Washington, D.C. — The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is working cooperatively with NSF’s National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (NPACI), based at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, to preserve the federal government’s electronic records and to insure they remain accessible as technology advances and changes.
A cooperative agreement signed by NSF and NARA calls for research into the problems of storing and retrieving the massive amounts of digital information for which NARA is responsible.
NPACI is developing software to let NARA rapidly archive voluminous amounts of data in “open-standard” formats that will not become obsolete over time or otherwise become inaccessible. One key standard the project has adopted is the use of the Extensible Markup Language (XML), which is increasingly used on Web sites across the Internet.
Despite its simplicity, XML is a powerful tool for managing data such as geographic information systems, office application files, images and e-mail. These data-archiving techniques pioneered at NPACI for computational scientists are central to the new NARA applications. For more information, see: http://www.cise.nsf.gov/acir .