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Format Information

The Florida Digital Archive is developing and maintaining an "action plan" for every version of every file format that the FCLA will attempt to preserve in its digital archive. Each action plan concerns a particular version of a file format and includes a date on which the plan will be reviewed and possibly revised.

The action plan describes any short-term and long-term actions that the FCLA will take to ensure that the file, or at least the "intellectual content" contained in the file, will still be accessible on future technologies. These actions might include "forward migration" - converting the format to a newer version of the same format, e.g. PDF 1.2 to PDF 1.4. Or they might include "normalization" - converting the format to a different format that may be easier to preserve, e.g. EXCEL to XML. In all cases, the file in its original format and version, will be archived in addition to any migrated file formats.

The preservation decisions made in the action plans are based on FCLA action plan background reports. These reports are careful analyses of characteristics of each file format in an attempt to predict the length of time before the format becomes obsolete.

  • High Confidence: MJPEG 2000 (unsupported file types will be normalized to MJPEG 2000), AVI (uncompressed or MJPEG; plan to maintain AVI format or migrate to good open successor), MOV (uncompressed or MJPEG; plan to maintain MOV format or migrate to good open successor)
  • Medium confidence: MPEG1, MPEG2, MPEG4, or H.264 (wrapped in AVI or MOV); MPEG1 and MPEG2 are recognized but not supported by Florida
  • Low confidence: anything else

Florida Voices How to

Oral history how-to guide and digital best practices. Includes a section on briefly describing transcription guidelines and providing links to more detailed resources. Also has a section on file format recommendations for preservation.

Florida recommends recording in or converting to MJPEG (AVI, MOV), MJPEG 2000), AVI (uncompressed), or QuickTime (uncompressed)

Other Documents