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Memento : Issue 22
Music to our eyes! Music to our eyes! 18 memento january 2003 The name, xanadu. It's been given to software we've developed to help researchers of the future to read electronic records stored in our digital repository. The Archives is on the brink of a new way of ensuring that today's electronic records can be read by researchers of the future, whatever their original format. Because of the pace of changing technology, what we create with our computer hardware and software today could be virtually inaccessible tomorrow. To overcome this problem, we have developed a way of converting records into standardised formats that don't require the original software or hardware to read them. Attached to the records is metadata, which gives additional information such as how the record was created and its original format. To access the record, researchers will be able to use our free archival viewer -- xanadu -- which we will keep updated and publicly available. Researchers who want to access the record in its original format will still be able to do so, provided they have the necessary computer hardware and software. Xanadu is an acronym for XML Archiving Normalising and Displaying Universally, where XML is the mark-up language used to convert records into a standardised format. We anticipate that this revolutionary software will be available in 2003. For more information on this exciting initiative contact Andrew Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org. storage vaults. These facilities are in our Chester Hill office in Sydney, the city where most of the Commonwealth government agencies producing audio- visual records are located. The second step is a five-year program to copy records that have badly deteriorated, or were originally recorded on now obsolete formats, such as 2-inch videotapes or audio micro-cassettes. This valuable work, largely unseen by the public, will ensure that speeches of Prime Ministers, film censorship cuts, government advertising campaigns, Film Australia features and newsreels, and ABC and SBS programs will be available to current and future generations of Australians. If you want to know more about audio records in our collection, check out our research guide Sound Recordings in the National Archives under Publications on our website at www.naa.gov.au. The guide can be purchased for $10 by phoning (02) 6212 3609 or emailing email@example.com. <xsl:when test="$outputType = 'CSS_INLINED'"> <xsl:call-template name="apply-styles-and-content"/> What's the connection between a software program for reading digital files and a fantasy musical starring Olivia Newton-John? Sights and sounds in the Archives ay the word 'archives' and most people think paper. So it may come as a surprise to learn that we hold vast quantities of audiovisual records in our collection, including more than 125,000 reels of film and over 100,000 sound recordings created by various Commonwealth government agencies. To ensure the survival of these fragile and precious records, we have embarked on a massive audiovisual preservation program. The first step has been to enlarge and refurbish our facilities, including the film laboratory where film is cleaned and repaired, studios for copying audio and video material, and Anna Koh, film preservation officer in our Sydney office, examining and preparing film for storage in the air-conditioned vaults. S