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New Technology of Library and Information Service  2008, Vol. 24 Issue (1): 83-90    DOI: 10.11925/infotech.1003-3513.2008.01.10
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Evaluating File Formats for Long-term Preservation
1National Library of the Netherlands
2The Hague, The Netherlands
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National and international publishers have been depositing digital publications at the National Library of the Netherlands (KB) since 2003. Until recently, most of these publications were deposited in the Portable Document Format. New projects, for example the Web archiving project, force the KB to handle more heterogeneous material. Therefore, the KB has developed a quantifiable file format risk assessment method. This method can be used to define digital preservation strategies for specific file formats. The choice for a specific file format at creation time or later in the life cycle of a digital object influences the long-term access to the digital object. The evaluation method contains seven sustainability criteria for file formats that are weighed for importance. There seems to be consensus on the sustainability criteria. However, as the weighing of these criteria is connected to an institution’s policy, the KB wonders whether agreement on the relative importance of the criteria can be reached at all. With this paper, the KB hopes to inspire other cultural heritage institutions to define their own quantifiable file format evaluation method.

Key wordsFile formats assessment      Long-term preservation      Quantifiable file format evaluation     
Published: 25 January 2008
Corresponding Authors: JUDITH ROG     E-mail:

Cite this article:

JUDITH ROG,CAROLINE VAN WIJK. Evaluating File Formats for Long-term Preservation. New Technology of Library and Information Service, 2008, 24(1): 83-90.

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