12/30/11: Added Archon, Kete, and Open Exhibits.
5/12/12: Added DAITSS, DPSP, HOPPLA, and RODA.
6/8/12: Added Vannotea & Indigenous Knowledge Management Software.
5/13/13: Added ELAN.
7/5/15: Added ArchivesSpace, CollectionSpace, Islandora.

In honor of the new year, I thought I’d offer a list of (now 29) free and open source digital curation, asset management & community archiving systems that may be of interest to communities (Indigenous or not) seeking to sustain and share words, images, videos, sounds, collections, etc.

These tools are free in that you can download the source files onto your computer without cost. To make them useful as tools, however, you will need to have a domain name registered and hosted with an Internet Service Provider – and in general, those do cost money. A few of the items listed below are listed “as is”, by which I mean that they may no longer be in active development or may be of limited functionality. Others, are hot off the press and highly extensible (offering plugins and modules from an active community of developers). In short – they are not all created equal.

I do not offer reviews of them (the text below is from their respective websites), although I have installed, experimented with and customized several of them. Since I do not profess to be either an expert in the items listed or a spokesperson on their behalf, I recommend contacting their creators directly if you have questions about their ability to serve your particular needs.

A few caveats: I included a few items below that don’t exactly fit the title of this post… WordPress is listed although it is a blogging platform and content management system (CMS) and not technically a curation, asset management or community archiving tool. It is however, a simple to learn, extensible, customizable, multi-faceted platform that could easily be crafted into a community solution depending on the requirements. If you wish to explore the ever-changing world of free and open source CMS’s, you may wish to stop by the CMS Matrix to compare: http://www.cmsmatrix.org/.

Likewise, I include Ushahidi which is known by many to be a crisis mapping tool. However, I have often imagined that a creative community could put it to use as a system for capturing and sharing cultural artifacts, traditional knowledge, etc.

Please do leave a comment if you believe this list to be lacking. It is presented here not as an exhaustive list, but as an invitation for exploration and discussion.

Cheers – and have a successful and fulfilling new year!
Mark Oppenneer

Adlib Museum Lite
Collective Access
Dark Archive in the Sunshine State (DAITSS)
Digital Preservation Software Platform (DPSP)
Digital Asset Management Database (DAMD)
Home and Office Painless Persistent Long-term Archiving (HOPPLA)
Indigenous Knowledge Management Software
Open Exhibits
The Open Video Digital Library Toolkit
The Public Knowledge Project
Repository of Authentic Digital Objects (RODA)
Sakai CLE & OAE

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