Islandora Infrastructure at UL

Caleb Derven - UL

The Glucksman Library at the University of Limerick has implemented a repository services infrastructure that integrates Islandora, a Drupal-based digital assets management system, Fedora Commons, the widely used digital library/ repository system and the University’s enterprise storage solution. The repository services offered by the application not only expose rich print and mutli-media collections from the Library but also adhere to best practices for digital preservation and create a long-term sustainable platform for a deeply heterogeneous set of data including cultural heritage material, research data and publications, and “dark archive” material from the University.

The development of the infrastructure was a richly collaborative venture between the Library and the University’s Information Technology (ITD) division. Islandora was selected as the UI and administrative interface for the service in order to mesh the application with the University’s existing Drupal ecosystem. Such a strategy ensured the availability of a common set of efficiencies including staff ability to maintain and update the Drupal-related functionality of the site, enterprise-wide buy-in and overall organisational familiarity with the CMS. Additionally, the server infrastructure was built and deployed on ITD’s VMWare infrastructure. Lastly, the storage utilised for the services was obtained as part of an ITD project to deploy an extensible, highly-available SAN. The Library acted as a primary stakeholder , based on its requirements for the repository infrastructure, for the storage system.

While in its initial launch the repository focuses on cultural heritage material from the Library’s Special Collections unit, the infrastructure has been designed to handle a disparate array of data types. Islandora will serve as the de facto research data infrastructure for the Library’s research services and exploit the capabilities of the Fedora Commons Four release to accommodate research data management and enable the enable the University, via its research publications and data, to participate in the world of linked open data.