The CDL, with funding from the Library of Congress, is working collaboratively to develop a Unified Digital Formats Registry (UDFR).  A post describing this international project is on the LC digital preservation site.  

For those not familiar with the project Leslie Johnson, Chief of Repository Development at LC, provided a good example to illustrate how UDFR might be used:

“To illustrate how this might be useful, Johnston provides an example:  ‘Say the archive of a famous writer was written with an obsolete program, such as WordStar, which would need to be either rendered for use, or migrated to a more current system.’  So, a decision would have to be made on which program or tool would be used to extract the information from the archive.  Johnston notes, ‘UDFR will provide the documentation to help make the decisions, and be incorporated into the tools themselves to make preservation format analysis and action easier.’”

 You can learn more about UDFR here.