AES31-3 Audio Decision Lists and the embedded BWF TimeReference field to map multi-file audio recordings and track marker information.
Descriptive Metadata
  • Records are presented in accordance with the Dublin Core (DCMES) metadata schema.
  • Items are documented as MARC records, following the rules set forth by AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2) and DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard).
  • Use of controlled vocabularies and thesauri (see Appendix A), including:
    • Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT).
    • American Folklore Society Ethnographic Thesaurus (AFS-ET).
    • DCMI Type Vocabulary.
    • Library of Congress Authorities, including:
      • Library of Congress Subject Headings.
      • Library of Congress Name Authority File.
    • Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM).
    • Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names.
    • State Archives of Florida Local Authority File.
  • Descriptive metadata with syntax encoding.
  • Date information is structured according to W3CDTF (of ISO 8601 which follows the following syntax: YYYY-MM-DDThh:mm:ss:TZD).
    • YYYY = four-digit year
    • MM      = two-digit month
    • DD       = two-digit day
    • T          = literally entered indicates the beginning of a time
    • hh        = two-digit hour (00-23)
    • mm      = two-digit minutes (00-59)
    • ss         = two-digit seconds (00-59)
    • s          = one or more digits day
  • File name syntax conventions for digital files will include creating entity (State Archives of Florida), series number, item ID, sequence indicators (where applicable), file use and date (YYYYMMDD format).  File names will be lower case.

    Examples: saf_[series number]_[item ID]_[sequence indicator]_[file use]_[date]
    1. Audio: saf_s1576_t-87-21_010101_master_20130122
    2. Photo: saf_n2011-7_jjs0001_master_20130122
Embedded Metadata
Photographic Materials
Adobe Photoshop IPTC Fields
Field Use
Description (Title)
(Copyright Notice)
Title: Image Number (Example: JJS0001)
Author: Collection Name (Example: Steinmetz Collection)
Description: Collection Number (Example: N2011-7)
Copyright Notice: http://floridamemory.com/learn/about/disclaimer.php
IPTC Contact (website) www.floridamemory.com
Origin (Date Created)
(city, state, country)
Date Created: date scanned
City State Country: Tallahassee, FL, U.S.
Credit: State Archives of Florida
Source: State Archives of Florida, Division of Library and Information Services, Department of State
Sound Recordings
LIST-INFO Chunk Fields
Field Use
INAM (Title) Title of recording derived from the item's catalog record. Example: Interview with and music performance by blues musician Moses Williams
IENG (Engineer) Name of the person who created the digital file. Example: Doe, Jane
ICMT (Comments) Additional information found in the item catalog record. Example: One reel-to-reel recording. Moses Williams was originally from Mississippi. He moved to Florida in the 1950s. He played the diddly bow, a one-string homemade musical instrument, also called a yakedy board.
ISFT (Originator software) Software with which the digital file was created. Example: WaveLab 6.10
Broadcast Extension (BEXT) Chunk Fields
Field Use
Description Displays file content, use and filename. Example: File content: S1576 T-85-103.  File use: Preservation Master.  Original filename: saf_s1576_t-85-103_010101_master_20121003
Originator Agency responsible for creating and maintaining the digital file. Example: US, State Archives of Florida
OriginationDate Date on which digital file was created in YYYY-MM-DD format. Example: 2012-01-01
TimeReference Used only for preservation masters comprised of multiple digital files. Serves to mark each file's placement in the timeline relative to the first sample count since midnight.
CodingHistory Describes process history for digital file starting from playback of the analog source. Written according to European Broadcasting Union Technical Recommendation R98-1999.  Example:
A=ANALOGUE, M=stereo, T=Ampex ATR102; SN0981797; 3.75 or 7.5 ips; open reel tape<CR/LF>
A=PCM, F=96000, W=24, M=stereo, T=Apogee Rosetta 200; SNR24722; A/D<CR/LF>
A=PCM, F=96000, W=24, M=stereo, T=Lynx; AES16; DIO<CR/LF>
Moving-Image Materials
Field Use
Description (Title)
(Author/ Creator)
(Film/ video attributes)
(Copyright Notice)
Title: Film/Video Title and Call or Can number (Example: According to Snowball, BA075 ) Author/Creator: Photographer,  production company or agency (Example: Produced by Weeki Wachee or Game and Freshwater Fish Commission) Description: Collection Number (Example: S.828) Attributes: Color or black and white, sound or silent and runtime( Example: B&W, 5:35)

Copyright Notice: http://floridamemory.com/learn/about/disclaimer.php
Originator Software Software with which the digital file was created. Example: Adobe Premier Pro CS6
IPTC Contact (website) www.floridamemory.com
Origin (Date Created)
(city, state, country)
Date Created: filming date or conversion date if appropriate
City State Country: Tallahassee, FL, U.S.
Credit: State Archives of Florida
Source: State Archives of Florida, Division of Library and Information Services, Department of State

IV. Preservation and Maintenance of Digital Files

The Florida Memory digitization program meets archival requirements for the preservation of electronic records in terms of hardware, software and data migration. Two master files are preserved of each item. One master is stored in a Windows Microsoft Azure Cloud storage platform and the second on RAID (Redundant Array of independent Disks) drives or portable hard drives. The State Archives follows standards set in Florida Administrative Code, Chapter 1B- 26.003 on storage and migration of electronic records. Additionally, the Department of State Web server is backed up daily.

Sources Consulted/Bibliography

Bradley, Kevin, ed. “Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects.” South Africa: International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives-IASA Technical Committee 4, 2009. http://www.iasa-web.org/tc04/audio-preservation.

Casey, Mike, and Bruce Gordon, ed. “Sound Directions: Best Practices for Audio Preservation.” Last modified 2007. http://www.dlib.indiana.edu/projects/sounddirections/papersPresent/sd_bp_07.pdf.

Consortium of Academic and Research Libraries in Illinois. “Guidelines for the Creation of Digital Collections.” Last modified January 9, 2017. https://www.carli.illinois.edu/sites/files/digital_collections/documentation/guidelines_for_metadata.pdf.

Federal Agencies Audio-Visual Working Group. “Embedding Metadata in Digital Audio Files: Guidelines for Federal Agency Use of Broadcast WAVE Files.” Last modified April 23, 2012. http://www.digitizationguidelines.gov/audio-visual/documents/Embed_Guideline_20120423.pdf.

Lacinak, Chris. “Perfection vs. Reality: Strategies for Preserving Born Digital Audio.” Last modified 2009. https://www.avpreserve.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Born_Digital_Strategies_Slides.pdf.

Library of Congress. “Film Preservation Study.” National Film Preservation Board, n.d. https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-film-preservation-board/preservation-research/film-preservation-study/.

Library of Congress. “Format Descriptions.” Sustainability of Digital Formats: Planning for Library of Congress Collections. Last modified March 25, 2019. http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/formats/fdd/descriptions.shtml.

National Archives. “Born-digital Transcode [AUD-P3].” Preservation, n.d. http://www.archives.gov/preservation/products/products/aud-p3.html.

National Archives. “Frequently Asked Questions About Digital Audio and Video.” Federal Records Management. Last modified October 11, 2019. http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/initiatives/dav-faq.html.

National Recording Preservation Board, Library of Congress. “Capturing Analog Sound for Digital Preservation: Report of a Roundtable Discussion of Best Practices for Transferring Analog Discs and Tapes.” Council on Library and Information Resources, March 2006. http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub137/contents.html.

Wactlar, Howard D., and Michael G. Christel. “Digital Video Archives: Managing Through Metadata.” Council on Library and Information Resources, n.d. http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub106/video/.


Appendix A: Controlled Vocabularies and Thesauri

Term Name: AACR2
Label: AARC2
Definition: The cataloging rules set by the Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Second Edition.
See: www.aacr2.org/

Term Name: AAT
Label: AAT
Definition:  The vocabulary specified by the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus.
See: http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/aat/index.html
Type of Term: http://purl.org/dc/dcam/VocabularyEncodingScheme

Term Name: AFS-ET
Label: AFS-ET
Definition:  The vocabulary specified by the Open Folklore Society Ethnographic Thesaurus.
See: http://openfolklore.org/et/

Term Name: DACS
Label: DACS
Definition: The set of standards specified by the Society of American Archivists Describing Archives: A Content Standard (Second Edition).
See: http://files.archivists.org/pubs/DACS2E-2013.pdf

Term Name: DCMIType 
Label: DCMI Type Vocabulary
Definition: The set of classes specified by the DCMI Type Vocabulary, used to categorize the nature or genre of the resource.
See: http://purl.org/dc/dcmitype/
Type of Term: http://purl.org/dc/dcam/VocabularyEncodingScheme
Version: http://dublincore.org/usage/terms/history/#DCMIType-005

Term Name: LOC-Auth
Label: LOC-Auth
Definition: The set of labeled concepts specified by the Library of Congress Authorities including Library of Congress Subject Headings and Library of Congress Name Authority File.
See: http://authorities.loc.gov/
Type of Term: http://purl.org/dc/dcam/VocabularyEncodingScheme

Term Name: TGM
Label: TGM
Definition: The set of terms specified by the Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials I & II.
See: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/tgm/
Type of Term: http://purl.org/dc/dcam/VocabularyEncodingScheme

Term Name: TGN
Label: TGN
Definition: The set of places specified by the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names.
See: http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/tgn/index.html
Type of Term: http://purl.org/dc/dcam/VocabularyEncodingScheme

Definition: The set of terms  specified by the State Archives of Florida.