Open Source Solution for the UK National Archive?

This old story gets even more ridiculous. The fact that the head of the national library is a co-chair and obvious supporter of M$’s OOXML specification, led our National Archive to spend yet more money with Microsoft for a solution that will actually NOT fix the problem. More documents will be stored in a, as yet non-standardised and closed, document format. That will, eventually require us to spend even more money yet again just to get access to old electronic documents.

It seems our antipodean partners have come up with a solution: It’s called Xena. And it’s Open Source and uses the GPL.

Xena is free and open source software developed by the National Archives of Australia to aid in the long term preservation of digital records. Xena is an acronym meaning ‘Xml Electronic Normalising for Archives’.

Xena software aids digital preservation by performing two important tasks:

  • Detecting the file formats of digital objects
  • Converting digital objects into open formats for preservation

Now this sounds like a very decent solution. Read that last bullet once more:

  • Converting digital objects into open formats for preservation

Adam Farquhar and the National Archive of Great Britain please take note…