MoMA Unveils Open-Source System to Revolutionize Preservation and Analysis of Its Digital Collections

Art Announcement from United States. Published by MOMA on Wednesday 23 September 2015.

The Museum of Modern Art announces the development of a comprehensive, open-source system designed to conserve, store, and manage the Museum’s extensive digital art collection, which spans 40 years and includes video, film, apps, video games, and software-based art.​

The system is comprised of Binder, new open-source software designed by MoMA and made available for institutions around the world, in combination with preexisting software and physical digital data storage. The project is designed to provide a solution to the significant challenges museums and other digital content producers and collectors—including film and television studios—have faced acquiring, lending, conserving, storing, and analyzing digital work over the last decade. It grew out of Matters in Media Art, a longstanding collaboration between MoMA, Tate Modern, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art that provides guidelines for the care of time-based media works.

The Digital Repository for Museum Collections (DRMC) is composed of two open-source components: Binder, a new Web application designed by MoMA to manage the active preservation of digital materials, and Archivematica, an already available state-of-the-art digital preservation system that analyzes digital materials and packages the results in obsolescence-proof text. The groundbreaking DRMC also includes a financially sustainable digital storage system designed and managed by digital data archiving service Arkivum to house MoMA’s digital collection, which is projected to reach 6.2 million gigabytes (6.2 Petabytes) by 2025. The project involved a team from MoMA’s Conservation and Information Technology departments, led by Ben Fino-Radin with support from Juan Montes, James Heck, Diana Pan, Glenn Wharton, Kate Lewis, Peter Oleksik, and Jim Coddington.