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The first version of PRONOM was developed by the National Archives Digital Preservation Department in March 2002. Its genesis lies in the need to have ready access to reliable technical information about the nature of the electronic records now being stored in our Digital Archive.

Technical information about the structure of those file formats, and the software products which support them, is therefore a prerequisite for any digital preservation regime. PRONOM was developed to provide this function, initially as an internal resource for TNA staff, and now on the Internet.

PRONOM 2 was released in December 2002, and provided support for the development of multi-lingual versions of the system, through the replacement of field tags. Since that time, considerable effort has been devoted to the development of PRONOM?s content. Digital Preservation staff have undertaken intensive research and liaison with major software developers in order to create an initial core data set of software product information. This work is ongoing, although we would also encourage software developers and others to be proactive in providing information.

The web-enabling of PRONOM (PRONOM 3) marks the latest stage in the evolution of this system. However, in many ways this represents the starting point for the development of PRONOM as a major on-line resource for the international digital preservation community. TNA has detailed plans for major enhancements over the next 2-3 years, including the development of a number of specific tools to support digital preservation activities.

Contact Email:pronom@nationalarchives.gov.uk
Address:Public Record Office, Kew, Ric
Postcode:TW9 4DU
Tel:+44 (0)20 8392 5330
Fax:+44 (0)20 8392 5283