3rd D.C. Fedora User Group Meeting


National Museum of the American Indian
Washington, D.C.


18 Jan 2011
10:15 am until 5:00 pm

Agenda / Presentations

  1. Welcome and introductions (Thorny Staples)
  2. Duraspace organizational overview (Valorie Hollister)
  3. National Library of Medicine (John Doyle, Doran Shalvi)
  4. Goddard Space Flight Center (Mitzi Cole, Bria Parker, Jeremy Gottwig)
  5. University of Virginia Library (Adam Soroka)
    • presentation
  6. DuraCloud (Andrew Woods)
  7. Smithsonian (Thorny Staples)
    • presentation
  8. National Technical Information Service (Don Hagen)
  9. National Agricultural Library (Charles Schoppet)
  10. VTLS (Brian Rosmaita)


Despite icy conditions prompting a government-wide, two-hour-allowable tardiness announcement, the turnout for the Jan 2011 DC Area Fedora Users Group meeting was impressive. This was the first meeting to see Thorny in the role as a "user" (from the Smithsonian) as opposed to his former role as a "prosthelytizer". That is not to say that he was able to altogether shed his old habits.
Following introductions, the meeting consisted of a series of presentations detailing Fedora-related projects at various points along the continuum from pilot phase to mature, production installations.

Valorie H. offered an overview of the DuraSpace organization, the projects it houses (Fedora, DSpace, DuraCloud) and the people associated therewith. A special thanks was extended to the sponsors in attendance:

  • University of Virginia Library
  • Smithsonian Institution Libraries
  • U.S. National Library of Medicine

John D. and Doran S. provided an update on and demonstration of the digital collections at NLM. These collections made their public debut in Sept 2010. In addition to describing plans for moving forward, such as probing deeper into preservation needs, a detailed description of the server architecture, redundancy, load-balancing, and back-up processes were presented.

Mitzi C., Bria P., and Jeremy G. presented on the continuing progress of the author's repository at Goddard. The application was detailed from its Drupal front-end down to the scripts that discover and populate author name variations into the Fedora repository.

Adam S. recounted the history, evolution, and successes of the U-Va library's use of workflows and queues in the repository context. In describing the migration of processes that once required skilled engineers to execute to tasks that are able to be more generally managed by content specialists, queuing practices and decision criteria of when queues are appropriate were discussed, among other things.

Andrew W. provided a brief overview of the DuraCloud application, its current status with pilot partnerships, techniques for integrating with Fedora repositories, and upcoming plans for release as a publicly offered, hosted service. A demonstration included the participation of some members of the NLM and U-Va teams synchronizing local content to DuraCloud.

Thorny S. detailed several Smithsonian research projects that will benefit from initial prototypes in integrating researcher tools with the repository in order to facilitate including content in the repository from the beginning of its lifecycle. Thorny made a point of repeatly emphasizing the following

  1. We need to build collections that people can use, not to become stuck in trying to build the perfect collection.
  2. Think of Fedora as an architecture first and foremost, then secondly as software.

Don H. and Charles S. gave statements of interest in and progress towards Fedora implementations at NTIS and NAL, respectively.

Brian R. described the successes of VTLS projects ranging from the capturing, augmenting, and eventual out-streaming of college lectures as managed by a Fedora repository, to installations for public libraries in Kansas and New York, to an enhanced authoritative controlled vocabulary repository.