The Planets TimeCapsule is a metal box that contains at risk digital objects: a JPEG photograph, a message in Java source code, a short film in .MOV format, a web-page in HTML and a brochure in PDF.
Each object is stored in its original format and a new format more suitable for long-term preservation such as PDF/A, TIFF, JPEG2000 and MPEG4. The objects are stored on media that range from paper, microfilm and floppy discs to CDs, DVDs and flash-drives and HDDs.
Inside the box are the original and new objects, storage media, and some reading devices. It also includes conversion tools that were used to migrate the objects as well as software to open and view/use these objects and supporting software all the way down to an operating system; descriptions of the file formats, of the file systems and encodings used on the storage media; and description of all these objects and their relationship to supporting technology and recognised standards.
The TimeCapsule will be available to researchers in the future to investigate how much of its content will still be or can be made accessible and usable with the information provided. An online version will make it possible to see the contents of the TimeCapsule and experiment with technology to preserve them. Replicas will be available to libraries, archives, science museums and others for research and public exhibit.
The Planets TimeCapsule will demonstrate in ten, 20, 30, 50 and hundreds of years the fragility of digital data and the ability of technology to overcome it.