Consortially Developed Collections Management Software

This Sponsor Feature was contributed by Noah W. Smith, CEO, Common Media.

Born-Digital works with cultural heritage institutions, libraries and museums to promote public access to their collections. We build intuitive, affordable, and durable discovery and access systems with Open Source tools, often migrating digital objects and metadata from proprietary legacy systems and boxes of drives. We take great pride in being a true ally to collections management teams, providing long-term support, maintenance and continuous enhancement services.

We look forward to DLF every year to gain exposure to new tools, methodologies and processes. As a vendor, we tend to work in and around the same areas of core expertise, so these gatherings are immensely valuable to us as a means to cross-pollinate and meet new potential collaborators. We are also always excited to see our work in the lens of the larger community: solutions we develop for Liberal Arts needs are often more broadly applicable than we anticipate.

Our most fulfilling collaborations are enabled by pooled-resource funding models, allowing consortial clients to obtain and utilize systems which would be financially burdensome to support individually. We are proud to carry this work even further by contributing the fruits of our labor back into the open source community, lowering the cost of entry for additional institutions.

Two recent and ongoing projects:

Five College Compass: Compass supports a collaborative group of small liberal arts institutions in a shared infrastructure model, each of which might have struggled to fund a robust repository on its own. This innovative project highlights the power of consortial software development and its ability to compound the strengths of individual institutions. The end product is an accessible, elegant, and scalable production-grade system.

ISLE: ISLE is a consortially-funded, next-generation infrastructure platform for Islandora. Islandora is a powerful digital repository toolkit comprised of more than 80 different open-source software libraries. This complex ecosystem makes Islandora difficult and expensive to install, maintain and customize. By utilizing pre-built, disposable virtual servers in conjunction with permanent but separable data stores, ISLE lowers the barrier to entry for new schools while also allowing existing institutions to reallocate maintenance budgets towards development or ingestion. ISLE’s release date is tentatively scheduled for early 2018.

For more about Born-Digital, please visit, or stop by our table in the exhibition area at DLF 2017.



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