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LoC Recommended Storage Format

1. Overview

SQLite is a Recommended Storage Format for datasets according to the US Library of Congress. Further information:

As of this writing (2018-05-29) the only other recommended storage formats for datasets are JSON and CSV.

Recommended storage formats are formats which, in the opinion of the preservationists at the Library of Congress, maximizes the chance of survival and continued accessibility of digital content. When selecting recommended storage formats, the following criteria are considered (quoting from the LOC website):

  1. Disclosure. Degree to which complete specifications and tools for validating technical integrity exist and are accessible to those creating and sustaining digital content. A spectrum of disclosure levels can be observed for digital formats. What is most significant is not approval by a recognized standards body, but the existence of complete documentation.

  2. Adoption. Degree to which the format is already used by the primary creators, disseminators, or users of information resources. This includes use as a master format, for delivery to end users, and as a means of interchange between systems.

  3. Transparency. Degree to which the digital representation is open to direct analysis with basic tools, such as human readability using a text-only editor.

  4. Self-documentation. Self-documenting digital objects contain basic descriptive, technical, and other administrative metadata.

  5. External Dependencies. Degree to which a particular format depends on particular hardware, operating system, or software for rendering or use and the predicted complexity of dealing with those dependencies in future technical environments.

  6. Impact of Patents. Degree to which the ability of archival institutions to sustain content in a format will be inhibited by patents.

  7. Technical Protection Mechanisms. Implementation of mechanisms such as encryption that prevent the preservation of content by a trusted repository.