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ALA Midwinter 2010 Meeting Report for LITA JPEG2000 in Archives and Libraries IG

Twelve people attended the interest group meeting on the Saturday afternoon of ALA Midwinter in Boston. Half were LITA members, there were two students, and a mixture of people who previously attended an IG meeting and those for whom this was the first time. There was also a good mixture of people who had some experience with the JPEG2000 standard and those that were looking for introductory information.

In IG business, the interest group is up for renewal this year. The process must be completed by the close of ALA Annual Conference in the summer. Peter Murray, the current IG chair, cannot continue in this role, so volunteers are needed for a new IG chair and vice-chair. One must be a member of the LITA division of ALA; details about the roles of IG officers can be found in Section 6 of the LITA Manual. Members interested in this role can contact Peter Murray for more information.

Following the business portion of the meeting, the group shared questions and information about how libraries are applying the JPEG2000 standard to archival and access systems. There was talk of the Bavarian State Library analysis of JPEG2000 in the November/December 2009 issue of DLib magazine. Although the analysis was somewhat critical of JPEG2000, it was noted that the metrics being tested where whether to consider the retrospective conversion of TIFF masters. For an analysis of a prospective practice, one might consider the metrics used by the national library of the Netherlands in a report published in 2008.

Harvard along with other Google Book digitization partners have adopted a JPEG2000 profile for the mass digitization of text. Stephen Chapman noted that it is important to be precise about discussions of profiles (the setting and decisions made during the compression stage) of the standards for particular classes of materials. The settings used in one class (mass digitization of text material) are not appropriate for other classes (illuminated manuscripts).

It was noted that scale matters in the storage of mass digitization, and the storage saved by using JPEG2000 compression may balance out the extra level of effort needed to apply the new standard in all of the steps in the image capture and storage chain.

In terms of viability, decoding of JPEG2000 images is an open standard, and no one can take that away. Where software developers make money is in selling efficient JPEG2000 encoders or in using JPEG2000 with improved imaging workflows. HathiTrust is now the largest scale implementation of JPEG2000 that one can point to.

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