Posts tagged METRO
Islandora: Harvesting to DPLA and other Aggregators
Digital Public Library of America (

Digital Public Library of America (

Charlottetown, PE —  Islandora enables discovery, interoperability and reuse of digital resources, making them available to aggregators such as the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). It’s standard functionality,  right out-of-the-box. 

Islandora is a suite of modules that integrate Drupal, Apache Solr and Fedora Commons together, providing a robust feature set for building digital repositories. One such module is called Islandora OAI. It’s a standard and easy to use module that makes repository content harvestable via the Open Archives Initiative for Protocol Harvesting (OAI-PMH). This protocol is used to harvest metadata to DPLA, Europeana, Trove and many other aggregators. 

An example of this kind of project is Digital Culture of Metropolitan New York (DCMNY). It’s an Islandora digital repository for Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO) members, which also serves as an on-ramp to DPLA. Also, METRO administers the Empire State Digital Network (ESDN), the service hub for the state of New York. It harvests metadata from DCMNY as well as other Islandora digital repositories around the state to contribute to DPLA. 

Chris Stanton, Metadata Specialist with ESDN and Anne Karle-Zenith, Digital Services Manager of METRO, spoke about harvesting content from Islandora to DPLA in a recent webinar. 

“We found that the Islandora OAI module has been really successful for us. Once enabled, the module is straightforward to configure and makes it easy to share records with projects like the DPLA”, says Chris Stanton. Aside from being easy to use, Chris says the harvesting process has had a positive impact. “One of the goals of ESDN and one of the exciting parts of it that got people really motivated to contribute work was the opportunity to go back and think about and improve local metadata on top of contributing to DPLA. The positive impacts have been two-fold.” 

Impacts of the project are growing. “Content contributors are beginning to see the benefits of being harvested”, says Anne Karle-Zenith. “DPLA recently released a set of primary source sets for educators, which included content from one of the collections in our repository in a resource about the Harlem Renaissance. The content contributor was completely thrilled.”  

To learn more about Islandora’s harvesting capability, please contact us at 

Metropolitan New York Library Council (METRO)

Digital Culture of Metropolitan New York

January 2013 to Present

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.

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.

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).