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An e-government based interoperability network. One of its guiding principles is that UK public sector institutions should not become dependent on non-interoperable software products, because that could lead to monopoly or market failure.

In practice e-GIF explicity states that (a) UK bodies should adopt XML as the primary standard for data integration and presentation, and (b) they should adopt the eGovernment Metadata Standard (eGMS) for metadata. Adherence to eGIF is mandatory for UK public institutions. The eGIF Accreditation Authority checks compliance.

Key eGIF documents are available here.

Approved file formats

The useful info for digital preservation is contained with Section 7 of the Technical Standards Catalogue, version 6.2 (September 2005), available here. This section contains a list of approved file formats for various purposes. The approved e-GIF formats are:

  • text and word ptocessing: rtf, txt, htm, doc, pdf, nsf, mht
  • spreadsheets: csv, xls
  • presentation: ppt, pps
  • images: jpg, gif, png, tif, ecw
  • vector: svg, vml
  • moving: mpg
  • audio: mp3, wav, avi, mov, qt, asf, wma, wmv, swf, ra, ram, rmm, Ogg Vorbis and a few others
  • compression: zip, gz, tgz, tar
  • character sets: UNICODE and ISO 10646.


Info from bits in ARC No. 186 Feb 2005.

A SIG has been set up for at CALM-EAD users, contact Caroline Shenton at Parliamentary Archives.

A number of CALM customers already use the system to import and export EAD records. A SIG sub-group is looking at mapping CALM fields to EAD. Elsewhere in ARC it’s said that “the means of conversion from CALM to EAD format exists… CALM has proved to be a useful tool in the creation of EAD data.”

Info from ARC No. 186 February 2005.

EAC is used to structure name authority file information. It was developed in recognition of the fact that there is no one-to-one correlation between archives and their creators. It holds info about creators, their relationships with the archives, other people and organisations, bibliographic and museum materials. There has been some talk (2005) of embedding EAC within a future XML Schema for EAD.

EAC uses a DTD.

Info from various bits in ARC No. 186 Feb 2005.

EAD was originally developed in the 1990s. Currently (2005) EAD is only expressed as a 2002 DTD rather than a Schema. A proper, approved XML Schema would allow EAD finding aids to be harvested according to the Open Archives Initiative protocol.

“EAD is flexible enough to be used for a wide range of different finding-aids, from detailed inventories of the registers of the Kings of Poland 1447-1795, to catalogues of modern French planning permission files, which had originally been described in databases owned by the planning department.” (Amanda Hill)

Article by Jane Stevenson in ARC no. 186, February 2005.

Roughly half of the respondents did not work with either EAD or XML, and given that respondents would probably be those people actually knowledgeable about this field the true situation is probably even worse. 40% used EAD and 19% used non-EAD XML.

Vast majority would like training in policies, file formats, curation, metadata, physical preservation and access.

In November 2007 I did an XML export of all this. Looks ok, like this:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”ISO-8859-1″ ?>

<!DOCTYPE DScribeDatabase (View Source for full doctype…)>


<DScribeDatabase Name=”Catalog>










<Repository>CRO Cambridge</Repository>








<CreatorName>Soham Parish Church</CreatorName>

aand so on. There’s a DTD rather than an XML Schema. The DTD defines all the elements simply as PCDATA. Might be worth checking to see what the ISO is.