Archivematica 1.4 is a legacy release, and these documents are no longer being maintained.


  1. What technical skills are required to install/maintain/operate Archivematica?

    To install and maintain Archivematica successfully, you or someone in your organization should be comfortable using and maintaining Linux-based servers, logging in to the server and performing operations via the command line. This individual should also be able to read and understand and/or research errors in Linux based systems to assist with troubleshooting.

    Operating Archivematica takes place in a web-based dashboard so an archivist/librarian/curator does not necessarily need to have the same skill set described above, so long as someone in their organization is able to provide technical support. Some familiarity with OAIS will make Archivematica more intuitive to use but is not necessarily a prerequisite.

    Oragnizations that are unable to provide in-house technical support may consider a maintenance contract through Artefactual Systems.

  2. Does Archivematica perform fixity checks?

    Archivematica generates checksums upon transfer of objects into the system, and will verify those checksums before storing the AIP. It is also possible to include pre-existing checksums, which Archivematica will also verify.

    To check fixity of AIPs in storage, Artefactual has written a separate command-line app called Fixity (further user documentation for Fixity is pending).

  3. Is Archivematica a storage system?

    Archivematica is purposefully designed to be storage system agnostic, leaving the door open for integration with a wide variety of existing storage systems.

  4. What is the Archivematica Storage Service and why is there a separate application?

    The Archivematica Storage Service manages the storage and transfer source locations for Archivematica installations. Our recommendation is for each institution to have one or two administrators who are responsible for managing the Storage Service and restrict access to only those individuals. This is one of the reasons why it is maintained as a separate application; another reason is so that multiple Archivematica pipelines can be managed through one Storage Service.

  5. Why doesn’t Archivematica have a module for providing access to digital materials?

    In a manner of speaking, it does! It’s called AtoM and it is another open-source, freely available software application managed and developed by Artefactual Systems. Archivematica and AtoM are developed in conjunction with one another, and you can send access copies from Archivematica to AtoM, while maintaining a link between your preservation copies and the access copies. AtoM can also be used to manage archival descriptions for all of your digital and analogue material, so your users do not have to consult multiple systems to do their research.

    We recognize that you may wish to use a different access system than AtoM, which is why we have developed workflows with CONTENTdm, Islandora, DSpace, Archivist’s Toolkit and ArchivesSpace, for example. Other integrations are possible; see the next question below.

  6. I need to user Archivematica in conjunction with another system (for access, storage, etc). How can I integrate the two systems?

    The list of systems and tools that Archivematica is integrated with grows with almost every release. If you are interested in having Archivematica integrate with a system which is not currently on our Roadmap, here are a few ideas:

    • Post to the user forum and ask community members if they have any experience creating a workflow between Archivematica and the other system.
    • If you have software development skills, consider writing to code required to integrate the two systems. If practical, we would gladly accept the code into the Archivematica code base via a pull request.
    • Contract Artefactual Systems to write the code. We will work with you to identify requirements and include the new integration code in the next software release, for the entire community’s benefit.
  7. I’m having a problem with installation/Why is Archivematica difficult to install?

    If you encounter errors during installation you are welcome to post your errors to our user forum. Artefactual Systems, or other Archivematica community members, will do their best to help you. Please be patient: answering questions from users is unsponsored work and it can take a while for us to respond when we are busy. Information that we might ask you for includes:

    • What version of Archivematica are you installing.
    • Are you upgrading or installing fresh.
    • Are you using something other than the recommended requirements from our installation instructions.
    • Include stack traces or results from error logs if possible.

    Archivematica is a complex piece of software with many dependencies, all of which are open-source. Because of it’s complex, open-source nature, it is not feasible to create a click-through executible file for installation.

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