Open Source

Marist College, Rockefeller Archive Center Partner on Open Source Digital Archival Tech

Marist College and the Rockefeller Archive Center (RAC) in New York have partnered to develop and implement an open source digital records management system to support researchers, archival staff and the broader archival community.

According to Jack Meyers, president of the Rockefeller Archive Center, archivists struggle with "how to manage the flow of archival information among diverse platforms so that digitized and born-digital records can be properly preserved and also made easily accessible to the broadest possible audience."

At the same time, one of the goals of Marist College "is to offer open source technologies, such as Liferay and Blockchain, to like-minded organizations that create a lasting impact on our community," said Bill Thirsk, vice president of information technology and CIO at the college, in a news release.

The two-year digital records infrastructure project has two main components:

  • A repository for long-term storage and maintenance of digital records; and
  • A microservices application programming interface (API) to manage the flow of data between archival systems and the repository.

The system will be compatible with existing archival standards and will use well-documented open source technologies and user-centered design so other institutions can more easily adopt and deploy the components, according to a news release. Marist and RAC will develop the repository and API infrastructure using open source portal technology, and developers will research the use of Blockchain, ArchivesSpace, Archivematica, Fedora and other open source tools. The institutions anticipate that the platform will offer scalability and rapid implementation of emerging technologies to support digital records management for archives.

In a related project, Marist College will use the open source platform Liferay to help the RAC develop a website documenting more than 100 years of the Rockefeller Foundation's international philanthropic programs. The site will include images, documents and films from the RAC.

The partnership is supported by the Cloud Computing and Analytics Center at Marist College, with a generous financial contribution from the Rockefeller Archive Center.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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