The Library of Congress has relied upon the specifications included in the Copyright regulation known as the 'Best Edition Statement', a hierarchy of preference between certain physical characteristics in creative works, and its digital format sustainability.
The Library has devised the Recommended Format Specifications to enable it to identify what formats will most easily lend themselves to preservation and long-term access, especially with regard to digital formats. This was also done to provide guidance to its staff in their work of acquiring content for its collection and to share with other stakeholders that have a need and interest in preservation and access. To ensure ongoing accuracy and relevancy, the Library of Congress will be reviewing and revising the specifications on an annual basis and welcomes feedback and input from all interested parties.
The Recommended Format Specifications are not intended to answer all questions raised in preserving and providing long-term access to creative content. They are to provide guidance on identifying sets of formats which are not drawn so narrowly as to discourage creators from working within them, but will instead encourage creators to use them to produce works in formats which will make preserving them and making them accessible simpler. They also are to identify the characteristics of creative works which best enable them to last and to be accessible in the long-term.