Let's say you find a 5.25" floppy disk, could you be able to see the information it contains? Odds are you won't be able to. Hardware as well as file formats evolve so rapidly that a lot of information has been lost through the years. In an effort to prevent this from happening, the European Union created the CASPAR project (Cultural, Artistic and Scientific Knowledge for Preservation, Access and Retrieval).
Now IBM wants to contribute with the project by introducing their "Preservation Datastores", which will use open standards and the Open Archival Information System (OAIS ) to provide a common storage interface for preservation. According to the company, their solution encapsulates the data with large amounts of metadata including context information, format information, the type of software or operating system required to access the information, and other details to insure information will be readable decades from now.