Promus

n. prĊmus, -a, -um: a store-room, larder; distributor, steward, or butler.

Promus has been under development for almost ten years in some form or another. Originally an access database written to assist in the management of references relating to the senses in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Europe, it quickly became a research management tool. In 2006 it was moved to php and mysql. Upon my move to McGill in 2008, the bibliographic and project management aspects of Promus formed the basis of similar systems in the Humanities Common Archive now powering several research environments associated with the Making Publics project. The two continue to maintain a similar basic data infrastructure - in essence the Humanities Common Archive is Promus stripped of the note taking and course generating capabilities, and coupled with a content management and a community user base. Nevertheless, both manage four main data types in the same way - People, Places, Artefacts, and Events; the secondary architecture relates to how users interact with records etc.

Promus is distinct in how it seeks to integrate research activity of a user with shared resources available via open linked data or APIs on the one hand, and on the other in its ability to generate course materials and websites on the fly. In terms of data management it offers direct links to catalogue systems, and serves to collate materials found at particular research libraries, allow the user to generate retrieval lists for specific items and projects. In terms of integrating research and teaching, course websites are dynamically generated from the same source as research projects - the architecture of projects and courses is the same; they merely are distinct ways of presenting research production and management to different users.

Most of this work predates similar projects like Zotero. Promus is distinct from Zotero primarily in its data architecture, but also in how it approaches the relationship of research to teaching.

Over the past few months I have migrated Promus from the localhost on my laptop to a subdomain of this website. As part of this I have coupled Promus's document handling to an Amazon Web Services S3 Bucket to act as its file repository.

Here are some screen shots of the current version at http://promus.matthewmilner.name.