Minnesota  State Archives

Center for Archival Resources On Legislatures (CAROL)

Foundations: Web Standards


Access to collections and/or data is often provided via the Internet.  Standards used to create web pages are continually evolving to allow for enhanced access and the ability to add additional features. Web designers must be aware of the changes to ensure access to the greatest number of people.              

Some of the areas in which the use of standards should be considered include markup languages (HTML, XHTML, XForms, HTML5), stylesheets (CSS), javascript, and resource document framework (RDF).

As 'best practices' in this area are continually changing, some resources to keep in mind include:

- Wikipedia: Web Standards, a general overview.

- List of standards from the Web Standards Project with description of why they are important

- The Web Standards Project with WaSP InterACT an "open curriculum based upon web standards and best practices, designed to teach students the skills of the web professional."

- The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has many resources:


Project Resources

The Minnesota NDIIPP project worked with the Sunlight Foundation on two projects, a Minnesota OpenGovernment webpage and the OpenStates mobile application. Sunlight assisted with creating a paper on methods for making legislative data easier to access from the perspective of the data user rather than creator. Sunlight also wrote a report on their activities addressing the use of standards.


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February 15, 2012; links verified March 29, 2013.

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