SIARD (Software Independent Archiving of Relational Databases)

The SIARD specification is an open file format for the long-term archiving of relational databases in the form of text data based on XML that is packaged in a container file.

If the structure and content of a relational database are translated into the SIARD format, it will subsequently be possible to access and exchange the data in the database in the future, even when the original database software is no longer available or can no longer be run. This long-term interpretability of the database content is based on the use of two widely supported international standards: XML and SQL:2008.

Please note that in addition to the SIARD specification the DILCIS Board maintains the SIARD CITS specification which describes how to package a SIARD file for long-term preservation along with additional representations of the data, metadata, and documentation.

We welcome all feedback in regard to the SIARD specification - if you have any comments or proposals, please contact us per This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or leave your comments on GitHub!

Relational Database Archiving Interest Group

The DILCIS Board and eArchiving Building Block also maintain a “Relational Database Archiving Interest Group” which documents and shares best practices on database archiving, the use of the SIARD and SIARD CITS specifications, and related software. If you are interested in joining the interest group, please register at

For now, the Interest Group has published two international case studies:

Download SIARD

Latest version (v2.2, August 31, 2021)


Previous versions

SIARD 2.1.1 (May 15, 2019)

SIARD 2.0 (June 1, 2016)

SIARD 1.0 (September 30, 2008)