ATHENS, OH--July 23, 2008-- LibLime, the leader in open-source solutions for libraries announced today that The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, Michigan has selected a Koha Classic hosted system.
The Charles H. Wright Museum is the largest African American historical museum in the world, and the scope of its over 30,000 artifacts and archival materials is both extensive and rare. The manuscript collections include the papers and records of numerous prominent politicians including former Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young and Secretary of State Richard H. Austin, labor leaders such as Horace L. Sheffield member of the UAW and one of the founding members of DABO (Detroit Association of Black Organizations) and members of Detroit's famous Jazz community, many of whom can be found within the John Sinclair collection, including but not limited to Ron English, Lyman Woodward, and the McKinney Cotton Pickers.
The Koha installation will be hosted off-site at one of LibLime's secure data centers. The Museum has also contracted with LibLime for support on their Koha system.
The Museum was the recipient of a one-year Museum Grant for African American History and Culture from the Institute for Museum and Library Services and has been working to re-open the library and archives to the public--a service the public has wanted for a number of years.
"The priority we placed on accessibility through an online catalog led us to select an open-source ILS system, in particular Koha, a system that would allow us to efficiently transfer records from the Archivist Toolkit (another open-source software program we are using to manage our manuscript collections and export both MARC records and EAD Finding Aids) and complete copy cataloging of our existing print holdings," Alexis Braun Marks, Museum Archivist, explains.
"The Museum has been acquiring materials for a long time but were operating with a very antiquated system. As a result, very few people within the community and the state of Michigan were aware of our holdings," Alexis continues. "After the thrill of being able to identify what is in our holdings, I think that people will appreciate the ability to link similar subjects, authors, or titles-- especially as it applies to Manuscript collections."
About The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
Founded in 1965, The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History serves metropolitan Detroit, national and international communities. The Museum provides exhibitions and programs that explore the diversity of African American history and culture. The Museum houses over 30,000 artifacts and archival materials and is home to the collections of Detroit innovators in civic leadership, business and entertainment including Clarence Gatliff, Mary Bell, Coleman A. Young and Horace L. Sheffield. Also included are a election of papers from important National Leaders in the African American Community including Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey and photographs of P.H. Polk that documented life in the rural south and at the Tuskegee Institute in the 1930s.
The Museum was founded by Dr. Charles Wright, an obstetrician and gynecologist. Dr. Wright envisioned an institution to preserve Black history after visiting a memorial to Danish World War II heroes in Denmark. As a result of this visit, he was convinced that African Americans needed a similar resource center to document, preserve and educate the public on their history, life and culture. In 1965, Dr. Wright partnered with 30 other like-minded Detroiters to establish Detroit's first International Afro-American Museum.
The Museum strives to become the repository for the living history of the community as well, exemplified by their oral history initiative of 2007 that will be cataloged and included in the Koha catalog. For more on the Museum's history and mission, visit: http://www.maah-detroit.org/plan_your_visit/history.html
Since it was first put into production in early 2000, Koha has enabled new realities of open access, affordability, and free innovation for hundreds of libraries around the world. Koha has lived up to its name, which means 'Gift' in the Maori language of New Zealand. From the outset, many libraries understood the power of this gift. They downloaded it, they installed it, they changed it, and they contributed their solutions back to the library community.
To learn more about the Koha project, visit: http://koha.org
To try out Koha for yourself, visit LibLime's demos: http://liblime.com/demos
LibLime is the global leader in open-source solutions for libraries, with a mission to make open source accessible to libraries. Rather than sell software licenses for static, hard-to-customize software products, LibLime educates libraries about the benefits of open source, enabling them to make choices about how best to provide their communities and staff with better technology services. LibLime then facilitates implementation of open-source in libraries by providing outstanding development, customization, support and training solutions--solutions tailored to each library's needs. For more information, see http://liblime.com.