A Little Sweat Goes A Long Way, or: Building a Community-Driven Digital Asset Management System for Museums

Stefano Cossu, The Art Institute of Chicago, USA, David Wilcox, DuraSpace, Canada

Published paper: A little sweat goes a long way, or: Building a community-driven digital asset management system for museums

In 2013, the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) needed a central facility for the ingestion, preservation, and delivery of millions of documents of many different types, accessible by more than twenty institutional departments and by Web users via websites, mobile apps, and public APIs. This system also needed to aggregate data from existing applications and become the sole API for all shared collection information. Finally, the AIC collection and content managers needed the highest flexibility in the DAMS user interface and a seamless user experience between applications.

None of the solutions reviewed showed the flexibility and robustness necessary to fulfill all these requirements, except for Fedora, an open-source, community-driven software popular among libraries and archives, but scarcely known within the museum community.

~ Two years later… ~
The first beta release of the AIC DAMS, named LAKE, has been recently launched. It is an ecosystem consisting of several data stores and applications, all maintained by communities of educational institutions, with Fedora as their central repository. These systems store and exchange Linked Data natively following open standards. All the code produced is open source and available online.

Stefano Cossu, the LAKE project technical leader, will share his team’s experience as a case study for Fedora as the core information repository of a major museum.

David Wilcox, the Fedora product manager, will address sustainability and shed light on the communities behind Fedora. He will explain how Fedora is supported and improved through an inclusive and transparent decision-making process, how the communities gathered around Fedora and its satellite projects work together to improve interoperability, and how individual adopters’ needs are addressed as part of a larger issue, when possible. These factors highlight an alternative approach to the way software is evaluated, adopted, utilized, and maintained.

Fedora repository: http://www.fedorarepository.org/
Stefano Cossu, Fedora 4 as a shared Linked Data repository - Open Repositories, Helsinki 2014 - http://www.slideshare.net/StefanoCossu/artic-orpresentationfinal-noanim?qid=2b91b90d-ab1c-4c2d-afb7-6eb6c656fcfe&v=qf1&b=&from_search=2