Accessibility Tools



Differential and Collaborative Digital Storytelling with Mukurtu CMS


Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 12:00 to 14:00
Dr. Michael Ashley

“There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.” - Ursula K. Le Guin

Storytelling in the digital age takes many forms of inspiration, creativity, production and distribution, but telling stories is not bound by any one medium, performer or audience. Oftentimes the sources for stories may necessarily need be kept secret or guarded, and the same may be true for the story itself, or particular parts or passages, even if the overarching desire is to make the story generally available to a broader public. This becomes even more important when working with indigenous communities who wish to define not only how and who can share a story, but with what audience, and in which contexts. 

Mukurtu CMS is a free and open source content management solution allowing communities to preserve, share, manage, license and curate their digital heritage and stories.  Mukurtu allows users to manage their digital materials using international standards as well as their own local cultural protocols. This unique intersection provides indigenous communities with both a stable and upgradable tool to manage and share their digital assets and a platform for preservation and growth of their distinctive materials. Mukurtu promotes a community approach to digital heritage management and preservation extending the already embedded social and cultural systems of indigenous communities to their technological tools.

In this workshop, participants will learn the history of Mukurtu CMS and how it may be a good fit for your own projects. We will explore Mukurtu’s features and functions that empower communities, cultural memory institutions, and individuals to define, preserve and cultivate digital heritage in their own terms, maintaining control over rich media and their associated metadata. Participants will see examples of Mukurtu in use in indigenous communities emphasizing preservation strategies, cultural protocols and the use of traditional knowledge licenses and labels as part of our expansive toolkit.


Michael Ashley, CEO, Center for Digital Archaeology & Director of Development, Mukurtu CMS. Dr. Michael Ashley is Chief Executive Officer at the Center for Digital Archaeology (CoDA), a non-profit company affiliated with UC Berkeley that creates and leverages data management technologies for the preservation and sharing of cultural heritage. He is developing Codifi, an innovative mobile solution for turning buried content into discoverable, data-driven stories. Michael is the Director of Development of Mukurtu CMS, an open source content management solution for Indigenous communities to share, license and curate their digital heritage. He received his Ph.D. at UC Berkeley in 2004, where he went on as faculty and staff to co-found several initiatives, including the award winning Open Knowledge and the Public Interest (OKAPI), and the Media Vault Program, a digital preservation and access framework for the university’s museums and archives. An archaeological photographer by training, Michael was the Media Team lead for the Çatalhöyük Research Project for 7 years.

Library Building, Salle LB-1042, 1400 de Maisonneuve Blvd O.

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