Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO)

Project
Digital Culture of Metropolitan New York

Duration
January 2013 to Present

Objective
Move to an open source repository platform by migrating assets from CONTENTdm to Islandora, create an attractive and intuitive user portal, and optimize site performance for high traffic load.

Strategy
METRO staff worked closely with us to unify the metadata profile across collections, map to MODS and create XML forms to accommodate migrated content. After populating the repository, the team turned its focus to exposing content through an attractive, easy to use portal.

We created a Collection Search tool to help users discover content from METRO’s 23 collections. We also created a beautiful custom theme based on Drupal Zen, incorporating Galleria for a large visual slideshow element on the front page. While preparing to launch the site, METRO took advantage of the easy to configure Solr search and OAI-PMH settings to expose and leverage the repository’s granular MODS metadata for discovery both on the repository site and through aggregators like DPLA.

The team also made performance a priority ensuring the repository could handle hundreds of concurrent users. Our DevOps team undertook benchmark testing, blocked obscure web crawlers, implemented our new Islandora Varnish module to manage caching, and updated the hosted server environment and storage type. The outcome was an almost 400% improvement in performance for its launch on May 7, 2015. Click here to read the launch announcement.

Result
The Digital Culture of Metropolitan New York (DCMNY) repository will provide online access to digital collections of libraries, archives, museums and historical societies located in and around New York City. It will serve as a hosting service for members of the Metropolitan New York Library Council to make their content available online, as well as an on-ramp to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).