The CDL and Digital Library Services Advisory Group (DLSAG) are pleased to announce the release of the final version of the CDL Guidelines for Digital Objects (CDL GDO), Version 2.0. The guidelines are available in HTML and PDF format at the following URL:

Digital materials of ever-increasing variety and complexity are seen to be worth collecting and preserving by memory organizations — libraries, archives, museums, etc. Materials include objects converted into digital form from existing collections such as manuscripts, maps, visual images, and sound files, as well as “born digital” materials such as web sites.

In order for the CDL to provide effective preservation and access services, these materials need to be represented in a uniform manner. The CDL GDO provides specifications for all new digital objects prepared by institutions for submission to the CDL. It is based upon and supersedes the “CDL Digital Object Standard, Version 1.0” (May 2001) and the “OAC Best Practice Guidelines for Digital Objects, Version 1.1” (January 2004).

The CDL GDO includes the following features:

  • Establishes “sliding scale” requirements, i.e., the more a digital object conforms to the guidelines, the more preservation and access services can be provided for it.
  • Provides specifications for preparing digital objects, comprising metadata and content files (e.g., digital images, text) packaged using the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS) format.
  • Includes updated recommendations for digital image files.

A draft version of the guidelines was prepared from the fall of 2004 through the winter 2005. Feedback received from CDL contributing institutions was incorporated into this final version of the guidelines.