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Archivematica is a digital preservation system that automates the process of preparing digital objects for ingest into a repository and an access system
License:AGPL version 3


[edit] Description

Archivematica is a digital preservation system that automates the process of preparing digital objects for ingest into a repository and an access system, ingesting them into archival storage and providing access to the archived material as well as uploading access copies to an access system. The process is monitored and controlled through a Web-based dashboard that co-ordinates a suite of micro-services. It relies on normalisation with preservation as the original object and comprehensive PREMIS metadata in METS.xml as its primary preservation technique.

[edit] Provider

This project is managed by Artefactual Systems. It began in collaboration with the UNESCO Memory of the World's Subcommittee on Technology and the City of Vancouver Archives, but continues active development along with its partners at the University of British Columbia Library, the Rockefeller Archive Center, Simon Fraser University Archives and Records Management, Bentley Historical Library and a number of other collaborators.

[edit] Platform and interoperability

Archivematica may be installed directly on a Linux system, and specifically targets Long Term Support releases of the Xubuntu operating system. Support is included for using Archivematica as a preservation backend for DSpace, a front end for CONTENTdm access, a front end for LOCKSS storage, and a front end for access using AtoM, which comes bundled with the software.

[edit] Functional notes

Archivematica uses a micro-services approach, which means it acts as a wrapper for many task-specific applications such as the BagIt library, Clam Anti-Virus, DigiKam, FFmpeg, FITS (File Information Tool Set), ImageMagick, Inkscape,, and 7-Zip. The typical workflow is for the curator to assemble a transfer package in the filesystem: a script is provided for setting up the right folder structure or the structure can be assembled manually for some workflows, then digital objects are added to one folder and contextual information (submission documentation in the form of e.g. transfer forms, donation agreements) to another. The package is moved to an input folder 'watched' by the main Archivematica Web tool. Through the Web interface, the curator can decide to accept or reject the transfer. If the transfer is accepted, the tool performs an initial analysis – calculating checksums, assigning UUIDs, scanning for viruses, identifying formats, extracting metadata – and then offers to create a Submission Information Package (SIP); it is also possible to create one or more SIPs manually. Metadata (simple Dublin Core and PREMIS 2.2 rights/restrictions) can then be added to the SIP before it is ingested. At ingest, the curator can choose various routes such as Preservation (where the digital objects are normalised to archival formats and transformed into an Archival Information Package, or AIP), Access (where the digital objects are normalised to dissemination formats and transformed into a Dissemination Information Package, or DIP), repackaging without normalisation, or many combinations of the aforementioned. Further functions are provided for moving AIPs into archival storage and uploading DIPs to AtoM or another access portal. Workflows and decision points are configurable via preconfiguration settings in the administration tab of the web-based dashboard.

[edit] Documentation and user support

The online documentation for Archivematica includes a User and an Administrative Manual; the project wiki provides, screencasts, requirements specifications (including use cases, activity diagrams, recognised significant properties of various media and media preservation plans) and a description of the technical architecture. Community support is available through the Archivematica Discussion Group. Artefactual Systems, Inc., the primary developer of Archivematica, also offers support options.

[edit] Usability

The majority of operations are accomplished through a simple Web-based graphical user interface. Reports on the ease of installation and the robustness of the system are mixed but improving; see for example the experiences of Bonnie Weddle and Angela Jordan with version 0.7, and Jenny Mitcham with version 0.9.

[edit] Expertise required

The system is easy to use, though as it draws heavily on the OAIS Reference Model some familiarity with that model is needed to understand the workflows Archivematica supports. When installing directly on a Linux desktop or server, even if it is deployed in a virtual machine, a little technical expertise is required (e.g. for setting up ports correctly).

[edit] Standards compliance

The functionality of Archivematica is clearly based on that defined by the OAIS Reference Model. The Archival Information Packages generated by the system use the BagIt packaging format, in conjunction with a METS packaging manifest incorporating PREMIS metadata.

[edit] Influence and take-up

Archivematica is used by at least 30 organisations.

[edit] User Experiences

[edit] Development Activity

All development activity is visible on GitHub:

[edit] Release Feed

Below the last 3 release feeds:

2017-12-04 18:05:16
[,2008:Repository/5811958/v1.7.0-rc.2 v1.7.0-rc.2]
by mcantelon
2017-10-20 00:34:41
[,2008:Repository/5811958/v1.7.0-rc.1 v1.7.0-rc.1]
by sevein
2017-07-27 20:21:55
[,2008:Repository/5811958/v1.6.1-rc5 v1.6.1-rc5]
by jhsimpson

[edit] Activity Feed

Below the last 5 commits:

2016-06-02 16:59:12
[,2008:Grit::Commit/d3558b99d2cb6801659be1b48a80af96d7ab2cc7 Archival storage: fix AIP pagination]
2016-04-11 20:14:42
[,2008:Grit::Commit/683ab48b732dd19b636833d0322de7907f45e131 iso 8601 typo]
by kieranjol
2016-04-11 20:08:44
[,2008:Grit::Commit/487257d8bcd4637d8be09ca8e36720352fefac44 iso 8601 typo]
by kieranjol
2016-04-10 18:05:10
[,2008:Grit::Commit/c0ad3fffe2e49dfa5510f7040d4fcddb03768951 storagesetup.html - small typo]
by kieranjol
2016-03-30 18:52:44
[,2008:Grit::Commit/e6f83f7e52a2609e0dc9459b48875382c0f21ad0 dashboard: handle null sipName ES hit]
by sevein


EvelynM (11.5%), Danielle Plumer (3.5%), Chlara (18.3%), Ccmumma (18.3%), COPTR Bot (48.4%)