Minnesota  State Archives

Center for Archival Resources On Legislatures (CAROL)

Foundation: White Papers


The following papers or resources were created during the NDIIPP project and provide information on topics related to understanding standards and the use of 'best practices'.


White Papers

Digital Audio and Video

This paper summarizes various components of digital audio and video formats and discusses issues to consider when working with such files. Issues include quality, best practices and standards, delivery methods, and storage, preservation, and access concerns.

  • Digital Audio and Video white paper May 2009 (pdf)
  • Digital Audio and Video resource list May 2009 (pdf)
  • Survey of state use of digital audio and video in the legislature February 2009 (pdf)



Metadata assists with describing digital records. The NDIIPP project focused on developing a metadata schema that could be used to describe legislative records. This schema was also compared with the metadata the Sunlight Foundation uses when it captures legislative information. A wrapper prototype was developed and used with both Minnesota and California bill files.

For a more general description of metadata and the various types please review the metadata section of the Minnesota State Archive's Electronic Records Management Guidelines.


Open Government / Web Standards

The following paper and report summarizes methods for making data more accessible and available online. Both are written from the user point of view, not the data creator.


Retrospective Digitization

Digitizing records results in content acquisition. This paper covers issues to consider when digitizing paper records and includes legal requirements, cost justification, in-house vs. outsourcing processes, standard file formats, resolution requirements, file naming guidelines, metadata and indexing, storage options, preservation strategies, disposition of originals, and developing a long-term program.


Exploring XML

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) defines Extensible Markup Language (XML) as a simple text-based format for representing structured information: documents, data, configuration, books, transactions, invoices, and much more. Schemas are developed and become 'standards' for use. XML is both machine readable and human-readable, adding flexibility to the format.

Many states have adopted XML bill drafting systems and are also using XML to provide structure to related information. The NDIIPP project explored the use of XML native databases to provide access to legislative information. Information on general XML usage, XML native databases in general, and the XML database pilot project are provided below.


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

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