It is often advisable to save your files in several formats, i.e. in the original format but also in a format  that is more suitable for long-term preservation.

In case of audiovisual material we would have to know more about the material first in order to provide you with any recommendations. In general the following can serve as a guideline for video and audio files:

  • Audio files: as uncompressed as possible at high data rates and with comprehensive (descriptive and technical) metadata. Ideally as WAVE files (.wav). If compression is necessary, it should be lossless.
  • Video: Highest possible data quality, including comprehensive technical and descriptive metadata.
  • Websites: Ideally a backup of webpages is being generated as part of the "e-Helvetica: Web Archive Switzerland" programme of the Swiss National Library (SNB). If websites need to be made available for long-term preservation, the ZHB informs the SNB or, if necessary, examines alternative forms of long-term preservation.
  • Presentations, data sets, statistical material, research data, programme files, software, etc..: We recommend saving your data in up to three formats: (a) the original file including comprehensive metadata, (b) as a readable, simple data format (e.g. .csv), and (c) in addition, if necessary, PDF/A to conserve the visual appearance of the original.
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