by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Memento : Issue 24
6 MEMENTO News from the National Archives With constantly changing hardware and software, the challenge for the Archives is to find a way to preserve valuable electronic records into the future. For the last 12 months, there has been a quiet revolution happening inside our recordkeeping think-tank. We have been developing a way of ensuring that electronic records can be migrated across changes in technology. Our solution is software that converts electronic records into a standardised format that can be read by future technology. It is called Xena, which stands for XML Electronic Normalising of Archives. XML, which stands for extensible mark-up language, is essentially a standard type of computer language that does not depend on proprietary software or hardware to be read. We intend to support this format indefinitely, which means that researchers will be guaranteed future access to records of archival value. Access will not be affected by changes in proprietary software and hardware that occur so rapidly in the commercial marketplace. An experimental version of this software was released in August for comment by other national archives and interested parties. We anticipate that the final product will be essential for other organisations facing similar preservation and access issues. Like paper records, electronic records of archival value need to be stored after they have received preservation treatment. We've been testing our digital preservation approach on batches of digital records from the royal commissions into the building and construction industries and the HIH insurance collapse. After these records have been converted into XML format, they will be stored in our new digital repository. The original digital records will also be retained and stored in their original format in the digital repository. This gives researchers the option of viewing original records if they have the appropriate software and hardware. To find out more about our digital preservation project, visit our website at www.naa.gov.au/recordkeeping/preservation/ digital/summary.html. Keys to the digital archive Digital archivist David Pearson acts as 'gate-keeper' to our digital repository. For over a century, public servants have been creating paper records that document the business of government. But these days, handwritten notes and typewritten letters have been replaced by emails, electronic text documents and web pages.