Solr Search Engine Plug-In for Fedora Released

The DRAMA team has released a Solr plug-in for Fedora.

Here's a description of Solr from its home page:

Solr is an open source enterprise search server based on the Lucene Java search library, with XML/HTTP and JSON APIs, hit highlighting, faceted search, caching, replication, and a web administration interface. It runs in a Java servlet container such as Tomcat.

Second Beta Version of Fedora 3.0 Released

The Fedora Commons has released the second beta version of Fedora 3.0.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Fedora 3.0 features the Content Model Architecture (CMA), an integrated structure for persisting and delivering the essential characteristics of digital objects in Fedora. . . . The Fedora CMA plays a central role in the Fedora architecture, in many ways forming the over-arching conceptual framework for future development of Fedora Repositories.

Like a well-thumbed book on a shelf, digital content is stored with the expectation that intellectual works will be the same each time they are accessed, whether the content was put away yesterday, or many years ago. Fedora is a simple, flexible and evolvable approach to delivering and sharing the "essential characteristics" of enduring digital content. Librarians, archivists, records managers, media producers, authors and publishers use patterns of expression formats such as books, journals, articles, collections to convey the essential characteristics of content. The capabilities of digital tools combined with essential characteristics of digital works result in well-understood patterns of expression for different types of content models.

The software engineering community also utilizes patterns of expression for the development of complex computer systems. The same concepts that satisfy agile IT infrastructures can help provide solutions for creating, accessing and preserving content. The Fedora CMA builds on the Fedora architecture-downloaded more than 18,000 times in the last 12 months—to simplify use while unlocking potential.

Dan Davis explains the CMA in the context of Fedora 3.0, "It's a hybrid. The Fedora CMA handles content models that are used by publishers and others, and is also a computer model that describes an information representation and processing architecture." By combining these viewpoints, Fedora CMA has the potential to provide a way to build an interoperable repository for integrated information access within organizations and to provide durable access to our intellectual works.

SPAR (A Distributed Archiving and Preservation System)

The Bibliothèque Nationale de France is engaged in the SPAR (A Distributed Archiving and Preservation System) project.

Here's an excerpt from the project's English home page:

After more than a year of study, BnF launched the SPAR project, true digital stack. Its design is based on international standards authoritative in the subject of the sustainability of digital information. In particular, SPAR respects the OAIS standard (ISO-14721:2003), reference model for an open archival information system. . . .

The SPAR project is much more than a simple stack of secure data.

  • It makes multiple copies of the digital objects and provides continuous monitoring on the status of the hardware as well as the media containing the recorded files in order to anticipate new copies before a definitive loss.
  • Through a precise and complete recognition of the formats of the ingested objects, it also guarantees the continuity of access by making the necessary transformations in case of the technological obsolescence of the access software. Hence, for example, when the JPEG image format will become obsolete, SPAR will be able to transform all the appropriate images in a new and more permanent format. . . .

SPAR is a system serving a community. It must guarantee that the documents given back haven't been modified. To this goal, SPAR marks each object with a digital signature. Moreover, to guarantee the access rights of the disseminated digital objects, SPAR uses a rights management system which calculates the usage licenses of the digital objects and applies the necessary restrictions depending on the user . . .

Read more about it at Bringing Seven Centuries into the Future: Bibliothèque Nationale de France: SPAR Analysis.

DSpace Foundation and Fedora Commons Investigate Joint Collaboration

The DSpace Foundation and the Fedora Commons have been recently investigating the possibility of joint collaboration.

Here's an excerpt from a Dspace-General message:

Over the last few weeks, we (Michele Kimpton and Sandy Payette) have been discussing the possibilities of our organizations collaborating. . . .

Over the past couple of weeks, we have had informal discussions with members of our communities, leaders in libraries and higher education, and Board members to get initial feedback as to whether they would support collaboration and the outcomes they would like to see as a result.

This past week, we convened members of both communities during the PASIG conference to get input and ideas regarding a collaboration.

Thus far, all of the stakeholders we have had the opportunity to talk with have been extremely supportive and excited about the possibility of the Fedora and DSpace communities working together in some capacity.

As a result of these discussions, we have agreed to move forward in our exploration of collaborative possibilities. Over the next several weeks our organizations will meet to plan the next steps in the process. Our intent is to bring together the ideas and expertise within both communities to come up with the most compelling issues to work on to best serve our communities.

Muradora 1.3 Released: Web-Based GUI for Fedora

The DRAMA team at Macquarie University has released version 1.3 release of Muradora.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

Muradora is a web-based GUI for the popular Fedora repository, built using enterprise Java Spring and Struts 2 frameworks. Amongst the common features found in a typical repository such as search, browse, self-submission, and versioning supports, Muradora enables flexible access control for end users (based on the XACML standard), inter-domain authentication and federated identity (using Shibboleth implementation of the SAML standard), and multiple metadata schema management (via W3C XForms standard).

Notable features in 1.3 release:

  • Faceted Search: By incorporating GSearch 2.0 with Solr support, users can perform faceted searches, i.e. one can now narrow down search results based on other categories.
  • All-in-one installation: There is now an installation script for Unix/Linux systems which will install all the necessary components for Muradora. The complete package is called "muradora-allinone".
  • RSS/Atom Feeds: Users can subscribe to collections (even non-public collections) and get notifications of new objects added to those collections.
  • Thumbnail preview and gallery view: Thumbnails are now generated automatically for images. Thanks to the work by the MediaShelf team, one can browse and search using either the traditional listing view or with the gallery view.

Project Reports from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's 2008 Research in Information Technology Retreat

Project reports from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation's 2008 Research in Information Technology retreat are now available.

Here are selected project briefing reports:

OAI-ORE for Fedora: Oreprovider Released

Oskar Grenholm of the National Library of Sweden has released oreprovider, an open-source Java application that "will let you disseminate digital objects stored in a Fedora repository as OAI-ORE Resource Maps."

In the announcement, he says:

The idea behind it all is that you have a Java web application (oreprovider.war) that, on the fly, will generate Resource Maps serialized as Atom feeds (using OAI4J) for objects in Fedora. All you have to do in Fedora is to add information in RELS-EXT what datastreams belongs to which Resource Map (exactly how to do this can be seen at the projects web page).

Muradora Version 1.2.1 Released: Federated Identity and Authorization for Fedora

The DRAMA (Digital Repository Authorization Middleware Architecture) team has released version 1.2.1 of Muradora.

Here's an excerpt from the Muradora home page that describes Muradora:

Muradora is an easy to use repository application that supports federated identity (via Shibboleth authentication) and flexible authorization (using XACML). Muradora leverages the modularity, flexibility and scalability of the well-known Fedora repository.

Muradora's unique vision is one where Fedora forms the core back-end repository, while different front-end applications (such as portlets or standalone web interfaces) can all talk to the same instance of Fedora, and yet maintain a consistent approach to access control.

Read more about it at "Muradora 1.2.1 Release."

Summa: A Federated Search System

Statsbiblioteket is developing Summa, a federated search system.

Birte Christensen-Dalsgaard, Director of Development, discusses Summa and other topics in a new podcast (CNI Podcast: An Interview with Birte Christensen-Dalsgaard, Director of Development at the State and University Library, Denmark).

Here's an excerpt from the podcast abstract:

Summa is an open source system implementing modular, service-based architecture. It is based on the fundamental idea "free the content from the proprietary library systems," where the discovery layer is separated from the business layer. In doing so, any Internet technology can be used without the limitations traditionally set by proprietary library systems, and there is the flexibility to integrate or to be integrated into other systems. A first version of a Fedora—Summa integration has been developed.

A white paper is available that examines the system in more detail.

E-Print Preservation: SHERPA DP: Final Report of the SHERPA DP Project

JISC has released SHERPA DP: Final Report of the SHERPA DP Project.

Here's an excerpt from the "Executive Summary":

The SHERPA DP project (2005–2007) investigated the preservation of digital resources stored by institutional repositories participating in the SHERPA project. An emphasis was placed on the preservation of e-prints—research papers stored in an electronic format, with some support for other types of content, such as electronic theses and dissertations.

The project began with an investigation of the method that institutional repositories, as Content Providers, may interact with Service Providers. The resulting model, framed around the OAIS, established a Co-operating archive relationship, in which data and metadata is transferred into a preservation repository subsequent to it being made available. . . .

The Arts & Humanities Data Service produced a demonstrator of a Preservation Service, to investigate the operation of the preservation service and accepted responsibility for the preservation of the digital objects for a three-year period (two years of project funding, plus one year).

The most notable development of the Preservation Service demonstrator was the creation of a reusable service framework that allows the integration of a disparate collection of software tools and standards. The project adopted Fedora as the basis for the preservation repository and built a technical infrastructure necessary to harvest metadata, transfer data, and perform relevant preservation activities. Appropriate software tools and standards were selected, including JHOVE and DROID as software tools to validate data objects; METS as a packaging standard; and PREMIS as a basis on which to create preservation metadata. . . .

A number of requirements were identified that were essential for establishing a disaggregated service for preservation, most notably some method of interoperating with partner institutions and he establishment of appropriate preservation policies. . . . In its role as a Preservation Service, the AHDS developed a repository-independent framework to support the EPrints and DSpace-based repositories, using OAI-PMH as common method of connecting to partner institutions and extracting digital objects.

Institutional Repositories, Tout de Suite

Institutional Repositories, Tout de Suite, the latest Digital Scholarship publication, is designed to give the reader a very quick introduction to key aspects of institutional repositories and to foster further exploration of this topic through liberal use of relevant references to online documents and links to pertinent websites. It is under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License, and it can be freely used for any noncommercial purpose in accordance with the license.

University of Maryland Libraries Digital Collections Launched

The University of Maryland Libraries has launched its Digital Collections repository.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

This release marks two and a half years of work in the creation of a repository that serves the teaching and research mission of the University of Maryland Libraries. Many of the objects are digital versions from Maryland's Special Collections (such as A Treasury of World's Fairs Art and Architecture) or are new virtual collections (The Jim Henson Works). Other collections (such as Films@UM) support the teaching mission of the Libraries. This release also marks the integration of electronically available finding aids, ArchivesUM, into the repository architecture, creating a framework for digital objects to be dynamically discovered from finding aids.

The repository is based on the Fedora platform, uses Lucene for indexing, and Helix for streaming video. The repository features almost 2500 digital objects, with new objects added monthly. Object types currently delivered include full text (both TEI and EAD), video, and images. Objects can be discovered within a collection context or via a search across multiple collections. Cross-collection discovery is achieved through a common metadata scheme and controlled vocabulary. This metadata scheme also provides for individual collections to have more granular domain-specific metadata.

An FAQ for the repository is available.

National Science Digital Library Releases Initial Fedora-based NCore Components

The National Science Digital Library Core Integration team at Cornell University has released a partial version of NCore, a "general platform for building semantic and virtual digital libraries united by a common data model and interoperable applications," which is built upon Fedora.

Here's an excerpt from the NSDL posting:

The NCore platform consists of a central repository built on top of Fedora, a data model, an API, and a number of fundamental services such as full-text search or OAI-PMH. Innovative NSDL services and tools that empower users as content creators are now built on, or transitioning to, the NCore platform. These include: the Expert Voices blogging system (;the NSDL Wiki (; the NSDL OAI-PMH metadata ingest aggregation system; the OAI-PMH service for distributing public NSDL metadata; the NSDL Collection System (NCS), derived from the DLESE Collection system (DCS); the NSDL Search service, and the OnRamp content management and distribution system (

Because NCore is a general Fedora-based open source platform useful beyond NSDL, Core Integration developers at Cornell University have made the repository and API code components of NCore available for download at the NCore project on Sourceforge ( Over the next six months, NSDL will release the code for major tools and services that comprise the full NCore suite on SourceForge.

For further information, see the NCore presentation.

Fedora Meets Web 2.0: Repository Redux Presentation from Access 2007

A digital video of Mark Leggott's (University Librarian, University of Prince Edward Island) presentation from Access 2007 is now available.

Here's an excerpt from the program that describes the talk:

The University of Prince Edward Island has embarked on a substantial project to support the institutions Administrative, Learning and Research communities using a Web 2.0/3.0 framework and the Fedora/Drupal/Moodle systems as the foundation. The session will describe the architecture and demo some of the core systems, such as Learn@UPEI, UPEI VRE (Virtual Research Environment) and some sample digital library collections.

Version 1.0 of SWORD, A Smart Deposit Tool for Repositories, Has Been Released

Version 1.0 of SWORD has been released The release includes DSpace (1.5 only) and Fedora implementations, GUI/CLI clients, and the common Java library.

Here's an excerpt from the SWORD Wiki that describes the project:

SWORD (Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit) will take forward the Deposit protocol developed by a small working group as part of the JISC Digital Repositories Programme by implementing it as a lightweight web-service in four major repository software platforms: EPrints, DSpace, Fedora and IntraLibrary. The existing protocol documentation will be finalised by project partners and a prototype 'smart deposit' tool will be developed to facilitate easier and more effective population of repositories. The project intends to take an iterative approach to developing and revising the protocol, web-services and client implementation through evaluative testing and feedback mechanisms. Community acceptance and take-up will be sought through dissemination activities. The project is led by UKOLN, University of Bath, with partners at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, the University of Southampton and Intrallect Ltd. The project aims to improve the efficiency and quality of repository deposit and to diversity and expedite the options for timely population of repositories with content whilst promoting a common deposit interface and supporting the Information Environment principles of interoperability.

Muradora 1.0, a Fedora Front-End, Released

DRAMA (Digital Repository Authorization Middleware Architecture) has released Muradora 1.0, a Fedora front-end that provides identity control (via Shibboleth), authorization (via XACML), and other functions. DRAMA is a sub-project of RAMP (Research Activityflow and Middleware Priorities Project). A Live DVD image simplifies installation.

Here’s an excerpt from the fedora-commons-users posting:

  • "Out-of-the-box" or customized deployment options
  • Intuitive access control editor allows end-users to specify their own access control criteria without editing any XML.
  • Hierarchical enforcement of access control policies. Access control can be set at the collection level, object level or datastream level.
  • Metadata input and validation for any well-formed metadata schema using XForms (a W3C standard). New metadata schemas can be supported via XForms scripts (no Muradora code modification required).
  • Flexible and extensible architecture based on the well known Java Spring enterprise framework.
  • Multiple deployments of Muradora (each customized for their own specific purpose) can talk to the one instance of Fedora.
  • Freely available as open source software (Apache 2 license). All dependent software is also open source.

Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive Repository Launched

The University College Dublin has launched the Irish Virtual Research Library and Archive Repository.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

VRLA is a digital archive containing a number of digitised collections from UCD’s holdings, of use and interest to Irish humanities researchers. The IVRLA has developed a sophisticated interface enabling users to browse, search, tag and cite digital objects and view or download them in a variety of file formats. This interface sits on top of an open source repository architecture that functions as the IVRLA’s base content store. An elaborate collection model has been developed ensuring all content is viewed within context and structure. This model is particularly suited for organic primary source collections and enables hierarchy and sub-division in how objects are arranged and held within collections.

DRAMA Releases Fedora Front-End Beta for Authentication/Full-Text Search

DRAMA (Digital Repository Authorization Middleware Architecture) has released Fiddler, a beta version of its mura Fedora front-end that provides access control, authentication, full-text searching and a variety of other functions. DRAMA is a sub-project of RAMP (Research Activityflow and Middleware Priorities Project).

Here’s an excerpt from the news item that describes Fiddler’s features:

  • Hierarchical access control enforcement: Policies can be applied at the collection level, object level or datastream level. . . .
  • Improved access control interface: One can now view existing access control of a particular user or group for a given datastream, object or collection. . . .
  • User-centric GUI: mura only presents users with operations for which they have permissions.
  • XForms Metadata Input: We employ an XForms engine (Orbeon) for metadata input. XForms allow better user interaction, validation and supports any XML-based metadata schemas (such as MARC or MODS).
  • LDAP Filter for Fedora: The current Fedora LDAP filter (in version 2.2) does not authenticate properly, so we have developed a new LDAP filter to fix this problem.
  • Local authentication for DAR and ASM: In addition to Shibboleth authentication, the DAR and ASM can be configured to use a local authentication source (eg. via a local LDAP).
  • Generic XACML Vocabulary: XACML policies are now expressed in a generic vocabulary rather than Fedora specific ones. . . .
  • XACML Optimization: We have optimized of the evaluation engine by employing a cache with user configurable time-to-live. We have also greatly reduced the time for policies matching with DB XML, through the use of bind parameters in our queries.
  • Flexible mapping of Fedora actions to new Apache Axis handlers: Axis is the SOAP engine that Fedora employs to provide its web services. The new flexibility allows new handlers to be easily plugged into Fedora to support new features that follow the same Interceptor pattern as our authorization framework.
  • Version control: mura now supports version control.
  • Full-text search: We enabled full-text search by incorporating Fedoragsearch package.

The REMAP Project: Record Management and Preservation in Digital Repositories

The REMAP Project at the University of Hull has been funded by JISC investigate how record management and digital preservation functions can be best supported in digital repositories. It utilizes the Fedora system.

Here’s an except from the Project Aims page (I have added the links in this excerpt):

The REMAP project has the following aims:

  • To develop Records Management and Digital Preservation (RMDP) workflow(s) in order to understand how a digital repository can support these activities
  • To embed digital repository interaction within working practices for RMDP purposes
  • To further develop the use of a WSBPEL orchestration tool to work with external Web services, including the PRONOM Web services, to provide appropriate metadata and file information for RMDP
  • To develop and test a notification layer that can interact with the orchestration tool and allow RSS
    syndication to individuals alerting them to RMDP tasks
  • To develop and test an intermediate persistence layer to underpin the notification layer and interact
    with the WSBPEL orchestration tool to allow orchestrated workflows to take place over time
  • To test and validate the use of the enhanced WSBPEL tool with institutional staff involved in RMDP activities

SWORD (Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit) Project

Led by UKOLN, The JISC SWORD (Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit) Project is developing "a prototype ‘smart deposit’ tool" to "facilitate easier and more effective population of repositories."

Here’s an excerpt from the project plan:

The effective and efficient population of repositories is a key concern for the repositories community. Deposit is a crucial step in the repository workflow; without it a repository has no content and can fulfill no further function. Currently most repositories exist in a fairly linear context, accepting deposits from a single interface and putting them into a single repository. Further deployment of repositories, encouraged by JISC and other funders, means that this situation is changing and we are beginning to see an increasingly complex and dynamic ecology of interactions between repositories and other services and systems. By and large developers are not creating repository systems and software from scratch, rather they are considering how repositories interface with other applications within institutions and the wider information landscape. A single repository, or multiple repositories, might interact with other components, such as VLEs, authoring tools, packaging tools, name authority services, classification services and research systems. In terms of content, resources may be deposited in a repository by both human and software agents, e.g. packaging tools that push content into repositories or a drag-and-drop desktop tool. The type of resource being deposited will also influence the choice of deposit mechanism. If the resources are complex packaged objects then a web service will need to support the ingest of multiple packaging standards.

There is currently no standard mechanism for accepting content into repositories, yet there already exists a stable and widely implemented service for harvesting metadata from repositories (OAI-PMH—Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). This project will implement a similarly open protocol or specification for deposit. By taking a similar approach, the project and the resulting protocol and implementations will gain easier acceptance by a community already familiar with the OAI-PMH.

This project aims to develop a Simple Web-service Offering Repository Deposit (SWORD)—a lightweight deposit protocol that will be implemented as a simple web service within EPrints, DSpace, Fedora and IntraLibrary and tested against a prototype ‘smart deposit’ tool. The project plans to take forward the lightweight protocol originally formulated by a small group working within the Digital Repositories Programme (the ‘Deposit API’ work) . The project is aligned with the Object Reuse and Exchange (ORE) Mellon-funded two-year project by the Open Archives Initiative, which commenced in October 2006. Members of the SWORD project team are represented on its Technical and Liaison Committees. . . . . The SWORD project is not attempting to duplicate work being done being done by ORE, but seeks to build on existing work to support UK-specific requirements whilst feeding into the ongoing ORE project.

DRAMA Project’s Fedora Authentication Code Alpha Release

The DRAMA (Digital Repository Authorization Middleware Architecture) project has released an alpha version of its Fedora authentication code. DRAMA is part of the RAMP (Research Activityflow and Middleware Priorities Project) project.

Here’s an excerpt from the fedora-commons-users announcement about the release’s features:

  • Federated authentication (using Shibboleth) for Fedora.
  • Extended XACML engine support via the introduction of an XML database for storing and querying policies and XACML requests over web services.
  • Re-factoring of Fedora XACML authorization into an interceptor layer which is separate from Fedora.
  • A new web GUI for Fedora nicknamed "mura" (Note: that we will be changing the GUI name to a new one soon).