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eArchiving - Technical Specifications

In order to create and adapt your archive, or develop your own application, you can refer to our technical specifications to ensure it conforms with the eArchiving standards.


eArchiving technical specifications describe open formats for packaging data and metadata to ensure interoperability of archival solutions and data repositories.

The most common principles and requirements are presented separately within the E-ARK Common Specification for Information Packages (CSIP). The  eArchiving specifications are being maintained by DILCIS Board where you can get further information and get access to latest and previous versions of the specification documents in PDF format.

The following diagram shows the E-ARK specification dependency hierarchy.

At the root is the Common Specification for Information Packages (CSIP), which defines the general format requirements that must be met by all other specifications in the hierarchy.

One level below are the OAIS package type specifications for the transfer to archival repositories (E-ARK SIP), for the preservation over extended periods (E-ARK AIP) and for the reuse of archived content (E-ARK DIP).

At the bottom of the diagram are the so called Content Information Type Specifications (CITS) which describe formats and recommendations for specific application domains, such as geographic data (CITS Geospatial), relational databases (CITS SIARD), and health (CITS eHealth1 Patient Medical Records), just to name a few. Note that the image only shows a selection of the published CITS.

Below is a list of the most important specifications. The links lead to an overview page of the specifications on the DILCIS Board website where you can find the current version as well as all previous versions.

Examples for the Content Information Type Specifications (CITS) are the following:

You can find information about other Content Information Type Specifications (CITS) on the DILCIS Board website.

Finally, there are specifications which can be used in combination with any of the above mentioned specifications to ensure interoperability of descriptive and preservation metadata:


On GitHub you can follow latest updates and developments regarding E-ARK Specifications and E-ARK Software, Services, and Tools.


If you have any questions or comments about this page, or eArchiving in general, please visit the eArchiving Initiative support desk 


Related Content

Big Picture

eArchiving Initiative

The eArchiving Initiative provides core specifications, software, training and knowledge to help people store information for longer.

See Also

eArchiving Glossary

The eArchiving Glossary gives an overview about the main terms used in the context of the eArchiving initiative including the specifications and tools.

eArchiving - get involved

The eArchiving initiative counts on organisations and institutions to share knowledge and build the eArchiving community.

eArchiving - Conformance Seal

The eArchiving Conformance Seal is a sign of quality of digital archiving, long term preservation, and data management following standards and best practices.