Atom: Access to Memory. The Web Catalog

What is Atom?

Atom is an open-source web-based self-hosted cataloging and archiving system that helps collectors, and museums catalog and keep track of their items.

Atom is compliant to International Council on Archives, so public, private, cultural centers, and NGOs, can use without worrying about international standards.

Atom is powered and maintain by a strong community of developers, users, archivers, and museum experts.

Atom Features

  1. Web-based and self-hosted
  2. Open-source
  3. Platforms: Atom can be installed on Windows, Linux (Ubuntu, Debian, CentOS, Fedora), and macOS
  4. Record and organize collections, catalogs and items
  5. Browse items by people, organization, places, subjects, digital objects, images, and archival institutions
  6. It supports data import and export in several formats: CSV, EAD, EAC-CPD, and SKOS.
  7. Atom community offers a well-documented guides for users, Administrator, systems admins, devOps, and developers
  8. Supports multiple image formats: PNG, JPEG, SVG, GIF, and PDF
  9. Multilingual support: Atom has been translated to dozens of languages
  10. Multi-repository support
  11. Multi-users support
  12. Atom can be installed using Docker and Docker Compose
  13. Search with custom fields, filters, and full-text search support
  14. REST-API
  15. Theming
  16. Works on all modern browsers
  17. User and user groups
  18. Custom Fields
  19. Supports Digital Objects
  20. Browse items with filters
  21. Static pages for creating SEO-friendly public pages
  22. A controlled vocabulary is a set of pre-defined, authorized terms grouped into taxonomies or entered into authority records and used for generating value lists and access points. See Terms.
  23. Plugins
  24. Private and public elements


or a frame of reference, Artefactual’s standard AtoM test/demo site deployment is a cloud VM with the following specifications:

  • Processor: 2 vCPUs @ 2.3GHz
  • Memory: 7GB
  • Disk space (processing): 50GB at a minimum for AtoM’s core stack plus more storage would be required for supporting any substantial number of digital objects.

Software dependencies (required)

These are the minimum requirements, but please remember that in most of the cases you’ll experience better results working with the latest stable releases of each component.

  • A webserver like Apache or Nginx; Artefactual prefers the latter in development
  • Elasticsearch 5.x (we use ES 5.6 in development). Elasticsearch 6.0 or newer is not supported as they have deprecated a number of APIs still used in AtoM
  • Java 8 (required for Elasticsearch)
  • MySQL 8.0
  • PHP 7.4
  • Gearman job server

Optionally, Memcached can be used as cache engine:

Additionally, the following PHP extensions are mandatory:

  • cURL
  • JSON
  • APC (apcu-bc also required)
  • PDO and PDO-MySQL
  • XSL

And the following PHP extensions are optional:

  • Readline (not available in Windows).
  • Memcache (needs`php-memcache`, not php-memcached).