Archival Information Package (AIP)

The E-ARK Archival Information Package (E-ARK AIP) specification describes the pan-European standard for packaging data and metadata for long-term storage. The specification is built on and reuses fully the Common Specification for Information Packages but extends it with aspects relevant in long-term storage. More explicitly the E-ARK AIP specification defines straightforward possibilities for extending the initial set of data and metadata with information that is created by preservation procedures, like additional representations of the data, and metadata about these preservation procedures. At the same time the specification provides methods that allow long-term archives to protect the integrity and authenticity of the package throughout these procedures. 

As such the key objectives of this document are:

  • To define a generic structure of the AIP format in a way that it is suitable for a wide variety of data types, such as document and image collections, archival records, databases or geographical data
  • To recommend a set of metadata related to the structural and the preservation aspects of the AIP as implemented by the reference implementation (earkweb)
  • To ensure the format is also suitable to store large quantities of data.


Used standards

  • Common Specification for Information Packages (CS IP)
  • Reference model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS)  (OAIS Reference model)
  • Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS)
  • Preservation Metadata Implementation Strategies (PREMIS)
  • General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679/EU (GDPR)
  • One or more Content Information Type specification
  • Data Entity Dictionary Specification Language (DEDSL) ‒ XML/DTD: ISO 22643:2003 (CCSDS 647.3-B-1:2002)
  • Information technology ‒ Document Schema Definition Languages (DSDL) ‒ Part 3: Rule-based validation – Schematron: ISO/IEC 19757-3:2016 (ISO standard)


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Download the E-ARK AIP

Latest version 

E-ARK AIP v2.1.0 (May 17, 2024). PDF, HTML.


Previous versions

E-ARK AIP v.2.1.0 (October 15, 2021)

E-ARK AIP v.2.0.4 (June 12, 2020)

E-ARK AIP v2.0.1 (September 9, 2019)

E-ARK AIP v2.0.0 (May 15, 2019)

E-ARK AIP v1.0 (January 27, 2017)