Format Support

The Knowledge Bank provides support for as many file formats as possible. Over time, items stored in the Knowledge Bank will be preserved as is, using a combination of time-honored techniques for data management and best practices for digital preservation.

The proprietary nature of many file types makes it impossible to guarantee preservation. Put simply, our policy for file formats is that:

  • everything put in the Knowledge Bank will be retrievable
  • we will recognize as many files’ formats as possible
  • we will support as many known file formats as possible.

When a file format is uploaded to the Knowledge Bank, we assign it one of the following categories:

  • supported: the Knowledge Bank fully support the format. “Support” means “make usable in the future, using whatever combination of techniques (such as migration, emulation, etc.) is appropriate given the context of need”. For supported formats, the Knowledge Bank might choose to bulk-transform files from a current format version to a future one, for instance. The Knowledge Bank staff can’t predict which services will be necessary down the road, so formats and techniques to ensure that needs are accommodated as they arise are continually monitored.
  • “known”: the Knowledge Bank can recognize the format, but cannot guarantee full support.
  • “unsupported”: the Knowledge Bank cannot recognized a format; such formats are listed as “application/octet-stream”, or “Unknown”.

The Knowledge Bank attempts to keep the percentage of supported format materials as high as possible. Communities are encouraged to contact the Knowledge Bank with questions or concerns. Knowledge Bank Format Collection: In the following table, MIME type is the Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) type identifier; for more information on MIME, see the MIME RFCs or the MIME FAQ. Description is what most people use as the name for the format. Extensions are typical file name extensions (the part after the dot, e.g. the extension for “index.html” is “html”). These are not case-sensitive in the Knowledge Bank, so either “sample.XML” or “sample.xml” will be recognized as XML. In addition, the Knowledge Bank does not archive compressed files, such as .gz or .zip.

MIME Type Description Extension Level
application/marc MARC marc, mrc supported
application/mathematica Mathematica ma known
application/msword Microsoft Word doc known
application/octet-stream Unknown (anything not listed) unsupported
application/ogg OGG Media Type ogg, OggS known
application/pdf Adobe PDF pdf supported
application/postscript Postscript ps, eps, ai supported
application/sgml SGML sgm, sgml known
application/ Microsoft Excel xls known
application/ Microsoft Powerpoint ppt known
application/ Microsoft Project mpp, mpx, mpd known
application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.presentation Microsoft PowerPoint XML pptx known
application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet Microsoft Excel XML xlsx known
application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document Microsoft Word XML docx known
application/vnd.visio Microsoft Visio vsd known
application/wordperfect5.1 WordPerfect wpd known
application/x-dvi TeXdvi dvi known
application/x-filemaker FMP3 fm known
application/x-latex LateX latex known
application/x-photoshop Photoshop psd, pdd known
application/x-tex TeX tex known
audio/x-aiff AIFF aiff, aif, aifc supported
audio/basic audio/basic au, snd known
audio/x-mpeg MPEG Audio mpa, abs, mpeg, mp3 known
audio/x-pn-realaudio RealAudio ra, ram known
audio/x-wav WAV wav known
image/gif GIF gif supported
image/jpeg JPEG jpeg, jpg supported
image/png PNG png supported
image/tiff TIFF tiff, tif supported
image/x-ms-bmp BMP bmp known
image/x-photo-cd Photo CD pcd known
text/comma-separated CSV csv supported
text/css CSS File css known
text/html HTML html, htm supported
text/plain Text txt, asc
text/richtext Rich Text Format rtf supported
text/xml XML xml supported
video/mpeg MPEG mpeg, mpg, mpe known
video/quicktime Video Quicktime mov, qt known