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Report from the DC Region Fedora Users Meeting

Ithaca, NY On October 14, 2011 the DC Region Fedora Users Group held their semi-annual meeting in Washington, DC to exchange information on formative Fedora repository projects and inititatives. While highlights included lunch from the Hula Girl Truck ("bringing a taste of the Hawaiian Islands to DC") 13 projects and 38 attendees were on hand to share updates about how Fedora repository software is being implemented in government and cultural institutions.

Following introductory remarks from Karim Boughida and Thorny Staples, Val Hollister gave an DuraSpace update with highlights that included information about new infrastructure for community educational resources, the upcoming public launch of DuraCloud ( managed service, the "Direct-to-Researcher" project and Fedora 3.6 which will include CFX web services stack.

Applications on top of Fedora

Matt Zumwalt, MediaShelf and Robin McGovern, UVA talked about the Hydra Project and offered a view of Hydra ( architecture along with an explanation of the MediaShelf solrizer for indexing fedora and a hydra head plugin plus blacklight.

Mark Leggott (DiscoveryGarden, UPEI) gave an overview of the current Islandora stack designed to support the full life cycle of research—emails, raw data, analysis, etc.—and introduced "Hylandora," a Hydra plus islandora interoperable framework in development. Fedora acts as the Islandora storage layer for all data, display and search configurations.

User Institution Updates

Mitzi Cole presented an overview of the Goddard Space Flight Center Repository ( She explained their Drupal over Fedora implementation that was not based on Islandora. The site will be live in June 2012. Goddard is designing their repository based on three institutional content use cases: NASA case studies, colloquia materials, and authors/publications.

The National Agriculture Library web site is now available at NALDC.NAL.USDA.GOV. Don Gourley reports that their repository now contains 40k docs in DSpace repo, 30k docs, and various other collections in ad hoc software. NALDC's small staff re-uses content models done by others and is loosely tied to Fedora through SOLR to enable nimble development.

John Doyle from the The National Library of Medicine ( houses historic books and films with 2K of resources. They are looking into developing content models for multivolume monographs.

National Technical Information Service ( was presented by Donald Hagen, Gail Hodge, and Daniel Redman. The Fedora Science Repository Service (FSRS) has been in development for 6 months. The modularity of Fedora's architecture enables the development of a variety of projects—The National Tech Reports Library, The NOAA Deep Water Horizon Repository, plans for preservation and archiving—with different types of objects/data models that require flexible metadata relationships.

Ron Jantz, Rutgers University discussed their institutional repository, RUCore (, that has multiple collections coming in through 3 different portals focused on scholarship, cultural heritage and research data. A science data repository is in the planning stages that will enable archiving of large files for research data—15-20GB for some data sets. RUCore's large data set issues include interim archival management, having an external directory and allowing different ingest processes for large and small data sets.

Thorny Staples, Smithsonian Institution, began by explaining that the Smithsonian was not founded as a library. It was founded to advance and diffuse knowledge. His department's ( key task is to support earth science, biodiversity and endangered species SI researchers at 9 science centers around the world with a "repository enabled virtual research environment." Key goals of the project are to preserve research and make it durable beginning with a conceptual model of how scientists work, establishment of content (new data) workflows, provision of data analysis services, and methods for data dissemination.

Julie Meloni, University of Virignia, Libra Project ( reports that digital items have been integrated with the rest of the library catalog so that patrons don't know the difference between digital items and actual books. Libra uses a Hydra head which looks just like the library catalog. The search results look the same which provided a technical solution to an organizational problem of how to integrate aspects of Library holdings into a single interface.

Helen Tong and Richard Huffine offered insights into the US Geological Survey ( repository project which began 2 years ago with the goal of managing and curating the library's digital collections with links to relevant data to facilitate integration and data re-use. Fedora was selected because of its flexible object model and journaling used for replication with USGS lower level storage. Plans are to implement the web site with Islandora for end user interfaces. It is currently a pilot project that will hopefully launch by the end of the year with USGS collections that include a publications warehouse, a photographic library and an online library catalog.

Andrew Woods, DuraSpace, provided an update on DuraCloud ( development and release status. He went into details about DuraCloud/Fedora integration options using the DuraCloud SyncTool and CloudSync.

With thanks to Val Hollister and Andrew Woods for help in preparing this post.