The International Organisation for Standardisation has just released the second part of its standard for long-term digital preservation of documents, ISO 19005-2:2011. The first part of the standard (ISO 19005-1) was issued in 2005 and describes the file format PDF/A which is based upon v1.4 of the portable document format (PDF).
ISO 19005-2:2011 specifies the use of PDF 1.7, as formalised in ISO 32000-1, for preserving the static visual representation of page-based electronic documents over time. The additional features of this format include improved support for new document technologies such as JPEG2000 compression and transparency/layer effects. Importantly, it also has provision for embedding digital signatures in archived documents in accordance with the PDF Advanced Electronic Signatures standard. This will be of particular interest to organisations that need to preserve – and demonstrate – the integrity and authenticity of digitally signed documents over a long period of time for compliance or litigation purposes.
The standard is available for purchase from ISO for CHF 136.