What is Binder?

Binder logo

Binder is an open-source web application for managing digital repositories. Binder is particularly adept at supporting the care, management, and preservation of complex digital collections such as time-based media and born- digital artworks. The app provides users with a central interface through which they can access, view and manage the rich technical metadata contained in Archival Information Packages (AIPs) held by the repository, as well as managing and describing the relationships between the components of a collections object, its constituent digital objects, and the various external dependencies required to preserve and display the collection over the long-term. Binder gathers together all of this information required to make long-term preservation and assessment decisions in a single user-friendly interface.

Binder integrates and enhances functionality from two existing open source preservation and access applications:

  • Archivematica, an open-source digital preservation system taht is designed to maintain standards-based, long-term access to collections of digital objects
  • AtoM (Access to Memory), an open-source, web-based application for standards-based description and access

Binder has also been integrated with The Museum System (TMS), and can pull in artwork metadata via the TMS API developed by Steve Moore at the Museum of Modern Art (https://github.com/smoore4moma/TmsApi).

Why Binder?

n. Something that produces or promotes cohesion in loosely assembled substances

    1. A chemical that causes two substances to bond into one
    1. A cover or holder for unbound papers, pages, etc
    1. A plant whose growth habits prevent erosion
    1. A software mechanism that performs binding (e.g. data binding)
    1. One who binds.

What can you do with Binder?

Binder aims to support standards-based digital repository management by providing users with a single place to view administrative, technical, descriptive, and preservation metadata related to objects in a repository and the relationships between them. This in turn gives repository managers the information they need to craft appropriate preservation policies and implement decisions for long-term care.

Binder’s user-friendly graphical interface provides useful information about your collection, its components, and the supporting technologies required to preserve and display objects held in the repository. The widget-based dashboard includes at-a-glance collection, ingest, download, and fixity information, while the reports module gives administrators detailed information that can be downloaded in CSV format, or viewed directly in the application. The graph-based context browser included on artwork record pages allows users to visualize the components of a work, and manage relationships between a work’s components, its AIPs and the files they contain, and related supporting technologies (such as codecs, operating systems, etc) required for ongoing preservation and access. The digital object viewer includes technical metadata extracted from the METS file generated by Archivematica, a copy of the DIP for easy visual reference, and the ability to download files directly or the entire AIP.

With Binder you can:

  • Import AIPs and reference copies of digital objects from Archivematica, and relate them to descriptive metadata imported from TMS or created in Binder.
  • Gain at-a-glance collection-wide statistics about fixity, ingest, and use via the widget-based dashboard.
  • Relate the components of a work to derived AIPs and any supporting technologies required to preserve and display them in the future, using a node-based graphical user interface.
  • View and download an AIP’s digital objects and technical metadata.
  • Sort search and browse results based on facets drawn from both descriptive and technical metadata, allowing for a high degree of precision and granularity - and then save your search parameters for future re-use.
  • Run and manage fixity checks of preserved AIPs, and receive alerts if a fixity check fails.
  • Track who downloads digital objects from your repository, and why.
  • Compare the descriptive and technical metadata of up to 4 digital objects from an AIP side by side in a graphical user interface.
  • Generate and save reports on ingest, fixity, usage, and more.

See also

Learn more about how the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is using Binder:

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