Government Computer News reports that NARA: New archive system could change records management
The National Archives and Records Administration believes its Electronic Records Archive system, aside from maintaining and storing government records in formats not yet even available, will revolutionize how NARA and agencies interact with federal records for decades to come.
[found through the ACM News Service]
NARA has commissioned a new ERA that is to cover all governmental records in all types (estimated at 4800 different document types) across all platforms. Not a small job.
One of the holy grails of electronic archiving systems is the ability to provide the record in as close to ordinal form as possible while acknowledging that software and hardware are going to change significantly over the potential lifetime of that record. We are not talking about burning pdf's to a CD here. CD's wear out after 10-15 years. PDF is a somewhat open format, but it hasn't been around that long, and something else could take its place in the future.