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About this webinar

On 26 March 2020 (10.00 – 13.00 CET) this live Webinar, followed by an interactive Q&A session, introduced ESSArch- an open source-based solution for long-term preservation of digital information. 

In the second of the CEF eArchiving Building Block’s training webinars, Andreas Segerberg and Björn Skog introduced ESSArch, an open source archival solution compliant to the OAIS ISO-standard and a part of the Sample Software Portfolio in the Building Block. ESSArch consists of software components that provide functionality for Pre-Ingest, Ingest, Preservation, Access, Data Management, Administration and Archival Management. ESSArch has been developed together with the National Archives of Sweden and Norway. Every software component of ESSArch can be used individually and also be easily integrated together to provide overall functionality for producers, archivists and consumers.

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

  • learn about ESSArch, its functionality and components
  • gain insight into how ESSArch supports the E-ARK-specifications and Submission Agreements
  • find out how the system can support your organisations workflows and needs

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.





10.00 – 10.15

Welcome to eArchiving

Jaime Kaminski

10.15 – 11.30ESSArch – an open source-based solution for long-term preservation of digital informationAndreas Segerberg and Björn Skog

Introduction to ESS and ESSArch 

Pre-Ingest and Ingest 

Archival and Data Management 

11.30 – 11.45Comfort break
11.45 – 12.45ESSArch – an open source-based solution for long-term preservation of digital information (Continued)Andreas Segerberg and Björn Skog

Access and Portal 

Reports, Statistics, Monitoring and API 

Configuration and Administration 

ESSArch Installation procedures 

12.45 – 13.00



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

The Creator Organisation, in our case, would often be the local government body for which I work.  But it would also often be a third party which is depositing records with us.  Can third-party organisations have an interface with the Producers part?       

Yes. An export from a source system can be packaged by the ESSArch Pre-Ingest functionality automatically, semi-automatically or manually. Even details about the depositing organisations can be added as metadata.

Could you please explain once more what the IP contains? Files, original metadata attached to the files or metadata based on archival standards added by an archivist?   

The IP simply consists of content (data) and metadata. Content can be represented by files (data=physical format) and/or logical data (logical format). Descriptive metadata can also be included.

Could you please explain file transfer protocols from clients to the ESSArch server and is there a client desktop application for creating SIPs? Do you see problems with huge file transfers to the central ESSArch server or any other possible bottlenecks?      

Upload functionality in ESSArch Pre-Ingest (yes, it can be installed as a stand-alone web application locally on PCs) uses https as protocol. For larger data volumes, other protocols are recommended like sftp or scp, for example. Huge file transfers should not be done by using https.

Is integration with RM systems completely open to being done from them? Can we understand that the information and files are directly extracted from RMS?       

Yes, connectivity to ESSArch can be achieved using the ESSArch REST API. An extraction (export) from an RMS to a dedicated map can be polled and automatically be taken care of and be submitted, ingested and stored in the archival storage if that kind of workflow is requested and configured.

Can you import authority records from another source?  (e.g. if the traditional archives are associated with authority records held in CALM?) Same question for groups of permitted users (e.g. to mirror user groups in an EDRM). 

Yes, for the moment by using CLI commands/scripts. A GUI-friendly interaction can be developed on request. However, even though using standardised EAD/EAC format, an analysis of every AIS is recommended (for example, CALM) export capabilities to ensure mapping with the import functionality in ESSArch AIS. We do support connectivity with AD/ADFS and LDAP if any requirements exist in regard to users, roles and permissions etc.

Does the platform offer any APIs, maybe for some of the modules?      

Yes, a REST API.

I am encouraged to see there is an Appraisal date to facilitate destruction, as some of our records are for long-term but not permanent retention.  You refer to keeping records for a certain amount of time, but it may be less certain: periods may be subject to change.  Is there any way of marking records with a retention code+trigger date so that appraisal dates can be updated accordingly?     

Yes, appraisal (destroy) is addressed as an archive maintenance action/issue. It can be scheduled as a job, changed over time, per object (record) or collections, and finally be executed by the responsible person or by the system itself.

Does the platform support the use case when a producer has created SIPs up to a certain level (e.g. created in the digitisation phase) and wants to send a large number of SIPs (e.g. thousands of files with accompanying XML files over several terabytes) to ESSArch and then complete the whole process in the ESSArch platform? Can you share your experiences with a case like this?

Yes, it is recommended that every client determine their need for different kinds of workflows. In the case of submitting many SIPs frequently, we also urge clients, often in dialogue with ESS, to consider performance issues and related costs. If you, for example, want to interact and integrate your digitisation processes with ESSArch it might be sufficient, in some cases, to just integrate with the ESSArch Ingest process/functionality. The Swedish National Archive uses ESSArch in their automated scanning productional environment.

Is there any web interface where the public could search for those records which are classified as public?        

Yes, if authorisation allows you to, through the Access functionality, Archival descriptions functionality, REST API  and by integration with some third-party tools like for example Datasette and Omeka.

In some cases disposal has to applied only on few documents of a case file, is it possible to manage it on ESSArch automatically (or semi-automatically)? The same regarding access.       

Yes, disposal of particular objects (records) can be regulated by the security rules and regulations set up in consultation with the client. Disposal could also be conducted automatically, semi-automatically or manually.

Does ESSArch contain a GUI for SIARD browsing?

ESSArch will have support for indexing of SIARD on metadata level in the next GA release. ESSArch supports the transformation of SIARD data to portable SQLITE databases for easy access, browsing and querying.

ESSArch demo             

If you want to test or try ESSArch, please download the docker version: - nightly build ESS repo on GitHub - EARK repo on GitHub


For more information on ESSArch, please see eArchiving Webinar #13 – Practical applications of digital archiving – validation

and eArchiving Webinar #14 – Practical applications of digital archiving – submission agreements

About the presenters

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.

Björn Skog

Björn is CEO at ES Solutions and a senior consultant within strategic digital preservation. He founded ES Solutions together with Henrik Ek in 2002. Björn has more than 25 years of experience of information lifecycle management, especially digital preservation and long-term preservation. Björn has contributed to E-ARK and EARK4ALL with knowledge and expertise, especially regarding specifications, the General Model, maturity models and ESSArch.

Andreas Segerberg

Andreas has a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Science and Archives/Records Management. Andreas is a preservation strategist and a senior consultant within strategic digital preservation and software development at ES Solutions. He is also a member of the board of FAI, a member of the ISO/SIS technical committee TK546, and participates in the project DocNow. Andreas has been working with archives, records management and e-archiving since 2011 at the City and Regional Archives of Gothenburg and has been lecturing in digital preservation at the University of Gothenburg since 2015. In E-ARK4ALL he contributed to tool integration, training and outreach activities.

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.