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About this webinar

On 27 February 2020 (10:00 - 11:00 CET), this live Webinar, followed by an interactive Q&A session, provided information on the Common Specification for Information Packages (CSIP). 

In the first of the CEF eArchiving Building Block’s training webinars, Karin Bredenberg introduced the Common Specification for Information Packages (CSIP). This is the foundation of archival interoperability in the Building Block. The OAIS-compliant specification provides a unified set of rules for packaging any data and metadata into a single conceptual package that can be seamlessly transferred between systems, preserved and reused in the long term.

The live webinar, followed by an interactive Q&A session, was an opportunity for attendees to:

  • learn about the basics of the Common Specification for Information Packages (CSIP), 
  • get a short introduction to the Metadata Encoding & Transmission Standard (METS) which is used to utilise the Information Packages and
  • to understand the Information Package description’s relationship to the wider CEF eArchiving Building Block.

Participants submitted questions and suggested discussion points beforehand using the comments section below or by sending an email to


The CEF eArchiving Building Block provides specifications, reference software, training and service desk support for digital archiving, including digital preservation. In order to help users benefit from the features of the Building Block, CEF is running a series of training Webinars that will cover its core functionality and other relevant CEF eArchiving content. 

Thank you to those of you who had the opportunity to attend the CEF eArchiving-Meet eArchiving workshop held in Brussels on 3 and 4 December 2019. You can read the event summary here, watch the recording and download the presentations delivered during the event here.

Webinar presentation & recording

 CEF webinar CSIP 2020-02-27 Karin Bredenberg v2.0.mp4

Ask us a question!

If you have any additional comments or questions on the webinar, or generally concerning CEF eArchiving or the Service Offering, please reach out to us via Service Desk.

You will need to be logged in using an EU Login account to submit a request. Don't have an EU Login account yet? Sign up here.

Written responses from interactive Q&A

Does your IP model support emergency acquisition of digital material with minimum description, as a set of media e.g. in case of natural disasters or social disruptions?

Yes, the specification contains the common denominators for information transfer. This use case has not been tested so feedback is welcome.

There are a number of packing specifications available already e.g. OAI-ORE or BagIt. What additional value does CSIP bring?

CSIP uses METS. The METS profile used is agreed upon within the eArchiving Building Block and by comments received during open-review calls which means we all can influence CSIP. There is no common standard for transfers in OAI-ORE which is for web resources, and BagIt describes a file layout convention. In contrast, CSIP describes metadata known to be needed in the transfer to an archive. CSIP relies on comments from its users in its evolution meaning it is created by us and used by us.

What happens if your content does not have a Content Information Type Specification, or when your package contains a mix of information types?

You can place content that does not follow a Content Information Type Specification (CITS) into a package as well as mixed content. There are a number of elements (attributes) which describe the content and gives these descriptions. For example if the content is mixed the content files can be described to follow a CITS.

What is the purpose of the "database specification" if there are already content/information type specifications such as ERMS, geodata, research data, financial data, etc,? Mainly for remaining data that won't be mapped to a content type specification, to preserve relations and such?

Yes, if you do not have a specific CITS then use the one for relational databases if the system is relying on a database. But for easier understanding of the content/information it is preferable to use a CITS.





 10:00 - 10:05Welcome Thomas Fillis 

10:05 - 10:10

CEF eArchiving welcome

Dr Jaime Kaminski

10:10 - 10:40

Introduction to CSIP

Karin Bredenberg

10:40 - 11:00


Karin Bredenberg, Dr. Jaime Kaminski, Thomas Fillis

About the presenters

Thomas Fillis

Thomas Fillis is a Communications Consultant in DIGIT working on CEF Digital. Prior to joining DIGIT, Thomas advised a Member of the European Parliament, and worked in the private and not-for-profit sectors. A native of Liverpool, and has certifications from Universities in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands.

Dr. Jaime Kaminski 

Dr. Jaime Kaminski has over 20 years of experience in the ICT sector. He is currently the activity lead for training in E-ARK3 and was training manager for E-ARK4ALL in 2019. He has spent 15 years in academia where he has been researching in the field of Digital Humanities. In that time he has worked on numerous EC-funded projects, including EPOCH, 3D-COFORM, V-MUST, E-RHIS, ROMOR, E-ARK and E-ARK4ALL, as well as the UKRO-funded SEAHA project. Prior to joining academia, he spent 7 years as a technical briefings manager and senior technology analyst for a Blue Chip ICT consultancy where he produced and ran technical seminars.

Karin Bredenberg 

Karin Bredenberg is the metadata strategist at the municipality organisation Sydarkivera. She currently serves as the chair of PREMIS EC, co-chair of TS EAS, chair of the DILCIS Board as well as a member of the METS Board. During 2018-2019 Bredenberg served as the activity lead for specifications in the project E-ARK4ALL and the Connecting Europe eArchiving Building block.

About CEF eArchiving

Financed by the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), the purpose of the CEF eArchiving Building Block is to promote the uptake and accelerate the use of eArchiving specifications amongst both public and private entities established in the EU. The benefits to both users and the wider economy of adopting eArchiving include:

  • Flexibility: supports scaling of digital archival systems from small to very large
  • Standardisation: enables information assets to be transmitted, preserved and re-used across borders as well as time
  • Efficiency: accelerates the delivery time of a working digital archive, while controlling costs
  • Transparency: ensures a high level of confidence among all participants in the information value chain
  • Risk management: reduces risks in information assurance

To do so, CEF eArchiving makes the following services available:

About the CEF building blocks

The CEF building blocks provide basic services which can be reused to enable more complex digital public services offered to citizens, businesses and public administration. They provide reusable tools and services helping to underpin the Digital Single Market, that aims to remove digital regulatory barriers, contributing as much as EUR 415 billion per year to the European economy. The CEF Digital Portal is the home of the CEF building blocks (Big Data Test Infrastructure, Blockchain, Context Broker, eArchivingeIDeDeliveryeInvoicingeSignatureeTranslation and Once Only Principle). It is the one-stop-shop for information about the building blocks. 

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