Online research project announced to mark World Digital Preservation Day
Today we mark World Digital Preservation Day by announcing an online research week looking at ways to make our web-based technical registry PRONOM more accessible.
PRONOM currently holds information on almost 1,700 distinct file formats. This includes different versions of the multiple Microsoft Word document types that have existed, for example. However, almost 600 entries in the registry contain only a brief description of the format. Furthermore, 400 formats do not have a file signature, which are based on the internal structure of the file and allow us to identify the format with a high degree of certainty.
A key step in preserving digital content for the future is understanding what file format the information was stored in so that we can then identify appropriate software to access that information. If the software is becoming hard to obtain, we can re-save the information in a new format for easier access. This identification is undertaken using tools such as our DROID (Digital Record Object Identification) software. These tools are integrated into all commonly available digital preservation systems.
Digital preservation staff at The National Archives have been involved in file format research for almost 20 years and PRONOM has been publicly available for 15 years. The virtual research week will focus on improving the PRONOM file format registry and be coordinated through a GitHub repository and our online PRONOM discussion group.
We would particularly welcome contributions that help us to fill out online file format entries, perhaps adding links to the software company that created the format, providing sample files for different formats, or helping to develop format signatures. The research week will be held between Monday 18 and Friday 22 November.
Latest News from
The social media archive is now fully searchable13/01/2020 14:15:00
Our social media archive is now the first of its kind in the UK to feature a search function, allowing users to easily navigate our growing collection of tweets, Flickr images and YouTube videos from a range of central government departments and arm’s-length bodies.
Changes to document ordering08/01/2020 11:15:00
The national Archives will soon make some changes to same-day document ordering.
Prime Minister’s papers from 1996 released03/01/2020 09:15:00
The National Archive recently released files from the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office, predominantly covering the years 1995 and 1996.
Prime Minister’s papers from 1996 released31/12/2019 12:05:00
Today we have released files from the Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office, predominantly covering the years 1995 and 1996.
Funds awarded for innovative ideas19/12/2019 14:15:00
The National Archives yesterday announced the first eight recipients of grants awarded from our new Archives Testbed Fund to promote innovation.
1657: Rebel Christmas15/11/2019 14:15:00
From 27 November to 4 January, join us at The National Archives for a unique festive offering this season.
Celebrating volunteers across the capital31/10/2019 15:15:15
Last night the National Archives welcomed volunteers from the museum and archive sectors for the London Heritage Volunteer Awards. We were the first archive to host the awards, which celebrate the achievements of volunteers across heritage sites in London.
How do you make meaning when interacting with archives?28/10/2019 14:15:00
National Archive are conducting a study into how people make meaning when interacting with archives. We are interested in observing you as you carry out your regular activities in the archives.