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Online workshop: Creating File Format/System Signatures for Submission to PRONOM Technical Registry

16th Nov 2017 : 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

On 13 June 2017, the OPF held a webinar called ‘PRONOM in Practice’: https://old.openpreservation.org/event/pronom-in-practice/ (login required). The presenters (David Clipsham, Jenny Mitcham, and Justin Simpson) gave an introduction to PRONOM, an online file format registry maintained by The National Archives in the UK, and described how to create new PRONOM signatures and submit them to the Registry.

Following on from this, we are running an online workshop that will equip participants with the tools required to submit a new entry to PRONOM. In the workshop, participants will build upon their foundational knowledge of PRONOM by learning, through a series of hands-on exercises, how to examine and analyze a disk image sample file with a variety of tools including a hex editor. After examining the sample file and comparing it to existing online specifications, participants will learn how to record the details in a format extensions file that can be used with format identification tools such as FIDO and Siegfried. Once verified, the details will then be submitted to PRONOM using the tools and techniques outlined by the National Archives.

Workshop​ ​purpose​ ​and​ ​goals

In addition to equipping participants with the skills necessary to create their own PRONOM signatures, the workshop will result in the submission of a new format entry to PRONOM by the participants: Hierarchical File System (HFS) is a proprietary file system developed by Apple in 1985. The specification is available online and described here. HFS filesystems can be serialized as a bitstream. This happens within disk image formats, for example an ISO disk image could contain an HFS Volume. There are several digital archives tools that currently rely on PRONOM, but the lack of entries for file systems generally–and for HFS in particular–limits PRONOM’s usefulness because it prevents digital archives tools from leveraging format-based workflows consistently. Giving participants this relevant and translatable real-world experience will simultaneously foster a more robust user base and improve the usefulness of the PRONOM registry.

Learning how to develop new format signatures and submit them to PRONOM will benefit participants working with other content types, beyond the disk image example used in the workshop.

Who​ ​should​ ​attend​ ​this​ ​workshop

Anyone who currently works or plans on working with the PRONOM technical registry in any capacity and/or format-based tools or workflows.

Workshop​ ​format, date and time

A series of two 60 minute-long webinars; Part I will focus exclusively on set-up to ensure that all participants are able to successfully download the tools and sample files, while Part II will focus on the hands-on work.

  • Part I: Thursday 9 November at 11:00 EST /16:00 GMT / 17:00 CET
  • Part II: Thursday 16 November at 11:00 EST /16:00 GMT / 17:00 CET

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Recording part I

Slides part I

Recording part II

Slides part II

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16th Nov 2017
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Open Preservation Foundation