Customer Success

This is a guest post from Dave Giordano, President and founder of Alfresco partner, Technology Services Group.  Dave is a technical architect and visionary with deep experience in enterprise content management.  He is widely acknowledged for his expertise and shares his thoughts on the technology behind the Leon Levy Digital Archives.New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives

Founded in 1842, the New York Philharmonic is the oldest symphony orchestra in the United States and the third oldest in the world. As such, the Philharmonic’s Leon Levy Digital Archives is one of the oldest and most important orchestral research collections in the world. It traces the entire history of the Philharmonic and its more than 15,000 performances around the globe and is an important record of cultural history in New York City and beyond.

The 2016-2017 season marks the 175th anniversary of the New York Philharmonic.  Starting in 2009, the Philharmonic set a goal to preserve and make accessible worldwide over 160 years American Culture Heritage with the creation of the Digital Archives.  The Philharmonic is one of the first institutional repositories to embark on a digitization project of this size and scope with the intent of making all digitized material available to anyone anywhere in the world. In order to complete the project, New York Philharmonic needed a highly scalable document management system that could handle heavy daily use while continuously streaming large volumes of data. The solution needed to be cost-effective, handle large files and have strong digital asset management capabilities.

When the project began, picking a robust repository was a major driver for the implementation effort and the team made the easy choice of Alfresco.  TSG was added to the team in 2010 based on our migration experience and, “NY Phil” as we like to call them, remain one of our favorite clients and with one of the most innovative uses of Alfresco.  The first phase of Digital Archives included:

  • Digitization of 1.3 million pages including 3,300 programs, 8,000 folders and business records, 4,200 glass lantern slides, 8,500 photographs; and 72 scrapbooks of fragile press clippings.
  • All files uploaded to Alfresco with 10 million notes and 5 Terabytes of data.
  • Due to the high quality of the documents (Color high-resolution scans), the eventual archives could include as much as two Petabytes.

The success of the NY Phil team, TSG and Alfresco resulted in the New York Philharmonic Digital Archives being named the 2012 Alfresco Implementation of the Year.  The digital archives provide the perfect example of how open source technologies can be leveraged to create a robust and scalable enterprise solution: using OpenMigrate for high volume content ingestion, OpenAnnotate for face tagging, Solr for faceted search, and Alfresco as the central repository. These technologies make up the key architectural components driving its success.

Although the NY Philharmonic Digital Archives may not be considered your “typical” ECM client, best practices can be gleaned regardless of industry and content management needs.  Leveraging Alfresco as a content platform allowed the digital archives to easily expand with additional content types, metadata, and media formats.  All digital archive content is also accessible via REST-based services, which will allow other NY Philharmonic sites to easily incorporate digital archive content in future phases.

In its first four months, the Digital Archives received 47,800 visits, 34,000 of those unique. 5,264 visitors returned to the site nine or more times, and 885 of those returned 100 or more times. Leonard Bernstein’s Mahler Ninth score had been viewed nearly 25,000 times.

Those interested in seeing the success of the effort can simply look online at

TSG and Alfresco are excited to wish the New York Philharmonic congratulations on their current anniversary and continued success in the future.  Additional information available in a detailed TSG case study and an Alfresco success story and video.

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