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File Formats for Preservation

Monday 10th - Tuesday 11th May 2004
Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria



File formats are a crucial layer, indeed a hinge between the bits in storage and their meaningful interpretation. The proper access to and display of content depends entirely on the ability to decipher the respective bitstream, and consequently on precise knowledge about how the information contained within is represented. Thus file formats are one of the core issues of any digital preservation approach, and file format obsolescence is a major challenge for anybody wanting to preserve digital files.

The ERPANET Seminar aims at giving an overview on these issues and at offering guidance based on practical experience. Requirements and best practices for archival file formats will be discussed, and issues such as file format registries and format validation will be treated.


The seminar was held in the Augustinertrakt (Augustine Wing) of the Austrian National Library. More information about the ÖNB is available from their website at ERPANET is very grateful to the Austrian National Library for providing the venue for this training event.


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