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veritas Harvard University Library Notes, For Harvard Library Staff, Number 1325 May 2005


OIS Digital Program Manager Stephen Abrams


Harvard University Library Notes / July 2005 / No. 1326

Update from Stephen Abrams: PDF/A

Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) has become the de facto standard for web-based delivery of electronic documents. In 2003 the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) initiated an effort to create a standard for an archival profile of PDF that is suitable for long-term preservation. This standard, known as PDF/A, is intended to provide an unambiguous definition of the requirements necessary for the reliable and predictable future rendering of archived PDF documents.

Harvard's Stephen Abrams, the OIS digital library program manager, serves as project leader and document editor for the ISO joint working group on PDF/A. The latest draft version of PDF/A produced by the working group was accepted unanimously during recently concluded ISO balloting and will be formally published later this year as an International Standard, ISO 19005-1.

"The publication of PDF/A willhave a significant impact on the preservation of electronic documents by defining an internationally recognized standard format that is amenable to long-term preservation," says Abrams. "This will allow libraries and other electronic resource consumers to encourage their content providers to produce and deliver those resources in a form that is optimized for archival preservation."


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