DPC Members

  • cambridge logo for website
  • british library logo
  • bbc logo
  • bathuniversitylogo
  • leedsuniversitylogo
  • ed univ logo tiny
  • sheffield logo 200x90
  • jisc logo for website
  • wg tiny logo
  • standrewsblockcrest logo
  • rcahmw for website logo
  • rcuk logo for website rcuk
  • uel logo
  • bodleian library logo
  • bm logo
  • grosvenorestatelogo small
  • ulcc logo for website
  • new proni logo
  • glasgowuniversitylogo
  • bankofengland logo
  • aberystwythlogo
  • tate logo for website
  • warwicklogo
  • wellcome library logo
  • portsmouth logo tiny
  • ara logo 2
  • ribacrest200 90pixels logo
  • tcd logo for website
  • llgc nlw logo
  • hsbc logo
  • he logo web-500px
  • tna logo
  • dcc logo
  • national library scotland logo
  • universityofyorklogotiny
  • rcahms for website logo
  • lse lib logo tiny
  • ads logo
  • nli tiny logo
  • portico logo
  • lbg hm fc p c logo
  • national records scotland logo
  • apt stacked logo
  • nda logo
  • loughboroughunivlogo
  • kcl new logo
  • open university logo
  • cerch logo for website
  • rmg logo
  • un logo
  • hull logo
  • oclc logo for website
  • nai logo
  • parliamentary archives 2012 logo
  • uk data archive logo

Export to ical format

The Future of File Format Identification: PRONOM and DROID User Consultation

The Future of File Format Identification: PRONOM and DROID User Consultation 

The Future of File Format Identification: PRONOM and DROID User Consultation
28/11/2011 09:30 17:00
The National Archives, Kew - London
Invitational - members and guests only


The Future of File Format Identification: PRONOM and DROID User Consultation

The National Archives, Kew, London, 28/11/2011TNA-Logo

The National Archives is proposing to launch a new phase of development of its DROID tool, and is seeking to engage with various user groups and stakeholders from the digital preservation community, government and the wider archives sector communities to help inform and discuss potential developments and user needs. As part of this process, The National Archives, in conjunction with the Digital Preservation Coalition, invites interested parties to attend a one day workshop, hosted at Kew, to discuss their experiences of using DROID and PRONOM in their respective disciplines, discuss how the tools fit their use case, and describe both positive and negative experiences of the tools and their interaction with The National Archives.

There will be a mixture of invited talks and extensive open discussions; the invited talks may focus on experiences, ideas to augment or improve either service, and may encompass wider ideas and thoughts on file identification in general. The day will commence with a short introduction by Tim Gollins, Head of Digital Preservation at The National Archives, who will set out the case for PRONOM and DROID at The National Archives, and describe the business requirements which have helped shape and drive the tools development to this point. Throughout the day, via twitter and less technology dependent mechanisms, we will seek to gather a list of hot topics and discussion points from the community, which will then be used as the basis for an end of day discussion which will help inform the development of the next iteration of DROID, set to commence in 2012. The result of the day will provide The National Archives with content to begin a broader open consultation between December and January which will see active participants in the DROID community submit requirements for the tool and vote on and discuss existing requirements. The National Archives will use this whole process to help prioritise community requests, alongside its own internal requirements, when work on DROID 7.0 begins.

Provisional Programme:

9.30 - 10.00 Coffee

10.00 - 10.10 Welcome and Housekeeping - Outline of the day

10:10 - 10.30 Tim Gollins: Introduction and brief history of PRONOM and DROID

10:30 - 10:50 Ross Spencer: Linked Data PRONOM

10:50 - 11:05 Coffee

11:05 – 11:25 – Details to be confirmed

11:25 – 11:45 - Dr David Tarrant (University of Southampton) - UHT Digital Preservation: Increasing the Shelf Life of our Data, Services and Tools

11:45 – 12:05 - Bill Roberts (Open Planets Foundation (OPF), The Nationaal Archief (National Archives of the Netherlands)) – ‘Towards a format registry ecosystem’

12:30 - 1:30 Lunch (provided)

1:30 – 1:35 – Introduction for afternoon attendees

1:35 – 1:45 – Tim Callister: DROID demonstration

1:35 – 2:05 - Kate Pritchard, Mike Kaye (DEFRA – Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) - ‘DEFRA experiences using DROID and using an IT provider’

2:05 – 2:25 - Jenny Mitcham (Archaeology Data Service) - ‘Using DROID to create file level metadata – a case study from the Archaeology Data Service’

2:25 – 2:45 - Johan van der Knijff (SCAPE Project / Koninklijke Bibliotheek, National Library of the Netherlands) – ‘Evaluation of format identification tools’

3:00 - 4:00 - Open Discussion - requirements gathering exercises - breakout sessions

4:00 - 4.30 - Wrapping up, bring it all together, where we go from here.

How to register

Places are free for DPC members and associates including personal members.

Non-members are asked to contribute 10 pounds per person for the cost of lunches which will be provided. Places are limited and will fill quickly, so early registration is recommended. The DPC does not issue invoices for event booking and cannot process card payments. For this event our preferred methods of payment are: CHEQUE to the 'Digital Preservation Coalition'. Please post to DPC, Innovation Centre, Science Park, Heslington, York YO10 5DG; or CASH on the day - please email written confirmation to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it that you wish to pay on the day.


How to find The National Archives


Can't make it?

We're keen to hear from everyone.  If you can't make you can follow the event using the hastag #dpc_droidcon. Or if you want to make specific comments about your requirements then please use the hashtag #droid7  We'll also be publishing a short report from the workshop in due course and providing a short number of talking head interviews and videos.

Help shape the agenda

We really are keen to hear from everyone!  You can use the comments box below to indicate key issues you'd like to address at the meeting.


The National Archives, KewMap
The National Archives, Kew
Ruskin Avenue
United Kingdom of Great Britain



#1 2011-10-26 10:59
test comment - please use this comments function to help us form the agenda and indicate areas you'd like to discuss.
#2 Neil Grindley 2011-10-30 10:25
This is bound to come up anyway ... but the 'future of file format ID' may not solely be dependent on the PRONOM/DROID development. Perhaps a discussion around opportunities for integration with other current initiatives?
#3 2011-10-31 22:13
Will there be support for remote participants ? At the National Library of Australia we have benefitted enormously from the Pronom and Droid work and make use of it in our Prometheus Preservation Workbench. We would like to be able to listen in and view presentations and participate in open discusssions if possible.

#4 2011-11-02 11:05
Quoting Neil Grindley:
This is bound to come up anyway ... but the 'future of file format ID' may not solely be dependent on the PRONOM/DROID development. Perhaps a discussion around opportunities for integration with other current initiatives?

You might be interested that there will be a presentation on the evaluation of a number of format identification tools that was done as part of the SCAPE project. See also here:


This work covers DROID, but also a number of other tools (Fido, Unix File command, FITS, JHOVE2).
#5 2011-11-07 09:57
There are some really useful comments here. We are looking into streaming for users who can't make the day and will try and update everyone asap.

To follow up Neil and Johan. I take on board Neil's points entirely and we hope the day (as Johan alluded to) will be more varied than perhaps the outline describes. Hopefully we will see a lot of discussion about alternative registries and tools.

The requirements collection should help us see what DROID *should* do and perhaps what it shouldn't be doing. Where we might consider alternative tools.

More to come when we update the agenda for the day.

Thanks to everyone posting. This is incredibly useful to us.

Hope to see you there.
#6 2011-11-20 19:43
As Monica said - Here in NZ we a big users of DROID and PRONOM data, and really want to be part of this discussion!


#7 2011-11-22 16:53
Hi Jay,

It looks like the best way to follow the day is via Twitter. #droid7 for submitting requirements and #dpc_droidcon for general chat around the conference.

We're attempting to video the day, and providing it all works out and we have everyone's permission we will do our best to publish that footage asap.

I am in the process of setting up a wiki to capture all requirements and then additional requirements into the new year. We will release more details about that once it is up and running but I think we'll have something quite useful that I think will foster some good discussion.

I hope you can follow on twitter!

#8 2011-11-23 04:04
Its a shame that we can't get a skype link hooked up....

Will there be any other oppertunities to contribute towards your requriements capture process?

#9 2011-11-23 10:50
These comments about process are helpful, but I wonder if I could gently steer people towards comments that help describe the requirements. Jay, Monica, can you perhaps give us a quick top five of requirements and/or use cases? We can make sure these get tabled at the meeting.
#10 2011-11-23 12:38
I would like to see DROID expanded to more comprehensively cover the range of file formats generated in archaeology for example. A good example of those formats can be found on the ADS website http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/advice/depositCreate2

Can slides from the day be made available when possbible please?
#11 2011-11-25 08:53
I would also like to see marine data formats covered more comprehensively in DROID, again a good summary list of file formats from the ADS:
#12 2011-11-28 11:30
I've tweeted it already, but I'll add here that I think there MUST be a capability for crowd-sourced input to PRONOM if it is to become less of a desert island and more of the home territory of digital preservation. See http://unsustainableideas.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/pronom-success-look-like/. Less ure about DROID in this respect; signatures are a bit more specialised.
#13 2011-11-28 11:58
PRONOM needs an architecture that can build a reliable information resource on unreliable contributions. Compare wikipedia (but probably won't work the same way; nothing does!)
#14 2011-11-28 13:00
Requirements for an architecture of participation: accept broad input, rapid response, rapid correction/reversal, perhaps automated spam detection, see provenance of contributions, perhaps allow contributors to "acquire authority".

Think of a database equivalent of a mashup between a wiki and a blog...
#15 Andrew Jackson 2011-11-29 15:02
@Chris Rusbridge
I made a proof of concept along those lines using Drupal. See here http://beta.domd.info/ and get in touch if you'd like an account on the system.