The Library of Congress has now made specific recommendations on the best file formats for preserving access to content of various types:
- Textual works and musical compositions
- Still images
- Moving images
- Software, electronic games, and learning modules
- Datasets and databases
They take pains to explain that these recommendations are not meant to replace their pre-existing “Best Edition” of Published Copyright Works document, AKA “Best Edition Statement”, but rather builds upon and complements that work.
Anyone active with information preservation will probably not find these recommendations surprising, but it is useful to have these recommendations succinctly described and categorized. For each main category of information type they offer “Preferred” and (for some) “Acceptable” formats.
These guidelines should be even more useful for those who aren’t familiar with digital preservation requirements but are interested in adhering to best practices in the field.