Digital Preservation

I have discovered the British Library Digital Preservation Project:

The British Library is collecting and creating an increasing amount of material in digital formats. This material forms part of the collection and must be preserved for future use. The diversity of digital material and frequent changes in computer technology present challenges for long-term preservation and ongoing access.

The British Library is at the cutting edge of work in this field. The Digital Preservation Team is liaising closely with the other elements of the BL Digital Programme to ensure the longevity of our digital collections.

I was looking for Microsoft Office Binary File formats, which are stored there in addition – of course – to the Microsoft Web Site. I understand that it’s a minor thing, but I think that it’s probably the first time that such a document is stored outside the Microsoft web site, which means outside Microsoft jurisdiction.

I think that the evolution of Microsoft from an old fashion monopolist to a more “interoperable” company will be marked by many of these weak signals. This is one of the rationales behind the open letter that we have sent to Microsoft Italia. We see several weak signals that lead us to believe that the recent Microsoft announcement about interoperability is different from the other four on the same subject made in the past (Vinnie Mirchandani lists them all).

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