Oct. 30, 2018—Williams College, in partnership with the Islandora Collaboration Group (ICG) and in consultation with the Islandora Foundation, has received a $153,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to support the Islandora for All project.
Islandora for All is a community project supported by the ICG that is designed to advance the development of Islandora, an open-source digital repository platform, that enables institutions—such as academic libraries, archives, and research institutions—to access, manage and share scholarly materials.
Islandora for All will develop the ISLE and LASIR initiatives with the goal of making Islandora easier to install, manage and sustain, thus reimagining it as an institutional repository platform accessible to a great many more institutions in the future. Islandora for All expects to reduce costs for installing and maintaining Islandora by approximately 50 percent while fostering a community that values all institutions as producers and stewards of scholarship and unique collections. Another goal of this project is to collaborate to achieve robust repository solutions for a wider variety of institutions, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), liberal arts colleges, community colleges, tribal colleges, and more.
ISLE enables a single person to quickly install and maintain the entire Islandora 7.x stack. ISLE provides a high-storage-capacity digital repository with enterprise-grade performance and uses replaceable Docker images to streamline and largely automate the processes of installation and maintenance. LASIR is a collaborative project working to develop a robust suite of Institutional Repository (IR) features within Islandora to enable the platform to be competitive with the top proprietary and open-source IRs currently available.
The ISLE project will build on Islandora’s existing framework to make the platform easier to install and manage, therefore more useful to a larger group of institutions and saving valuable resources. In addition, Islandora for All intends to be scalable in order to serve evolving digital repository needs. This will allow institutions to operate smoothly while accommodating large collections of more than one million digital objects. ISLE has thrived under the technical direction of Benjamin Rosner, Senior Instructional Applications Developer at Barnard College.
By creating a high-storage-capacity digital repository that can be installed and maintained by a single person with modest technical skills, yet will perform at the level of more expensive platforms, Islandora for All aims to alleviate financial barriers and foster a scholarly community that values all institutions as producers of scholarship and promotes the dissemination of scholarly works.
“Islandora for All is building community, making the Islandora platform more accessible by simplifying the deployment and maintenance of the Islandora stack, and establishing a viable out-of-the-box institutional repository to improve scholarly publishing and networking,” said David Keiser-Clark, Islandora for All project manager and academic application developer at Williams College.
The ICG includes Amherst College, Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Colgate University, Grinnell College, Hamilton College, Hampshire College, Haverford College, Mount Holyoke College, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Smith College, Swarthmore College, Vassar College, Wesleyan University, and Williams College. Islandora is an ever-growing international academic community that includes more than 250 institutions.
The Islandora Collaboration Group (ICG), founded in 2012, is a consortium of primarily liberal arts colleges collaborating to support and extend the Islandora digital repository through direct development, resource pooling, and advocacy. The ICG holds monthly steering committee meetings to develop strategy and organization and plan progress. The ICG created the ISLE and LASIR projects (as well as other repositories), and holds friendly hack/doc meetings twice a year for code and documentation development (open to all members). General communication and meeting announcements happen via the [log in to unmask] mailing list.
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