Islandora Camp GTA: Day 1

by Sara Allain

Islandora Camp GTA kicked off with nearly 40 librarians, developers, and archivists gathered at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Fortified by coffee and muffins, we got down to the business of getting to know each other. Campers hailed from throughout Ontario and the East Coast, as well as Oklahoma, Michigan, Ohio, and Florida, and represented a diverse range of use cases and experience levels. The group ran the gamut from people who'd heard the word "Islandora" thrown around but had never touched the platform to folks who've been developing/administering Islandora for years. Leading us through the day's activities were Nick Ruest (York University), Jordan Dukart (discoverygarden), Kirsta Stapelfeldt (UTSC), and David Wilcox (Duraspace).

Introductions included the question, "If you were a sandwich, what kind of sandwich would you be?"

New Release and Future Developments

Nick described the new modules and tools that are contained within the newest release, Islandora 7.x-1.3. In particular, he talked about the suite of modules - Checksum and Checksum Checker, FITS, BagIt, and PREMIS - that make Islandora so much stronger as a preservation system. Some excellent work here.

David talked about Fedora 4, which is a major rearchitecting of the repository software that Islandora works on. David highlighted the way that Fedora will now structure data within the repository, as well as the linked data capabilities and performance enhancements. Jordan Dukart talked about Drupal 8, which is much more object-oriented. 

Community Overview

We looked at some cool things being done with Islandora in the community:

Interest Groups

There are currently four Islandora Interest Groups. The groups are formed and maintained by community members (read: anyone who wants to convene one) in order to address specific problems or questions related to the software and/or the community.

Nick Ruest, Donald Moses, and Mark Jordan convened the Preservation Interest Group to standardize and steward some of the new preservation modules in Islandora, including Checksum, FITS, BagIt, Vault, and PREMIS. The Preservation Interest Group is also working with Archivematica (/Artefactual Systems).

The Documentation Interest Group, convened by Kirsta, Kelli Babcock, and Gabriela Mircea, is focused on improving the Islandora documentation wiki as well as creating new documentation for training and development purposes.

David convened the Fedora 4 Interest Group to help plan how Islandora will integrate with the new version of the repository during the next phase of development.

The newest group is the Archival Interest Group, convened by me, which focuses on how archivists and archival collections interact with Islandora, incorporating questions of training, development, and linked services.


Random notes and recurring themes:

  • Deployment - specifically, issues with deployment that are consistent across implementations
  • Integration with other systems, specifically archival description systems (AtoM and ArchivesSpace) and Omeka
  • Ontologies, migrations, systems, integration with other systems, deployment
  • Good idea/bad idea: multi-sites
  • Drupal 8 and Fedora 4 and how Islandora 7/8 releases will play with one or both of these
  • "It depends"