Archivematica 1.11.2 is our latest release.

Archival storage

The Archival Storage tab consists of a table showing all of the stored Archival Information Packages (AIPs) for the Archivematica instance. There is a search interface at the top of the page where you can construct simple or boolean queries to find AIPs or individual items in storage. At the top of the table is the total size of the stored AIPs and the number of indexed files. The table lists the AIP’s name, size, UUID, date that the AIP was stored, status, and whether or not the AIP is encrypted. Use the up and down arrows in the column headers to sort by AIP name, size, or date stored.

The Archival Storage tab showing a table of five AIPs that have been stored.

From the Archival Storage tab, you can select an individual AIP and download it, delete it, or initiate AIP re-ingest.

Note that Dissemination Information Packages (DIPs) are not displayed on the Archival Storage tab, even if they have been stored. For information on accessing stored DIPs, see the Storage Service documentation.

On this page


If you are running Archivematica without Elasticsearch or with limited Elasticsearch functionality, the Archival Storage tab may not appear in your dashboard.

Searching the AIP store

The Archival Storage tab allows you to search for any AIP that appears in the Archivematica instance’s index. You can free search over all of the results or limit your search using one or more of the search parameters:

  • File UUID: the UUID of a specific file within an AIP.
  • File extension: the format extension of a file within an AIP.
  • AIP UUID: the UUID of the AIP.
  • AIP name: the name of the AIP.
  • Identifiers: an external identifier added to the AIP using an identifiers.json file; OR the value of the <identifier> field in a MODS file included as submission documentation or in an Islandora transfer’s METS file (using the Islandora integration).
  • Part of AIC: an AIC number added to the AIP’s descriptive metadata, formatted as AIC# followed by the value (i.e. AIC#GWQ498). This searches for the individual AIPs that comprise an AIC.
  • AIC identifier: the identifier of a created AIC, formatted as AIC# followed by the value (i.e. AIC#GWQ498). This search returns AIC packages.
  • Transfer metadata: metadata added using the special metadata form for the disk image transfer type.
  • Transfer metadata (other): the contents of the bag-info.txt of a bag transfer. Note that if you select this option, a second data entry box will pop up where youcan define a specific bag-info.txt field you would like to search against - for example, if bag-info.txt included the line Source-Organization: My Org, you could enter Source-Organization into the second data entry box to limit searches to that field.

You can also define your search string as a keyword, phrase, or date range:

  • Keyword: by default, the Keyword option treats the search string as a Boolean OR search - that is, every word is treated as a separate value connected by OR operators. For example, searching for 2015-Annual-Report actually searches for “2015 OR Annual OR Report”, so the results contain anything named with “2015” or “Annual” or “Report”. To search for a specific strings, add quotation marks around the string - "2015-Annual-Report".
  • Phrase: the Phrase option allows for more flexibility while searching. You can use the Phrase option to perform fuzzy searches, such as council* to find AIPs named council-minutes, councilminutes, and council-report.
  • Date range: this allows you to search for AIPs that were created by Archivematica between two dates. You can conduct date range searches by entering a date, a colon, and a second date, such as 2015-01-02:2015-03-15.

Searching for Archival Information Collections (AICs)

Archivematica includes the ability to break a single collection into multiple AIPs that are connected together as an Archival Information Collection (AIC). For more information on searching for AICs, see Search for AICs.

AIP information page

Clicking on the name of an AIP will open the AIP information page. From this page, it is possible to upload an associated DIP, re-ingest the AIP, or delete the AIP as well as downloading the AIP or viewing the METS and pointer files.

The information page for an AIP.

Downloading an AIP

To download an AIP, click Download. The download will begin in your web browser. Note that for very large AIPs, it might take a few minutes for the download to start. Downloading very large AIPs can result in hitting Archivematica’s default timeouts, resulting in an AIP that doesn’t download - please see the Scaling up documentation for more information on adjusting timeouts. If the AIP is too large, you may need to download it directly from the storage location.

For more information about how AIPs are structured, please see AIP structure.

Downloading the METS file

The AIP METS file lists all of the digital objects in the AIP (original files, preservation masters, license files, OCR text files, submission documentation, etc.), describes their relationships to each other, and links digital objects to their descriptive, technical, provenance, and rights metadata.

To look at the METS file without having to download the AIP, you can click on View next to METS file. The METS file will either open in your browser or it will automatically start downloading.

For more information about Archivematica’s METS implementation, see METS in Archivematica.

Downloading the pointer file

The AIP pointer file provides information about how the AIP was packaged for storage, its fixity, and where the AIP is stored. The pointer file is used by Archivematica primarily to retrieve the AIP.

To download the pointer file, click on View next to Pointer file. The pointer file will either open in your browser or it will automatically start downloading.

Metadata-only upload to AtoM

From the AIP information page, it is possible to send a metadata-only upload to a connected AtoM site. See Metadata-only upload to AtoM for more information.

Re-ingest AIP

From the AIP information page, it is possible to reingest an AIP in order to add or update metadata, create a DIP on demand, or re-run all microservices. See Re-ingest AIP for more information.

Delete AIP

Deleting an AIP in Archivematica is a two-step process. First, the user must request that the AIP be deleted. Then, a Storage Service administrator must approve the deletion from the Storage Service interface. If the administrator approves the request, the AIP will be deleted from your Archival Storage and the index will be updated. If the administrator denies the request, the AIP will remain in storage.

  1. On the AIP information page, navigate to the Delete action tab at the bottom of the page.

    Dashboard request to delete AIP
  2. Enter the AIP UUID and a reason for deletion.

    Give a reason for deletion
  3. Click delete. When you refresh the Archival Storage tab, the status of your AIP should now read Deletion requested.


Note that Archivematica tracks the location and existence of AIPs in 2 ways: within the Storage Service and in the Elasticsearch index which you can search via the dashboard. Deleting AIPs directly from the file system rather than through the Storage Service will cause inconsistencies in both applications and is not recommended in a production environment.

AIP encryption

Beginning in the 1.7 version of Archivematica, institutions are able to encrypt their AIPs for secure storage. This feature is particularly useful when an institution stores its AIPs off-site.

To create an encrypted AIP, Archivematica needs an encrypted space and location set up in the Storage Service. Please see Encryption for more information.

  1. Run your transfer through the regular microservices.
  2. At the Store AIP location job on the Ingest tab, choose your encrypted AIP location. You now have an encrypted AIP!

You can tell if your AIP is encrypted by looking at the Encrypted column of the table on the Archival Storage tab. Encrypted AIPs are marked as True.

Archival storage tab showing encrypted AIP

The AIP pointer file contains a PREMIS:EVENT element for the encryption event.

The AIP itself can be downloaded in unencrypted form from the Archival Storage tab.

AIP storage structure

For efficient storage and retrieval, Archivematica’s Storage Service uses a directory tree structure based on the AIP’s UUID, which is the 32-digit alphanumeric unique universal identifier assigned to each AIP. Each UUID is broken down into a manageable 4-character chunk, or “UUID quad”.

Screenshot of a file browser showing the AIP quad directories, with the lowest-level directory open to show the AIP package.

Each quad represents a directory. The first four characters (the first UUID quad) of the AIP UUID are used as the name of the main subdirectory in the AIP storage. The second UUID quad will be used as the name of a subdirectory of the first, and so on. The last four characters (the last UUID quad) are used to create the leaf of the AIP store directory tree, and the AIP with that UUID resides in that leaf.

This folder structure is the same for both compressed and uncompressed AIPs. AIPs that have been compressed for storage will be in .7z format. Uncompressed AIPs will be stored as a directory, rather than a zipfile.

The quad directory structure is used for storage only. When you download the AIP, you will only get the AIP itself, not the quad directories.

For more information about how AIPs are structured, please see AIP structure.

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