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published: March 2004
analytic scripts updated:  October 28, 2010

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License



Bits & Bolts to Bits & Bytes: The Quilt Index Online Repository and Distributed Archival Management System
Justine Richardson, Michigan State University, USA
Michael Fegan, Michigan State University, USA
Mark Kornbluh, Michigan State University, USA
Dean Rehberger, Michigan State University, USA
Marsha MacDowell, Michigan State Museum / Michigan State University, USA

Session: Managing Web Development

This paper presents the approaches, strategies and challenges addressed during the development and deployment of the Quilt Index, an on-line preservation and presentation project currently containing more than 1,000 quilts documented in four separate archives. The Quilt Index spans eras and collections to provide first-of-its-kind access to information and images of quilts, an original American art form. From a Civil War-era family graveyard quilt, to countless variations on a hexagon theme, to an original contemporary design of Elvis, the Quilt Index offers preservation and access in a central, searchable database managed through an on-line, distributed ingestion system the MATRIX Digital Repository (Repos). This Repository is built on open source database software and designed to facilitate remote records management by each participating archive through partner-specific Web browser interfaces. This paper reviews Quilt Index development and deployment, including standardization of controlled vocabulary for quilt description metadata, distributed database development, coordination with multiple partners and their varying requirements for catalogue description, digitization planning, pilot collection ingestion and modification, searching and display development from the database, records maintenance and future planning.