National Archives tackles software obsolescence

The Electronic Library

ISSN: 0264-0473

Article publication date: 1 June 2004



(2004), "National Archives tackles software obsolescence", The Electronic Library, Vol. 22 No. 3.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

National Archives tackles software obsolescence

The National Archives has been liaising with a number of software houses, including Microsoft, in order to create a new free online data store of software product information called PRONOM (

PRONOM provides vital information for anyone who needs to preserve electronic records over the long term and aims to help with the problem of software obsolescence. It is a reliable, sustained repository and will allow users to search a rapidly growing database of over 250 software products such as Microsoft Word, Excel and a wide range of Adobe software plus 550 file formats and 100 manufacturers. Users will also be able to request or submit new information for inclusion using an online form.

PRONOM is under constant development and The National Archives has detailed plans for future enhancements and development, which are described on the PRONOM Web site. David Ryan, Head of Archive Services at The National Archives said:

  • The National Archives is committed to preserving historic electronic records indefinitely. PRONOM provides free access to the kind of detailed, reliable technical information that is required to manage and preserve such records over time.

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