ABOUT: Peter Van Garderen

artefactual91 I am the original designer and developer of the Archivematica and AtoM software systems. These tools are used to manage the accessibility, usability and authenticity of digital information objects at hundreds of organizations worldwide. Artefactual Systems is the lead developer for these free and open source applications.

I launched Artefactual Systems in 2001 to provide archives technology services and since then have worked with major memory institutions worldwide to implement enterprise systems and policies. I stepped aside as President in late 2013 and returned to work as an independent consultant and researcher in 2014.

I was a Doctoral Candidate in Media Studies at the University of Amsterdam (2005-2013). The prototyping work from my PhD research spun off into the ICA-AtoM and Archivematica projects. I continue to research information today, at its various layers of abstraction, using a systems theory methodology applied to real-world projects and prototypes. One of my current interests is the application of blockchain technologies to recordkeeping and information management processes.

I am a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of British Columbia’s Master of Archival Studies program (1997). I have worked at the University of British Columbia’s School of Library, Archival and Information Studies as an Adjunct Professor (1999-2004) and as the Project Coordinator for International Research on Permanent Authentic Records in Electronic Systems (InterPARES Project) (1998-2000). I also hold a Certificate in Software Engineering (2001) from UBC.



peter [at] vangarderen [dot] net

Presentations and Articles


June 8, 2016Archival Requirements for the Decentralized Web” discussion panel, Decentralized Web Summit (San Francisco, CA).

June 2, 2016  “Archives, Technology and Innovation” opening keynote address, Association of Canadian Archivists conference (Montreal, Quebec)

May 17, 2016The Blockchain and Digital Preservation” VanDigiPres Forum (Vancouver, BC).

April 11, 2016  “Decentralized Autonomous CollectionsMedium.com article.

March 9, 2016  “Introduction to Blockchain and Recordkeeping” Recordkeeping Rountable (Sidney, Australia).

February 21, 2015  “Ethereum 101” Coinfest 2015 (Vancouver, BC).

June 25, 2014Archivatopia: the akashic record, what if?” Association of Canadian Archivists conference (Victoria, BC).

September 3, 2013Realizing the Archivematica vision: delivering a comprehensive and free OAIS implementation” 10th International Conference on Preservation of Digital Objects (Lisbon, Portugal)

October 16, 2012Archivematica and the Open Source Mindset for Digital Preservation Systems” The Signal (Library of Congress)

October 6, 2012The Community Driven Evolution of the Archivematica Project” International Conference on Digital Preservation – iPres 2012 (Toronto, Canada)

September 26, 2012The Archivematica project: Meeting digital continuity’s technical challenges” UNESCO Memory of the World conference (Vancouver, Canada)

June 8, 2012 “AtoMs of gold” Association of Canadian Archivists annual conference (Whitehorse, Canada)

June 7, 2012 “Developing digital infrastructure for Canadian Archives” Association of Canadian Archivists annual conference (Whitehorse, Canada)

January 26 – 27, 2012 “Digital Preservation: From Theory to Practice” University of Toronto iSchool course (Toronto, Canada)

January 6, 2012 “Introduction to the Archivematica software and project” CurateGear: Enabling the Curation of Digital Collections (Chapel Hill, NC)

October 19, 2011 Open Source Big Data: Occupy the Memory. Access2011 (Vancouver, BC)

August 27, 2011 Practical Approaches to Born-Digital Records: What’s Coming Next. Society of American Archivists 2011 conference. (Chicago, IL)

August 16, 2011 Archivematica: Transfer & SIP Creation Design review. CURATEcamp 2011. (Stanford University, CA)

August 15, 2011 Why are we doing this again?: Digital Preservation Strategies Check-in CURATEcamp 2011. (Stanford University, CA)

June 26, 2011Demystifying Digital Preservation Systems” American Library Association 2011 conference. (New Orleans, USA)

June 25, 2011PREMIS in Archivematica” American Library Association 2011 conference. (New Orleans, USA)

June 6-7, 2011 “Digital Preservation: From Theory to Practice” University of Toronto iSchool course (Toronto, Canada)

June 2, 2011 “Notes from the Front Lines: new approaches to managing and preserving electronic records and data” Association of Canadian Archivists conference (Toronto, Canada)

May 5, 2011 Lyrasis “Staying on TRAC” webinar.

April 28, 2011 Archivematica workshop. Archives Association of British Columbia 2011 conference (Vancouver, Canada).

Mar 31 – Apr 1, 2011 “Digital Preservation: From Theory to Practice” University of Toronto iSchool course (Toronto, Canada)

Mar 28 – 29, 2011 “Digital Preservation: From Theory to Practice” University of Toronto iSchool course (Ottawa, Canada)

January 13, 2011. “Effective use of open standards for digital archiving” Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) webcast.

December 6, 2010. Archivematica poster session at the 6th International Digital Curation Conference (Chicago, Illinois).

November 10, 2010. Archivematica workshop (University of Victoria Library).

November 5, 2010. Archivematica workshop (University of Calgary Library).

September 20, 2010. “Using Micro-Services and Open-Source Software to Deliver a Comprehensive Digital Curation Solution”. paper. youtube. slides. iPress 2010 conference (Vienna, Austria).

September 16, 2010. International Council on Archives CITRA Conference workshop (Oslo, Norway).

September 1, 2010. Archivematica Workshop. Simon Fraser University. (Burnaby, Canada) slides (3.3 MB).

June 22, 2010. “Using ICA-AtoM for the Manitoba Archival Information Network.” Association for Manitoba Archives Institutional Forum. University of Manitoba Archives (Winnipeg, Canada).

June 10, 2010. “Meeting the Digital Challenge”. Association of Canadian Archivists conference (Halifax, Canada).

June 9, 2010. “Archivematica Technical Overview and Preservation Planning” The Archives and Technology Unconference (Halifax, Canada).

June 8, 2010. Digital Preservation in the Canadian Landscape (Halifax, Canada).

June 2, 2010. “Lowering the Barrier to Best Practice Digital Preservation“. IS&T Archiving 2010 presentation (The Hague, Netherlands).

May 25-26, 2010. “Practical Digital Preservation”. International Council on Archives Section on International Organisations (Washington, DC) workshop.

May 24, 2010. “Creating a Comprehensive Digital Preservation System”. The National Archives Center for Advanced Systems and Technologies (NCAST) presentation (Washington, DC). youtube. transcript.

May 2009. “MemoryBC.ca: Using ICA-AtoM to host the AABC’s Provincial Union List of Archival Descriptions” (Calgary, Alberta) Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) Annual Conference.

March 2009. “The ICA-AtoM Project and Technology” (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Association of Brazilian Archives (AAB) Meeting on Archival Information Databases.

July 2008. “The ICA-AtoM Project: Launching the International Open-Source archival Description Software Initiative” International Council on Archives Congress (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).

July 2008. “The ICA-AtoM Project and Open Source Software for Archives” (Goiânia, Brazil) Association of Brazilian Archivists Conference.slides.

June 2008 “Open Source Software for Archives” Association of Canadian Archivists Conference. (Frederiction, New Brunswick). slides.

January 29, 2007What is information anyway?Archivemati.ca article.

January 22, 2007Archival materials: a practical definitionArchivemati.ca article.

December 8, 2006The information model to end all information modelsArchivemati.ca article.

November 27, 2006Does my digital archives need a digital repository system?Archivemati.ca article.

October 13, 2006. “Digital Preservation: An Overview”. Managing Information Assets in the Public Sector conference. (Edmonton, Alberta). webcast. citations.

August 5, 2006. “Web 2.0 and Archives Access Systems” Society of American Archivists, 2006 Annual Conference. (Washington, DC). webcast.

July 1, 2006. “Web 2.0 and Archives Access Systems” Association of Canadian Archivists, 2006 Annual Conference. (St. John’s, Canada).

May 24, 2006. “Web 2.0 and Access to Digital Archives” IS&T Archiving 2006 Conference. (Ottawa, Canada).

May 8, 2006. “Web 2.0 and archival institutions“. Archivemati.ca article.

February 7th, 2006. “Archiving: ensuring long-term accessibility and usability of CMS content” Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS) Summit. (Vancouver, Canada). slides