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Will Collective Access work for my digital archive project needs?

Hello - I hope it is ok to ask the community to help me assess whether Collective Access will work for me.

I run The Zuckerberg Files, which is a digital archive of everything Mark Zuckerberg says in public. We have about 1000 records, mostly PDF transcripts, but also a few hundred MP4 video files as well. A sample record is at 1

We recently started using Wordpress Download Manager as a platform, but I’m not thrilled with its layout and searchability. I’m hoping the new CA might be a good option for me.

Here are my core requirements:

  1. Ability to have multiple downloadable media files attached to a single record (ie, both a PDF and an MP4 file)
  2. Ability to either (a) let anyone view records but only users with a certain access control can download the media file, or (b) hide all records user has access control permissions
  3. Ability to search full-text of PDF or txt files attached to a record.
  4. Flexibility in directory displays of items in the collection.

Do you think CA work for me?

Michael Zimmer


  • Hi Michael,

    Yes, CA supports these requirements. Let us know if you have more questions!

  • Thanks, Sophie. On my 2nd item, does CA allow the first alternative? I'd love to have the entire collection publicly viewable, but downloading attached PDF, MP4 or TXT files would be restricted to users granted certain permissions.

    Also, can you point me to any really good examples of collections so I can view how the search and directory interfaces look?

    Thanks! ~Michael

  • Hi Michael,

    The ability to download media on a per-use basis on the front-end is a standard restriction setting available under "access roles" in the backend interface.

    There are a number of projects listed at that you can look at. The front-end interface is fully customizable, so you can write an interface that suits your needs if one doesn't already exist. We also provide consulting services if you would like something else developed for your project.

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