The background for this paper is work in progress in E-ARK: an EC FP7 pilot B project having as its main objective the creation of an open source, digital archiving system with attendant standards and tools to be deployed in seven pilot instances. Hence practical application is at the heart of the project, which is led by archivists, researchers, SMEs, digital preservation / archiving membership organizations and government home offices, who together seek to fill the current digital archiving lacuna. E-ARK is a wide-ranging project: we are taking and integrating existing best practices into a digital archiving system, so that it is suitable not only for national archives and government agencies, but also for regional, local, business and research archives of all shapes and sizes. A legal study taking account of varying national legal directives delineates how the archiving system can be deployed against a pan-European backdrop.
 E-ARK is funded by the European Commission’s FP7 PSP CIP Pilot B Programme under Grant Agreement no. 620998.