A new international Standard Information and documentation – WARC file format ISO 28500:2009 will ensure that valuable information posted on the internet is not lost when a page changes or disappears. Alison Elliott, Director of Content Services at the National Library of New Zealand, is Chair of the subcommittee (SC) that developed this Standard and New Zealand holds the secretariat for the subcommittee (International Organization for Standardization Technical Committee 46 SC 4).
ISO 28500 provides a file format known as WARC (Web ARChive), which offers a convention for concatenating multiple data objects into one long file. The format can be used to build applications for harvesting, managing, accessing, and exchanging content.
Keeping track of the staggering number of websites and pages poses a difficult challenge for digital curators and archivists. Web ARChive (WARC) ISO 28500 enables the effective management, structure, and storage of billions of resources collected from the internet and elsewhere.
Using the standardised approach in ISO 28500 offers a guarantee of durability. ISO 28500 will help web archiving become part of the mainstream activities of heritage institutions, by for example, fostering the development of new tools and ensuring interoperability between collections.