What is the original or most stable asset file type?

  • A lossless non-proprietary format is recommended over a proprietary and lossy format because the original and decompressed data is considered more archivally sound and preferred by a library or archival unit.
  • example: a lossless TIFF is considered better than a JPEG because it is a lossless non-proprietary format or FLAC over MP3 for audio files.
  • With text files, asset stability might be less of a consideration, but previous drafts of a document might be kept for a certain period of time until a project is finished or for up to a certain number of years.

What are derivative files?

  • Derivative files are secondary files, like converting an original image file to a smaller format for putting up on a website.

Should I keep them?

  • Often a derivative file might be the only version still available, which would mean it is important to keep it.
  • If there is an original file that is larger and in a better format, then the derivative could be deleted, because it could be recreated again from the original file.
  • It should be determined, in writing, before weeding occurs, which derivative files are to be considered final or original versions that are to be kept.
derivative images

Derivative images with JPEG, TIFF and GIF