National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station

National Archives sign at Kew Gardens Station


New DPC Technology Watch Report: File Formats for Preservation released

According to an announcement on DIGITAL-PRESERVATION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK (02009 12 02), the Digital Preservation Coalition added

... a new report to the DPC Technology Watch Report Series: File Formats for Preservation, written by Malcolm Todd of The National Archives:

The selection and manipulation of file formats has long been seen as an important element within digital preservation strategies, especially data migration. However there are different and to some extent competing grounds for selection of file formats. The proliferation of formats, the need to provide long term access to data embedded within files and the role of the file as a container for encoded information create subtle tensions for preservation managers.

This new report provides an extensive account of the challenges that format management creates for long term access and it provides concrete recommendations which can inform preservation strategies. Rather than making generalisations about the merits of common formats, it presents repository managers with the tools they will need to develop nuanced advice specific to their own requirements. It goes on to contribute the implications on file format selection of archival science viewpoint arising from recent research in the UK and North America into a wider digital preservation discourse.

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