Current project status

Binder’s original development was planned by MoMA and Artefactual in the second half of 2013, and carried out from January to June 2014. In the initial development, the application was created specifically for MoMA’s primary use cases, and made to work within MoMA’s environment, including existing applications already in use at the Museum, such as TMS. MoMA currently uses Binder in production within the Musuem.

Now that the initial development goals have been achieved, both Artefactual and MoMA hope to expand the utility of the project by open sourcing its code and making it available to other developers. We believe that Binder can help a broad set of cultural heritage institutions achieve their long-term preservation goals, and would like to see the Binder project develop into a full-fledged, production-ready, open-source application with its own vibrant community.

In late 2014 and early 2015, initial steps to generalize and open-source the code have been undertaken. MoMA was using a custom branch of both Archivematica and AtoM, and the hope is to get Binder functioning/integrated with the most recent public releases of Archivematica and AtoM. Work remains before the application can be used in its present form, however.

The main two issues can be summed up as such:

  • The initial development was done using Elasticsearch 0.9 as the search index. The most recent AtoM releases use ES 1.3, but the upgrade means that some sections of the code will need to be tested and rewritten before the application is usable.
  • MoMA had a custom Archivematica branch that could upload to Binder, but we’d like to make Binder work with the most recent public Archivematica release. In the long-term, this means adding an “Upload to Binder” option into the general Archivematica project. Another goal would be the ability to create new Artwork records via the user interface (rather than via Archivematica upload on the custom Binder branch, and metadata pulled from TMS) - then the usual method of inputting a slug into Archivematica could be used. An even simpler short-term workaround might be to create a command-line script that will generate a new artwork record for upload using the existing slug method in Archivematica. Since none of these workarounds have yet been implemented, at present there is no simple way to attach AIPs and DIPs from Archivematica to nodes in Binder.

We have created some installation instructions using Vagrant, so that developers can work with the code. Note that this will not lead to a functioning installation at present - but we hope that community developers might help us tackle some of the isues outlined by our developers as part of the installation notes. See them here:

Resolving these issues are our first priority, so we can better expose the project to the cultural heritage community. We have also listed some long-term project ideas, on the following page, Project goals: Binder’s long-term vision.

Why not help us out? If you are a developer interested in working with Binder, check out our GitHub repository, and feel free to post questions in our User Forum.