URSA Digitization Specifications

last modified 2019-09-26T10:34:30-04:00


When digitizing items it is important to think about which file formats will be able provide continued access in the future. Or to put it another way, we must consider which formats are able to be used regardless of which type of software program an individual has.  For example, Word and Excel documents work best in those respective programs, but PDF or text files can be opened and used by many programs. URSA works best with files that are unencrypted, uncompressed, and saved in non-proprietary software programs.

Preferred file types for URSA submissions:

Mercer University Archives may convert file formats or reduce a file’s size to ensure that all submissions are compatible with end-user needs on URSA.

See below for our medium-specific file standards and file naming conventions for your digitization needs.

Medium

Format(s)

Resolution

Manuscripts

Scans of paper documents or born-digital files

PDF/A

PDF

>300 dpi

24-bit color OR 8-bit grayscale

Photographic Prints

Scans of photographs or born-digital files

JPEG2000

TIFF

>300 dpi

24-bit color OR 8-bit grayscale

Slides and Negatives

JPEG2000

TIFF

>1200 dpi

24-bit color OR 8-bit grayscale

Graphic Illustrations/Artwork – 2D

JPEG2000

TIFF

>600 dpi

24-bit color OR 8-bit grayscale

Graphic Illustrations/Artwork – 3D

Photographs of the item from various angles

JPEG2000

TIFF

>600 dpi

24-bit color OR 8-bit grayscale

Audio Files

MP3

AAC

TIFF

High-quality compression

16-bit

Video Files

 

MPEG4

High-quality compression

PowerPoint Presentations

PDF/A

PDF

>300 dpi

24-bit color

Research Posters

PDF/A

PDF

>300 dpi

24-bit color

If you have questions about digitizing your file for URSA, please contact Kat Sheriff.

File Naming Conventions

Below are some general guidelines for creating file names for your digital objects.

  • Choose unique file names. File names should be unique as possible, including placing a _1 after the name to distinguish between files.
  • UNIX characters only. File and directory names must use only characters allowed by the UNIX operating system. Allowable characters are: a-z A-Z 0-9 . _ –
  • Do not use special characters, such as, . \ / ( ) : * ? ” & |, except for dashes or underscores. These characters are often reserved for use by the operating system.
  • Do not use spaces in the file name, use underscores or dashes instead.  Browsers and some older operating systems do not handle spaces well.
  • Use leading zeros. If the file name includes numbers use zeros as placeholders. For example, a collection with 999 items should be numbered: mac001.tif, mac002.tif … mac011.tif, mac012.tif, etc. (NOT mac1.tif, mac2.tif …). This practice facilitates sorting and file management.