What's a good system for a non-profit to set-up and manage a digital archive of somewhere between 2,000 and 5,000 text, pictures, sound and video items? It needs to be accessible by multiple people at the same time and be easily searchable.
So basically I sometimes work for a neat little non-profit cultural organisation that has its roots in a relatively unique historical building. That building is approaching it's centenary, and we've got a teeny bit of funding to do some heritage work. Part of this work is making an archive of materials related to the history of our institution. This would be overseen by the heritage officer, who is a smart cookie but not super au-fait with complicated IT stuff. Information would be input by her and a team of volunteers. We have pretty much no money and we don't want it to be high-maintenance, as it's mostly an internal archive.
The heritage officer has asked me, as the defacto computer person, to look into how we should do this. We could get a very cheap copy of Access through CTXchange
and use that, but I'm hesitant to wrap up what's meant to be a long-term archive in proprietary technology. I also have no idea how to get started with it, and it seems very unfriendly at first poke.
My first thought was to create an SQL/XML/something else open database and somehow convince someone to write an HTML/PHP front end. That would let multiple people connect to the site and input data at once. We could then plug in some sort of search program to do comprehensive searches. The main problem I have is that editing fields seems inaccessible for the heritage officer and her volunteers. I'd also want the locations of the media to be linked from the front-end, and pictures to be embedded and visible.
Right now we've got four PCs hooked into a Windows 2008 server. I'm supremely unsure about what to do from here. Options would be to do an IIS server and host a database on the server, or just have it on our file server portion of the 2008 server.
Any ideas would be welcome, especially something pre-built!