Helping Digitize and Preserve Valuable American Music Archives
New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and the third oldest in the world. The Philharmonic Archives is one of the oldest orchestral research collections in the world that traces the 200-year history of the Philharmonic. TSG assisted NY Philharmonic in digitizing and ingesting terabytes of data which include historical documents, music scores, programs, marketing materials and business records.
TSG collaborated with Alfresco to create a case study showcasing the value of the Alfresco platform and how it has benefited NY Philharmonic. At Alfresco DevCon 2011, NY Philharmonic presented the benefits of using Alfresco along with TSG’s OpenMigrate in their ingestion process. View the presentation “Digitizing the New York Philharmonic Archives” on Slideshare.
The New York Philharmonic Digital Archives project provided an undertaking both in size, scope and flexibility. Along with the fact that over 1.3 million pieces of material required a means of storage, the project required a flexible means to capture metadata, create renditions of its various content types and then index content for searching on a public facing web platform. This platform would need to provide users with a robust search interface and then serve up content in various means, including a digital book reader and a photo viewer that included metadata rich features such as face tagging.
In order to store and digitize the various content types that would be ingested into New York Philharmonic’s archives, Alfresco was selected as the platform of choice. The enterprise content management system provided the capabilities to store the large amount of various content types and provide it to the various outlets the rest of the system needed. A high availability clustered setup was put in place in order to keep the content readily accessible 24/7. To streamline the flow of metadata and images in and out of Alfresco, TSG’s OpenMigrate was put into action. OpenMigrate allowed the Philharmonic to perform bulk metadata imports, image ingestion, and Web-enabling assets by indexing content in the front-end Solr search application.
To appreciate the detail of the large amount of data in the Archives, it was important that everything was available for browsing by the public by various means. The Internet Archives BookReader was implemented to allow users to flip through scores and sheet music with a tactile feel, zooming and panning amongst detailed scans of artifacts. Photos are also served with a detailed photo album viewer that utilizes TSG’s OpenAnnotate to “face-tag” or annotate photos with references to specific people.
The project has been covered by various media such as The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal and others as it continues to provide the public with instant access to a breathtaking amount of rich content.