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November 2016 - Newsletter


Welcome to new Member: Metropolitan New York Library Council

A significant presence in Islandora community, The Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) is a non-profit organization working to develop and maintain essential library services throughout New York City and Westchester County. They join the Islandora Foundation as Collaborators and have nominated duel-Committer (7.x-1.x and CLAW) Diego Pino to sit on the Islandora Roadmap Committee.

Welcome to new Member: Delft University of Technology

TU Delft joins the Islandora Foundation as a long-time member of the community and host of next’s year’s Islandora Camp EU. Delft uses Islandora for innovative collections such as their Research/Education/Cultural Heritage Repository and their collection of colonial architecture.

Islandora's Technical Lead

Hiring a second employee for the Islandora Foundation to serve as our Technical Lead has been our major fundraising goal since 2014. In August, with the help of some top-up funding from a grant (details), we reached that goal and hired Daniel Lamb.

Danny has been working with Islandora since the transition from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7 and was the primary architect of Islandora CLAW (Drupal 8 with Fedora 4). You can read more about his background in this blog post, but his role with the Islandora Foundation can be summed up in his own words by his three hats:

  • Hat #1: 7.x-1.x guy

    1. We have increasingly more defined processes and workflows, and I'm committed to making sure those play out the way they should. But, for whatever reason, If there's a time where a pull request has sat for too long and the community hasn't responded, I will make sure it is addressed. I will either try to facilitate a community member who has time/interest to look at it, and if that's not possible, I will review myself.

    2. I will take part in and help chair committers' calls every other Thursday.

    3. I will attend a handful of Interest Group meetings.  There's too many for me to attend them all, but I'm starting with the IR and Security interest groups.

    4. Lastly, I will be serving as Release Manager for the next release, and will be working towards continuing to document and standardize the process to the best of my abilities, so that it's easier for other community members to take part in and lead that process from here on out.

  • Hat #2: CLAW guy

    1. We're currently in the process of pivoting from a Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 codebase, and I'm going to be shepherding that process as transparently as possible. This means I will be working with community members to develop a plan for the minimum viable product (or MVP for short). This will help defend against scope creep, and force ourselves as a community to navigate what all these changes mean. Between Fedora 4, PCDM, and Drupal 8, there's a lot that's different, and we need to all be on the same page.  For everyone's sake, this work will be conducted as much as possible by conversations through the mailing lists, instead of solely at the tech calls. In the Apache world, if it doesn't happen on the list, it never happened  And I think that's a good approach to making sure people can at least track down the rationale for why we're doing certain things in the codebase.

    2. Using the MVP, I will be breaking down the work into the smallest consumable pieces possible. In the past few years I've learned a lot about working with volunteer developers, and I fully understand that people have day jobs with other priorities. By making the units of work as small as possible, we have better chance of receiving more contributions from interested community members. In practice, I think this means I will be writing a lot of project templates to decrease ramp-up time for people, filling in boilerplate, and ideally even providing tests beforehand.

    3. I will be heavily involved in Sprint planning, and will be running community sprints for CLAW.

    4. I will be chairing and running CLAW tech calls, along with Nick Ruest, the CLAW Project Director.

  • Hat #3: UBC project guy

    • As part of a grant, the Foundation is working with the University of British Columbia Library and Press to integrate a Fedora 4 with a front-end called Scalar. They will also be using CLAW as a means of ingesting multi-pathway books. So I will be overseeing contractor work for the integration with Scalar, while also pushing CLAW towards full book support.

Islandora 7.x-1.8 (AKA the Halloween Release)

It is our pleasure to announce the sixth spooktacular community release of Islandora, 7.x-1.8!

It includes a ghastly amount of improvements, several disgustingly squashed bugs, and one frightening new feature!  The full grisly details are available at the release notes and download page.

You can download a VM of the release here.

As always, there was a monstrous horde of community volunteers involved.  Each volunteer deserves our undying thanks!

Alan Stanley
Alex Kent
Brad Spry
Brian Harrington
Bridger Dyson-Smith
Bryan Brown
Caleb Derven
Courtney Matthews
Cricket Deane
Daniel Aitken
Daniel Lamb
Devin Soper
Diego Pino
Don Richards
Dorin Mircea
Ed Fugikawa
Emily Toner
Erin Tripp
Gabriela Mircea
Janice Banser
Jared Whiklo
Jennifer Eustis
Jordan Dukart
Keila Zayas-Ruiz
Kim Pham
Logan Cox
Mark Baggett
Mark Jordan
Matthew Miguez
Melissa Anez
Nick Ruest
Paul Cummins
Peter MacDonald
Rosie Le Faive
Scott Ziegler
William Panting

With a special shriek out to our new managers for this release:

Testing - Dan Aitken
Documentation - Don Richards
Audit - Janice Banser
Communication - Melissa Anez
Release Manager - Danny Lamb

Happy Halloween everyone!

Special Projects

Islandora CLAW

The big news with Islandora CLAW is the path for development laid out by our Minimum Viable Product (MVP) plan. The product of some of Danny Lamb’s first weeks with the Islandora Foundation, the MVP was built in consultation with the Islandora community and stakeholders to determine what features are needed for a first production release of Islandora with Drupal 8 and Fedora 4.

Financial Update

Lobstometre $132,000Hiring our Technical Lead was an important move for the Islandora Foundation, but having used grant money as part of our funding, we’re now in a position of having to raise our membership to cover the gap that will be left when the grant ends in 2017. So far, so good, with new memberships and renewed commitments totalling $132,000. We need to get to $160,000 to be sustainable with two employees, so the Lobstometre remains in effect.

Many thanks to our wonderful members, whose support makes the Islandora Foundation possible. If you are interested in joining the Islandora Foundation, please contact Melissa Anez. The benefits are solid, and we need your support!





The second-ever Islandoracon will be held at the lovely LIUNA Station in Hamilton, Ontario. Islandoracon 2017 is sponsored in part by our local host, McMaster University. Early Bird registration is now open and a Call for Proposals is open until December 15th.

Last year we did not have enough poster submissions to hold a poster session. We’re calling on the community to help us do better this time around, so please send in your poster proposals along with regular sessions!

The first Islandora conference was held in August, 2015, at the birthplace of Islandora in Charlottetown. It was a runaway success and we have had many, many requests for it to happen again. We took 2016 off to concentrate on regional Camps, but the con is coming back for 2017. This will probably be our pattern going forward, so if your institution is keen to host an Islandora Camp, set your sights on 2018 and drop us a line.


After skipping a year in 2016, Islandora Camp is returning to the EU June 13 - 15, 2017, hosted by Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands in their breathtaking library. Registration will be limited, so stay tuned and grab your spot early when registration opens in January.

Three Repository Events in NYC

discoverygarden and DuraSpace are pleased to announce three digital repository-related events in New York City on November 28, 29, and 30. Take advantage of this opportunity to meet people interested in digital repositories, participate in hands-on learning, ask questions, and access helpful resources.


discoverygarden and DuraSpace co-host an Islandora/Fedora social on the evening of November 29 at 6:30 pm. Join in at Bernheim and Schwartz Restaurant & Beer Hall.

The event will feature a selection of appetizers, libations, and an opportunity to meet people involved in the Islandora and Fedora communities.

Bernheim and Schwartz Restaurant & Beer Hall
2911 Broadway
New York, NY 10037

RSVP with Erin Tripp or David Wilcox

Hello Islandora: Building a Digital Repository

discoverygarden hosts an event on November 30 at the New York Academy of Medicine called “Hello Islandora: Building a Digital Repository”. Half and full day registration available.

Morning Session: This panel discussion will explore multiple uses and implementations of Islandora, an open source digital repository framework. Panelists will describe their projects, how Islandora was utilized and their overall experience. Speakers include Ben Rosner of Barnard College, Chris Stanton of the Metropolitan New York Library Council, Henry Raine of the New-York Historical Society, and Robin Naughton of The New York Academy of Medicine.

Afternoon Session: ​This Islandora demonstration will provide users with an overview of how to ingest content, configure the discovery layer and restrict access to content. If participants wish, they can follow along for a hands-on experience using an installation via local virtual machines or an online sandbox.

The New York Academy of Medicine
1216 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10029

Register here.

Fedora Camp NYC

Fedora Camp in New York City, hosted by Columbia University Libraries will take place November 28-30, 2016. For those who have limited time available, or if you are interested in a specific aspect of the 3-day curriculum, you may be interested in taking advantage of Fedora Camp NYC one, two and three day rates.

Day one: A broad overview of Fedora 4, including a feature review, information on Hydra and Islandora, and the rationale for why to choose Fedora as a repository platform. Managers and potential adopters are encouraged to attend this day of the camp.

Day two: ​An in-depth explanation of core and external services coupled with hands-on exercises.

Day three: Parallel tracks to accommodate attendees with different interests. Track A focuses on DevOps and performance/scale, while track B focuses on data modelling and migration. The camp will finish with a discussion on future directions for the project.

Register here.

Islandora Interest Group Reports

Islandora Interest Groups are those Islandora Community Members that come together around a particular topic relevant to the Islandora ecosystem. They operate on GitHub. The purpose of the interest group is to provide a forum for information exchange, mentorship and development within a limited area of interest and to report findings, submit code, documentation, recommendations as appropriate to the Islandora Roadmap Committee on matters of wider interest relating to the area of expertise. The following are reports from some of the Islandora Interest Groups.

Islandora Institutional Repository Interest Group

Regular Meeting Time Fourth Thursday of each month at 3PM EST
Regular Meeting Place Skype
How to Join


Topics of Interest

Consideration of relevant Linked Data vocabularies/ontologies for use in a CLAW IR. Discussion focuses on the COAR Resource Type vocab for description of scholarly objects, as well as a combination of the VIVO ontology and W3C ontology for describing researchers and organizations (reimplementing the Entities SP). IRIG members will be on the lookout for more vocabs/ontologies that could be helpful in an IR context.


With the 7.x-1.8 release complete, the IRIG will be working together to try and clear out the backlog of open Scholar JIRA tickets (currently at 33). We hope to have made a noticeable dent in it by the end of April 2017 (in time for 7.x-1.9).

Other Messages

Emily Toner has taken a job as Digital Projects and Services Librarian at Temple University. She will no longer be working with Islandora in this new position, so she is stepping down as co-convener.

Copyright © 2016 Islandora Foundation, All rights reserved.

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