Aliya Sternstein has an article on FCW.com, Open platform preferred for digital archives, about the government taking steps to make sure that future historians, genealogists, researchers, etc., will have access to current and future government and national archives.
Excerpt from the article:
The National Archives and Records Administration should consider building its electronic archives using open architecture standards, according to members of an advisory committee assigned to confer with NARA.
The systemâ€™s security requirements, however, will dictate whether the Electronic Records Archives could have an open architecture, the committee said last month.
ERA is a $308 million project to preserve government records regardless of format and make them accessible on future hardware and software.
Thankfully this is being done now, before we get to heavily locked into any one particular proprietary format. As genealogists, sticking to text/ascii, or at least RTF (I believe Rich Text Format), and JPEG/TIFF formats is a pretty good idea, as we’ve already seen people run into problems when they finally upgrade their computers and find they have a hard time migrating from older genealogy software.
Unfortunately GEDCOM v6 or whatever has stalled at the starting gate, and some of the major genealogy applications are using their own formats. AS long as they can still export to GEDCOM, and as long as people make GEDCOM backups, we should be okay, at least at the personal level.