This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement no 619568
PREFORMA – PREservation FORMAts for culture information/e-archives – is a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) project co-funded by the European Commission, under its FP7-ICT Programme.
Memory institutions are facing increasing transfers of electronic documents and other media content for long-term preservation. Preservation models are often inspired by ISO 14721:2012, known as “the OAIS model”, where transfers and preservation are built on information packages containing both data and metadata.
Data is normally stored in specific file formats for documents, images, sound, video etc. that are produced by software from different vendors. Even if the transferred files are in standard formats, the implementation of standards cannot be guaranteed. The software implementing standards for the production of the electronic files is not controlled either by the institutions that produces them or by the memory institutions. Conformance tests of transfers are done, but are not totally reliable. This poses problems in long-term preservation. Data objects meant for preservation, passing through an uncontrolled generative process, can jeopardise the entire preservation exercise.
The overall intention of PREFORMA is to research critical factors in the quality of standard implementation in order to establish a long-term sustainable ecosystem around developed tools with a variety of stakeholder groups. The tools should be innovative and provide a reference implementation of the most common file format standards for the assessment of the collections to be archived and for the correction of the collections.
PREFORMA targets a wide digital preservation community, by providing specifications and feedback to developers, standard bodies and memory institutions.
The PCP, following the rules for tenders in public sector, will match the memory institutions' professional knowledge and the suppliers' skills in development and promotion of products to create a win-win situation. Joint procurement will enable PREFORMA to build a sustainable network of common interest, where the public procurers can remain in contact and cooperate beyond the EC funding period.
Results will be broadly disseminated during the lifetime of the project and summed up at the final conference.