Skip Navigation Links  The Library of Congress >> Especially for Researchers >> Research Centers
Prints and Photographs Reading Room (Prints and Photographs Division)
  Home >> Guides, Reference & Finding Aids >>
   Resource Lists
Find in

Visual Materials: Processing & Cataloging Bibliography

Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress,
Washington, DC 20540-4730

Access techniques for historical picture collections draw on conventions developed in the library, archival, and museum communities. This bibliography lists basic manuals that provide guidance in physical care and arrangement, media identification, archival and bibliographic description, subject indexing, and digital reformatting of photographs, prints, architectural and other design drawings, cartoons, and posters. The selected articles and Web sites illustrate practices in a variety of institutions to help collection managers identify approaches suitable to their organizations' pictorial holdings.

Whirlpool Rapids, looking up Niagara, N.Y., by Detroit Publishing Co.
Whirlpool Rapids, looking up Niagara, N.Y. Detroit Publishing Co., c1898 (LC-USZC2-5785)

Disclaimer icon Links to relevant Internet sites have been given, when appropriate. The Library of Congress does not maintain most of these sites. Users should direct concerns about these links to their respective site administrators or webmasters.

Table of Contents


Adelstein, Peter Z. IPI Media Storage Quick Reference. Rochester, NY: Image Permanence Institute, 2004.

Archives Association of British Columbia. A Manual for Small Archives. Vancouver: The Association, 1988, partially rev. 1994, c1999.

Cook, Michael. Managing Archives. London: International Records Management Trust and International Council on Archives, 1999. 184 p.

Dooley, Jackie M. "Processing and Cataloging of Archival Photograph Collections," Visual Resources 11:1 (1995): 85-101.

Fischer, Monique. A Short Guide to Film-base Photographic Materials: Identification, Care, and Duplication. Andover, MA: Northeast Document Conservation Center, last updated 2006.

Fox, Michael J., and Peter L. Wilkerson. Introduction to Archival Organization and Description: Access to Cultural Heritage. Los Angeles: Getty Information Institute, 1998. 66 p. Also available online at

Hamburger, Susan. Architectural Records: Arrangement, Description, and Preservation. Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, 2004. 48p.

Library of Congress. Preservation Directorate. Care, Handling, and Storage of Photographs: Information Leaflet. Rev. 2002.

Malan, Nancy E. "Organizing Photo Collections: An Introspective Approach," in A Modern Archives Reader. Edited by Maygene F. Daniels and Timothy Walch. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Service, 1984, pp. 181-186.

Mustardo, Peter, and Nora Kennedy. Photographic Preservation: Basic Methods of Safeguarding Your Collections. (Technical Leaflets Series no. 9) Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, 1994. 36 p.

National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Historical Photograph Grant Suggestions . Washington, DC: NHPRC, February 1992. Also available online at

National Park Service. Conserv O Grams 1993-2005.

National Park Service. Museum Management Program. Museum Handbook, Part II: Museum Records. Washington, D.C.: National Park Service and the Government Printing Office, 2000. Also available online at

-----. Preservation 101: Preservation basics for paper and media collections. 2006. [Includes photographs]

-----. Preservation of Library & Archival Materials: A Manual. 3rd ed. Andover, MA: NEDCC, 1999. Looseleaf volume. Also available online at

Pearce-Moses, Richard. The Heard Museum Library and Archives: Documentary Research Collections Processing Manual. Phoenix: Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, 1997.

Roe, Kathleen. Arranging and Describing Archives and Manuscripts. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2005. 180 p.

Research Libraries Group. Photograph Preservation and the Research Library. Mountain View, CA: RLG, 1991. 56 p.

St. Johnsbury Athenaeum Archives. Archives Processing Manual. Montpelier, VT: Vermont Historical Records Advisory Board, 2001.

Ritzenthaler, Mary L., and Diane Vogt-O'Conner, with Helena Zinkham, Brett Carnell, and Kit Peterson. Photographs: Archival Care and Management. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2006. 529 p.

Robl, Ernest H. Organizing Your Photographs. New York: Amphoto, 1986. 191 p.

Stanford University Libraries, Preservation Dept. Conservation Online (Cool).1994- .

Tschabrun, Susan. "Off the Wall and into a Drawer: Managing a Research Collection of Political Posters," American Archivist 66 (Fall/Winter 2003): 303-324.


See also the online bibliography in TGM II:

Baldwin, Gordon. Looking at Photographs: A Guide to Technical Terms. Malibu, CA.: J. Paul Getty Museum in association with British Museum Press, 1991. 88 p.

Gascoigne, Bamber. How to Identify Prints: A Complete Guide to Manual and Mechanical Processes from Woodcut to Ink Jet. London: Thames & Hudson, 1986. 107 p.

Goldman, Paul. Looking at Prints, Drawings, and Watercolours: A Guide to Technical Terms. London: British Museum Publications ; Malibu, CA.: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988. 64 p.

Jürgens, Martin. Digital Print Identification Web Site: 2001-2004.

Kissel, Eléonore & Erin Vigneau. Architectural Photoreproductions: A Manual for Identification and Care. Newcastle, DE: Oak Knoll Press and The New York Botanical Garden, 1999 121 pp.

Lent, John A., comp. Animation, Caricature, and Gag and Political Cartoons in the United States and Canada: An International Bibliography. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994. 415 p.

Nadeau, Luis. Encyclopedia of Printing, Photographic and Photomechanical Processes. Fredericton, N.B.: L. Nadeau, 1997. 542 p.

Philadelphia Print Shop. Reference Library. 2002. (Includes dictionary of printmaking terms, glossary of abbreviations used by printmakers, and discussion of print processes.)

Reilly, James M. Care and Identification of 19th-Century Photographic Prints. Rochester, NY: Eastman Kodak, 1986. 116 p.

Rickards, Maurice. Collecting Printed Ephemera. New York: Abbeville Press, 1988. 224 p.

Rickards, Maurice. The Encyclopedia of Ephemera: A Guide to the Fragmentary Documents of Everyday Life for the Collector, Curator, and Historian. New York: Routledge, 2000.

Rosenblum, Naomi. A World History of Photography. 3rd ed. New York: Abbeville Press, 1997. 695 p.

Weill, Alain. The Poster: A Worldwide Survey and History. Boston: G.K. Hall, 1985. 422 p.


Armitage, Linda H., and Peter G.B. Enser. "Analysis of User Need in Image Archives," Journal of Information Science 23: 4 (1997): 287-299.

Burke, Peter. Eyewitnessing: The Uses of Images as Historical Evidence. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001.

Carter, John E. "The Trained Eye: Photographs and Historical Context." Public Historian 15 (Winter 1993): 55-66.

Coventry, Michael, Peter Felten, David Jaffee, Cecilia O'Leary, and Tracey Weis, with Susannah McGowan. "Ways of Seeing: Evidence and Learning in the History Classroom." Journal of American History 92 no. 4 (March 2006),

Hortin, John A. "Theoretical Foundations of Visual Learning." In Visual Literacy, 5-29. Edited by David M. Moore and Francis M. Dwyer. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Educational Technology Publications, 1994.

Kaplan, Elisabeth, and Jeffrey Mifflin. "'Mind and Sight': Visual Literacy and the Archivist." In American Archival Studies, 73-97. Edited by Randall C. Jimerson. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2000. Originally published in Archival Issues 21, no. 2 (1996): 107-127.

Kingston, Maxine H. "San Francisco's Chinatown: A View from the Other Side of Arnold Genthe's Camera." American Heritage (December 1978): 36-47.

Levine, Robert M. Images of History: Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Latin American Photographs as Documents. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1989. 216 p.

Malan, Nancy. "American Women Through the Camera's Eye." In Clio Was a Woman: Studies in the History of American Women, 260-302. Edited by Mabel E. Deutrich and Virginia C. Purdy. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1980.

Mann, Thomas. The Oxford Guide to Library Research. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. 316 p.

Mattison, David."Images of History on the Web." Searcher 10 (May 2002).

Natanson, Barbara O. "Spot the Hyphen? Representations of Immigrants and Members of Ethnic Groups in Illustrated Newspaper and Magazine Stories, 1880-1925." PhD. University of Maryland College Park, 1999. 564 pp. (University Microfilm No. 9925819)

Rose, Gillian. Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials. London: Sage Publications, 2001.

Rundell, Walter. "Photographs as Historical Evidence: Early Texas Oil." American Archivist41 (Oct. 1978): 373-398.

Scherer, Joanna C. "You Can't Believe Your Eyes: Inaccuracies in Photographs of North American Indians." Studies in the Anthropology of Visual Communication 2 (Fall 1975): 67-79.

Schlereth, Thomas J. "Mirrors of the Past: Historical Photography and American History." In his Artifacts and the American Past, 11-47. Nashville, TN: American Association for State and Local History, 1980. Reprint, Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press, 1996.

Schultz, John, and Barbara Schultz. Picture Research: A Practical Guide. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1991. 326 p.

Schwartz, Joan M. "'We Make Our Tools and Our Tools Make Us': Lessons from Photographs for the Practice, Politics, and Poetics of Diplomatics." Archivaria 40 (Fall 1995): 40-74.

-----, and James R. Ryan. Picturing Place: Photography and the Geographical Imagination. London: I.B. Tauris, 2003.

Severa, Joan L. Dressed for the Photographer: Ordinary Americans and Fashion, 1840-1900. Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 1995. 592 p.

Thompson, William Fletcher. The Image of War: The Pictorial Reporting of the American Civil War. New York: T. Yoseloff, 1960. 248 p.

Vanderbilt, Paul. "The Graphic History Society of America and Its Aims." Eye To Eye (June 1953): 1-6.


Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. 2d ed, 2002 revision. Chicago: American Library Association, 2002-. (Chapters 21-26 cover choice of access points, including directions for formulating headings for persons, geographic names, and corporate bodies.)

Betz, Elisabeth W. Graphic Materials: Rules for Describing Original Items and Historical Collections. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, 1982. 155 p. (Alternative to Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules, Chapter 8.) Text of GM is available online in several formats at

Encoded Archival Description (EAD). Document Type Definition and Tag Library (Version 2002) and Application Guidelines (Version 1998) are available online: (The EAD Home Page provides links to other finding aid Web sites, and helper tools and files.)

Library of Congress. Library of Congress Rule Interpretations. 2nd ed. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, 2002 cumulation, 1989 base text with updates to 2006. 2 vols.

-----. Library of Congress Subject Headings. 30th ed. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, 2007. 5 vols. (P&P uses for geographic names and other proper noun subjects.)

-----. Cataloging Policy and Support Office. Subject Cataloging Manual. Subject Headings. 5th ed. Washington, DC: Cataloging Distribution Service, Library of Congress, 1996 cumulation, with updates. 4 vols. (Includes chapters on geographic names and the subdivision "Pictorial Works" H 1935.)

Library of Congress. Network Development and MARC Standards Office. MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, 1999, with updates. 2 vols.

-----. MARC 21 Format for Authority Data. 1999, with updates.

----. MARC 21 Format for Bibliographic Data. 1999, with updates.

-----. MARC Code Lists for Relators, Sources, Description Conventions. 2005, with updates.

For an introduction to MARC format conventions, see Understanding MARC bibliographic: Machine-readable cataloging. 7th ed. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service in collaboration with The Follett Software Company, 2003.

Library of Congress. Prints and Photographs Division. Thesaurus for Graphic Materials I: Subject Terms.(TGM I) 3rd ed., 2008. Online at: (More than 7,00 terms for indexing pictures according to the depicted activities, objects, occupations, and events as well as concepts conveyed.)

-----. Thesaurus for Graphic Materials II: Genre/Format Terms. (TGM II or GMPGC) 3rd ed., 2008. Online at: (About 650 terms to index media, formats, and work types.)

Library of Congress Authorities. 2002- . (Includes 265,000 subject authority records for LC Subject Headings and 5.3 million name authority records--ca. 3.8 million personal, 900,000 corporate, 120,000 meeting, and 90,000 geographic names.)

NACO Participants' Manual. 3rd ed. Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Cataloging Distribution Service, 1996. 104 p. (Covers content and creation of Name Authority Records)

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and the U.S. Board on Geographic Names. Geonet Names Server (GNS). (About 4 million features outside the U.S.)

U.S. Board on Geographic Names. Geographic Names Information System (GNIS). (Almost 2 million names for physical and cultural geographic features in the U.S.)


Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules. 2d ed., 2002 revision. Chicago: American Library Association, 2002-. (Chapter 8 "Graphic Materials" emphasizes modern published materials such as instructional resources.) For information about the revised guidelines, see RDA: Resource Description and Access,

Baca, Murtha, and Patricia Harpring, eds. "Art Information Task Force Categories for the Description of Works of Art," Visual Resources 11:3/4 (1996), special issue. The CDWA is online:

Baca, Murtha, ed. Introduction to Metadata: Pathways to Digital Information. Getty Information Institute, 1998. 47 p. (Includes a crosswalk of nine schemes available for visual materials, most of which come from the art and museum communities: CDWA, CCO, VRA Core, US MARC, Dublin Core, Object ID, FDA Guide, CIMI, and EAD.) Version 2.1 (2000?) is online at

Canadian Council of Archives. Canadian Commitee on Archival Description. Rules for Archival Description. 1998- , with updates and rule revisions. (Chapter 4 covers "Graphic Materials" including photographs; chapter 6 covers "Architectural and technical drawings.")

Council of Australian State Libraries. Australian Pictorial Thesaurus (APT). ("Hierarchical thesaurus of 15,000 Australian subject terms to index pictorial collections, images and other original material collections.")

Craven, Tim, Thesaurus Construction. Ontario: Faculty of Information and Media Studies, University of Western Ontario, 1997-2002.

Dane, William J. The Picture Collection: Subject Headings. 6th ed. Hamden, CT: Shoe String Press, 1968.

Dates back to ca. 1905 when the Newark Public Library started its collection of pictures arranged by subject. General terms are were subdivided to create specific topics, such as Sports--Archery. "The headings are the result of the attempt to make accessible to the average person a file of pictures which index themselves." (3rd ed., 1928, p. 28)

Denver Public Library, Photography Collection. [Sample Subject Terms], (A list of ca. 200 sample subject terms used in its on-line catalog.)

Describing Archives: A Content Standard. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2004. (Replaces the SAA manual called Archives, Personal Papers, and Manuscripts, by Steven L. Hensen, 1989.)

Dublin Core Metadata Initiative.

Visual information was the focus of a workshop described by Stuart Weibel and Eric Miller (OCLC) in "Image Description on the Internet: A Summary of the CNI/OCLC Image Metadata Workshop, September 24 - 25, 1996, Dublin, Ohio," for DLib magazine, January 1997.

EAC (Encoded Archival Context). Created by the Ad Hoc Working Group on EAC, beta version 2004.

Evans, Linda J., and Maureen O'Brien Will. MARC for Archival Visual Materials: A Compendium of Practice. Chicago: Chicago Historical Society, 1988. 424 p. (See especially the Conference Report, which spotlights problem areas, pp. 404-422.)

Getty Research Institute. Art & Architecture Thesaurus Online. ("More than 133,000 terms … and other information relating to fine art, architecture, decorative arts, archival materials, and material culture.")

-----. Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names Online (TGN). ("World-coverage vocabulary of 1.3 million names, including vernacular and historical names, coordinates, and place types … focusing on places important for the study of art and architecture.")

-----. Union List of Artist Names (ULAN). ("More than 225,000 names and biographical and bibliographic information about artists and architects, including a wealth of variant names, pseudonyms, and language variants.")

International Council on Archives. ISAD (G): General International Standard Archival Descripion. 2nd ed. Ottawa: ICA, 2000. 91 p. Also available online:

----. International Standard Archival Authority Record For Corporate Bodies, Persons, and Families. 2nd ed., 2004. Also available online:

International Federation of Library Associations. Digital Libraries: Metadata Resources. Last revised 2005.

-----. Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. Munich: K.G. Sauer, 1998. 144 p. Also available online at:

-----. ISBD (NBM): International Standard Bibliographic Description for Non-Book Materials. rev. ed. IFLA, 1987. 74 p. Also available online at

International Organization for Standardization. ISO 8601 Representation of Dates and Times. 2000, with updates. Description available on-line at

-----. ISO 3166-1 Country Codes for the Representation of Names of Countries and Their Subdivisions. 1997, with updates.

International Press Telecommunications Council. IPTC Core Schema for XMP. Version 1.0, 2005 (The Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP) of the Information Interchange Model (IIM) used with headers in Photoshop, JPEG, and TIFF image files.)

Library of Congress. OAI Harvestable Records for Digitized Historical Collections. (Includes examples of pictorial collections coded in MARC XML, MODS, and Dublin Core for the Open Archives Initiative.)

Library of Congress. Network Development and MARC Standards Office. MADS (Metadata Authority Description Schema), Version 1.0, 2005.

-----. MODS (Metadata Object Description Schema). Version 3.3, 2008.

-----. METS Metadata Encoding & Transmission Standard. Version 1.6, 2006.

National Information Standards Organization. Guidelines for the Construction, Format, and Management of Monolingual Controlled Vocabularies. ANSI/NISO Z39.19-2005 and ISO 2788. 172 p.,

Petersen, Toni, and Patricia J. Barnett, eds. Guide to Indexing and Cataloging with the Art & Architecture Thesaurus. NY: Oxford University Press, 1994. "Published on behalf of the Getty Art History Information Program." (See especially Chapter 5 "Archives and Special Collections," pp. 87-100 and Chapter 8 "Visual Resources," pp. 163-179.)

Porter, Vicki, and Thornes, Robin. A Guide to the Description of Architectural Drawings. New York: G.K. Hall, 1994. 324 p. Also available online at

Research Libraries Group.Descriptive Metadata Guidelines for RLG Cultural Materials. Mountain View, Calif.: RLG, 2005. 144 p.

Special Libraries Association. News Division. "Text and Photo Database Enhancement Terms," In 1998, the News's Division's Photo Archiving Task Force approved a list of almost 500 keywords for digital newsphoto archives. In 1999, several newspapers posted their indexing lists online.

Taxonomy Warehouse. Copyright 2006 by Dow Jones Reuters Business Interactive.

Thornes, Robin. Introduction to Object ID: Guidelines for Making Records that Describe Art, Antiques, and Antiquities. Getty Information Institute, 1999. 72 p. (Outlines the minimum information needed to identify stolen art objects.) Also available online at

Visual Resources Association. Core Categories for Visual Resources, Version 4.0, 2007.

-----. Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images. Chicago: American Library Association, 2006. 396 p. Sections available online at:

Walsh, Victoria I., comp. Standards for Archival Description: A Handbook. Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1994. Also available online at


Alexander, Arden, and Tracy Meehleib. "The Thesaurus for Graphic Materials: Its History, Use, and Future" in Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 31: 3/4 (2001): 189-212.

Arms, Caroline R. "Getting the Picture: Observations from the Library of Congress on Providing Online Access to Pictorial Images," Library Trends 48: 2 (Fall 1999): 379-409. Also available online at

Baca, Murtha, ed. Introduction to Art Image Access: Issues, Tools, Standards, Strategies. Los Angeles, CA: Getty Research Institute, 2002. 80 p. Also available online at

Brown, Stephanie Willen, "Indexing Photographs: Presentation at the 1998 Visual Edge Seminar," Special Libraries Association, News Division Web site,

Chittenden, Karen. "Washingtoniana II: Cataloging Architectural, Design, and Engineering Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress," in ArtMARC Sourcebook, ed. Linda McRae and Lynda S. White. Chicago: American Library Association, 1998, pp. 144-153. (Includes "Data Dictionary" by Anne Mitchell and Karen Chittenden, pp. 223-263.)

Dooley, Jackie M., and Helena Zinkham. "The Object as 'Subject': Providing Access to Genres, Forms of Materials, and Physical Characteristics," in Beyond the Book: Extending MARC for Subject Access, ed. Toni Petersen and Pat Molholt. Boston, MA: G.K. Hall, 1990, pp. 43-80.

Gordon, Andrew S. "The Design of Knowledge-Rich Browsing Interfaces for Retrieval in Digital Libraries." Ph.D. Diss., Northwestern University, 1999.

Hagler, Ronald. The Bibliographic Record and Information Technology. 3rd ed. Chicago: American Library Association, 1997. 394 p.

Jörgensen, Corinne. "Image Indexing: An Analysis of Selected Classification Systems in Relation to Image Attributes Named by Naïve Users," Annual Review of OCLC Research, 1999.

Klijn, Edwin, and Yola de Lusenet. SEPIADES: Cataloguing Photographic Collections. Amsterdam: European Commission on Preservation and Access, 2004. 49 p. Also available online at

-----. In the Picture: Preservation and Digitisation of European Photographic Collections. Amsterdam: European Commission on Preservation and Access, 2000. 69 p. Also available online at

Lanzi, Elisa. Introduction to Vocabularies: Enhancing Access to Cultural Heritage Information. Getty Information Institute, 1998. 70 p. Also available online at

McRae, Linda, and Lynda S. White, ed. ArtMARC Sourcebook: Cataloging Art, Architecture, and Their Surrogate Images. Chicago: American Library Association, 1998. 287 p.

Orbach, Barbara. "Integrating Concepts: Corporate Main Entry and Graphic Materials," Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 8:2 (1987/88): 71-89.

Orbach, Barbara. "So That Others May See: Tools for Cataloging Still Images," Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 11:3/4 (1990): 163-191.

Rouse, Sarah. Into the Light: An Illustrated Guide to the Photograph Collections in the National Library of Ireland. Dublin: National Library of Ireland, 1998. 120 p.

Rorvig, Mark E., ed. "Intellectual Access to Graphic Information," Library Trends 38/4 (1990), special issue, pp. 639-818.

Shatford, Sara. "Analyzing the Subject of a Picture: A Theoretical Approach," Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 6:3 (1986): 39-62.

Shatford, Sara. "Describing a Picture: A Thousand Words are Seldom Cost Effective," Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 4:4 (1984): 13-30.

Stam, Deirdre, and Angela Giral, eds. "Linking Art Objects and Art Information," Library Trends 37/2 (1988), special issue, pp. 117-264.

Vogt-O'Connor, Diane. Guide to Photographic Collections at the Smithsonian Institution. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1989-1995. 4 vol.

Zinkham, Helena. Guide to Print, Photograph, Architecture & Ephemera Collections at The New-York Historical Society. New York: The Society, 1998. 175 p.


See the document called Standards Related to Digital Imaging of Pictorial Materials (PDF file) for a list of organizations that develop standards; citations to specific standards for digitization, file formats, storage media and repositories; and information about scanning targets

Arms, Caroline. "Keeping Memory Alive: Practices for Preserving Digital Content at the National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress." RLG DigiNews 4 (June 15, 2000)

Besser, Howard. Introduction to Imaging. ed. Sally Hubbard with Deborah Lenert. Rev. ed. Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute, 2003. Also available online at

Blatner, David, and Bruce Fraser. Real World Photoshop 7: Industrial Strength Production Techniques. Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press, 2002. 864 p.

Canadian Heritage Information Network. Creating and Managing Digital Content. 2004.

Collaborative Digitization Program. Digital Toolbox. 1999- .

-----. Western States Digital Standards Group. Western States Digital Imaging Best Practices. Version 1.0, 2003. 41 p.

Cornell University Library. Digital Preservation Management: Implementing Short-term strategies for Long-term Problems. 2003.

-----. Moving Theory into Practice: Digital Imaging Tutorial. 2000-2003.

Denver Public Library. About the Digitization and Cataloging Program at the Denver Public Library, a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant Report, June 2002, modified and updated for Web presentation April 2003.

Ester, Michael. Digital Image Collections: Issues and Practice . Washington, DC: Commission on Preservation and Access, 1996.

Harvard University. Library Preservation at Harvard: Resources--Digitization. 2000- .

Hurst Associates, Digitization 101 Blog, 2004-present,

IFLA, ICA, and UNESCO. Guidelines for Digitization Projects for Collections and Holding in the Public Domain, Particularly Those Held by Libraries and Archives. March 2002. 59 p. (April 23, 2003)

Kenney, Anne R., and Oya Y. Rieger. Moving Theory Into Practice: Digital Imaging for Libraries and Archives. Mountain View, CA: Research Libraries Group, 2000.

Library of Congress. National Digital Library Program. Building Digital Collections: A Technical Overview. (Includes "Request for Proposal RFP 97-9: Conversion of Pictorial Materials" ... and "Recommendations for the Evaluation of Digital Images Produced from Photographic, Micrographic, and Various Paper Formats," by James Reilly and Franziska Frey, Image Permanence Institute. The 1997 " National Digital Library Project Planning Checklist" is available at

McClung, Patricia A., ed. RLG Digital Image Access Project: Proceedings from an RLG Symposium Held March 31 and April 1, 1995, Palo Alto, California. Mountain View, CA: Research Libraries Group, 1995. 104 p.

National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage (NINCH) and Humanities Advanced Technology and Information Institute (HATII), University of Glasgow. NINCH Guide to Good Practice in the Digital Representation and Management of Cultural Heritage Materials. 2002.

Northeast Documentation and Conservation Center (NEDCC). Handbook for Digital Projects: A Management Tool for Preservation and Access. ” Copyright 2000.

Ostrow, Stephen E. Digitizing Historical Pictorial Collections for the Internet. Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources, 1998. 36 p. Also available online at

Puglia, Steven, Jeffrey Reed, and Erin Rhodes. Technical Guidelines for Digitizing Archival Materials for Electronic Access: Creation of Production Master Files – Raster Images. Washington, DC: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, 2004. 87 p.

Reilly, James M., and Franziska S. Frey. Digital Imaging for Photographic Collections: Foundations for Technical Standards. Rochester, NY: Image Permanence Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, 1999. 52 p. Also available online at

Research Libraries Group and Digital Library Federation. Guides to Quality in Visual Resource Imaging. 2000. (Separate guides cover planning, scanner selection, image quality factors, and digital master quality and file formats.)

Sandore, Beth, ed. "Progress in Visual Information Access and Retrieval," in Library Trends 48/2 (1999), special issue, pp. 283-524. (Includes articles on visual indexing by color, texture, and layout.)

Stokes, John R. "Imaging Pictorial Collections at the Library of Congress." RLG DigiNews 3:2 (April 15, 1999).

Technical Advisory Service for Images (TASI). Home Page.

University of California, Berkeley. Digital Library Project. Computer Vision Meets Digital Libraries. (Includes Blobworld and other image retrieval based on visual characteristics.)


Go to Online Reference Sources for Cataloging Visual Materials for a list of additional Web sites useful for verifying information about creators and subjects of pictures; also, tools for converting dates and measurements and for identifying or dating different media.

Librarians' Internet Index. Berkeley, CA: early 1990s- . ("A searchable, annotated subject directory of more than 12,000 Internet resources selected and evaluated by librarians for their usefulness to users of public libraries.")

University of California, Los Angeles. UCLA Catalogers' Reference Shelf. Los Angeles: last updated May 2004.

University of Michigan School of Information. Internet Public Library. Ann Arbor, MI: 1995- . ("An annotated collection of high quality Internet resources, selected by IPL staff for their usefulness in providing accurate, factual information on a particular topic or topics.")


Try the same search query in several catalogs to gauge the strengths and weaknesses of their access designs and description practices. Pick your own terms or use some of these:

children playing
sunrises & sunsets
hammer & sickle
good & evil
Niagara Falls
Battle of Gettysburg

Go to Picture Catalogs Online for a list of more than 50 sites that provide access to historical, documentary pictures.

Compiled by: Helena Zinkham, Head, Technical Services Section, Prints and Photographs Division, July 2000. Last revised: March 2008.

Top of Page Top of Page
  Home >> Guides, Reference & Finding Aids >>
   Resource Lists
Find in
  The Library of Congress >> Especially for Researchers >> Research Centers
  March 19, 2008
Contact Us:  
Ask a Librarian