Please excuse cross-posting.
MELLON GRANT LETS LIBRARIES AND COMPUTER SCIENTISTS JOIN FORCES TO CREATE
NEW SOLUTION FOR DIGITAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
Charlottesville, VA-Thanks to a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation, the University of Virginia Library announces the release of an
open-source digital object repository management system. The Fedora
Project, a joint effort of the University of Virginia and Cornell
University, has now made available the first version of a system based on
the Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture, originally
developed at Cornell.
Fedora repositories can provide the foundation for a variety of information
management schemes, not least among them digital library systems. At the
University of Virginia, Fedora is being used to build a large-scale digital
library that will soon have millions of digital resources of all media and
content types. It is also currently being tested by a consortium of
institutions that include the Library of Congress, Northwestern University,
Tufts University, and others. They are building testbeds drawn from their
own digital collections that they will use to evaluate the software and
give feedback to the project.
This first version of the software is designed to support a repository
containing one million objects using freely available software. It fully
implements the Fedora architecture, provides the first version of a
graphical user interface to manage the repository, and provides facilities
to create and ingest batches of objects. The software has the following key
--Management API (API-M) - defines an interface for administering the
repository. It includes operations necessary for clients to create and
maintain digital objects and their components. API-M is implemented as a
SOAP-enabled web service.
--Access API (API-A) - defines an interface for accessing digital
objects stored in the repository. It includes operations necessary for
clients to perform disseminations on objects in the repository and to
discover information about an object using object reflection. API-A is
implemented as a SOAP-enabled web service.
--Access-Lite API (API-A-Lite) - defines a streamlined version of the
Fedora Access Service that is implemented as an HTTP-enabled web service.
--Datastreams - Objects in a repository may contain content and
metadata (i.e. datastreams) that physically reside inside the repository or
outside the repository. The Fedora repository system supports content of
any MIME type.
--XML Submission and Storage - Fedora digital objects conform to an
extension of the Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard (METS),
described at http://www.loc.gov/standards/mets/. Objects can be submitted
to the repository in XML format. Also, digital objects are persistently
stored in the repository as XML files. The Fedora extension of the METS
schema can be found at
--Versioning - The Fedora repository system includes the infrastructure
to support versioning of digital objects and their components. This feature
will be available in Release 1.2, projected for Fall 2003.
--Access Control and Authentication - Release 1.0 includes a simple
form of access control to provide access restrictions based on IP address.
IP range restriction is supported in both the Management and Access APIs.
In addition, the Management API is protected by HTTP Basic Authentication.
Release 2.0 will provide Shibboleth-based authentication and authorization,
XML-based policy expression, and enforcement of fine-grained access control
--Disseminators - Digital objects can be associated with a set of
behaviors and a service that runs those behaviors. This provides an
extensible mechanism for transforming or presenting the object's digital
--Default Disseminator - The Default Disseminator is a built-in
internal disseminator on every object that provides a system-defined
behavior mechanism for disseminating the basic contents of an object.
--Searching - Selected system metadata fields are indexed along with
the primary Dublin Core record for each object. The Fedora repository
system provides a search interface for both full text and field-specific
queries across these metadata fields.
--OAI Metadata Harvesting Provider - The OAI Protocol for Metadata
Harvesting is a standard for sharing metadata across repositories. Every
Fedora digital object has a primary Dublin Core record that conforms to the
schema at: http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/2.0/oai_dc.xsd. This metadata is
accessible using the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting, v2.0.
--Batch Utility - The Fedora repository system includes a Batch Utility
as part of the Management client that enables the mass creation and loading
of data objects.
Fedora is being made available as an open-source product under a Mozilla
Public License. For more information and to download the software, visit
Ronda A. Grizzle
Technical Coordinator, Fedora Project
Digital Library Research & Development