SIARD (Software Independent Archiving of Relational Databases)

The SIARD specification is an open file format for the long-term archiving of relational databases in the form of text data based on XML that is packaged in a container file.

The link to SIARD here to the right have been updated to contain no spaces (2024/05/17).

If the structure and content of a relational database are translated into the SIARD format, it will subsequently be possible to access and exchange the data in the database in the future, even when the original database software is no longer available or can no longer be run. This long-term interpretability of the database content is based on the use of two widely supported international standards: XML and SQL:2008.

Please note that in addition to the SIARD specification the DILCIS Board maintains the SIARD CITS specification which describes how to package a SIARD file for long-term preservation along with additional representations of the data, metadata, and documentation.

We welcome all feedback in regard to the SIARD specification - if you have any comments or proposals, please contact us per This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or leave your comments on GitHub!


Relational Database Archiving Interest Group

The DILCIS Board maintains a Relational DataBase Archiving Interest Group as the means of communication between the database archiving community. Specifically, a mailing list has been set up where information about SIARD, CITS SIARD, database archiving tools, best practices, case studies, and related news can be shared. As a list member, you will receive the latest news and information about database archiving from the developers of the SIARD specification and associated tools. You are also welcome to ask any questions about and share your personal practices in relational database archiving!

You can join the mailing list at

The Interest Group has also prepared two international case studies on relational database archiving:

Download SIARD

Latest version (v2.2, August 31, 2021)


Previous versions

SIARD 2.1.1 (May 15, 2019)

SIARD 2.0 (June 1, 2016)

SIARD 1.0 (September 30, 2008)