Learn about discovery interfaces at YUL with Rediscover Discovery

Last year, after the successful upgrade of our Articles+ e-resource discovery service and the beginning of the public beta phase of our Quicksearch unified discovery interface, library staff held an information session called Rediscovery Discovery, where we demonstrated features, functionality and sample search strategies in the Articles+ discovery interface and debuted the Quicksearch discovery interface.

This year, we will hold Rediscover Discovery again, covering Articles+ but with more focus Quicksearch. We will also introduce the digital collections search currently in development.

Rediscover Discovery is primarily aimed at instruction and public services staff, but is open to anyone who’d like to attend. Please register for each session as space is limited!

There will be two information sessions:

  • Tuesday August 18th, 10-11am in Bass L06 A&B register
  • Thursday August 20th, 2:30-3:30pm in 17 Hillhouse L07 register

See you at Rediscover Discovery!

SearchFest! sessions for August and October

Based on the success of the first SearchFest! event held in Bass L06 on Thursday July 9th, there will be two more sessions scheduled for the fall semester.

The goals of SearchFest!:

  • test out existing Orbis or Morris search strategies in our new unified discovery interface, Quicksearch.
  • demonstrate the features and functionality that are unique to Quicksearch
  • review the timeline for Quicksearch’s transition to production in January 2016
  • answer any questions from staff about how to use Quicksearch in either instruction or daily work

As with the first SearchFest!, there will also be pizza served at the beginning of each session.

To register for the August 18th session, click here.

To register for the October 8th session, click here.

See you at SearchFest!

Project update: Digital collections search interface

Central ITS will be conducting the first of three load tests on the enhanced interface for digital collections on Friday July 17th between 1:30pm and 5pm. They will use a service called LoadRunner which determines the breaking point of an application by emulating real use by a number of concurrent users. The second two tests will take place between July 27 and July 30. I will follow up once these dates and times are confirmed.

These tests on the enhanced interface for digital collections are not expected to impact the current digital collections interface. Library IT will be monitoring the current digital collections interface on 7/17 for service disruptions.

I write to you regarding some testing on the enhanced interface for digital collections that may impact our current digital collections discovery service (http://findit.library.yale.edu). The enhanced interface for digital collections is a version of this digital collections discovery service, with features, functionality and security developed for use with more restricted digital materials. Like our unified discovery service,Quicksearch, both the digital collections interface and the enhanced version are powered by Blacklight.
Curious about what’s in the Yale University Library digital collections search? Here’s some clocks made by Paul Revere. We also have fire insurance maps of Seymour, CT– and much more! You can learn more about the Library’s discovery services (Articles+Quicksearch and digital collections search) at the Rediscover Discovery forum in August (Tues 18th and Thurs 20th). More information on that coming soon.

If you have questions about this work, or notice any issues with http://findit.library.yale.edu, please let me know.


Mike Friscia

On behalf of the FindIT Project Implementation team:

Osman Din

Eric James

Tracy MacMath

Anju Meenattoor

Bob Rice

Lakeisha Robinson

Steelsen Smith

Kalee Sprague

First two weeks of LibGuides 2 training completed

Library IT held its first two weeks of LibGuides 2 training from June 9 until June 17.  Eight classes were held in four locations and 40 staff members attended training.  Training materials are available online at


Two more classes will be held in July:

Bass Library L06
Tuesday, July 14, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
Thursday, July 16, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Fedora 4 work at Open Repositories 2015

Open Repositories 2015 highlighted some of the interesting projects from different institutions.

One such Fedora-based project demonstrated the application and usefulness of the Linked Data platform. The project uses graph-based metadata; research data is cataloged using museum specific FRBRoo and CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM) ontologies, instead of using classic metadata schemes. The project participants claimed that in comparison to traditional bibliographic metadata schema (such as MODS), “these vocabularies allowed us to express detailed relationships between digital objects and entities (people, places, events, concepts) in a more nuanced way”. The relationships are described in RDF and persisted in Fedora 4. Fedora 4 speaks and understands RDF natively and acts effectively as a Linked Data compliant server.

The benefit for the project is that the user interface (based in Islandora) is driven entirely by RDF and researchers and scholars can directly query the metadata graph by entering powerful queries via a SPARQL endpoint.

I also had the opportunity to present a poster exploring the integration of Fedora 4 with Sakai (known locally as Classes v2). Fedora 4 uses a backend technology (ModeShape) that is an implementation of the Java Content Repository (JCR) standard. Sakai offers some support for JCR, making direct integration feasible. Sakai content can be directly accessed in Fedora 4 and Sakai can access Fedora 4 content as if it were a part of its own datastore. Before Fedora 4, custom tools would have to be developed to tackle the linking, making inter-operability harder and less maintainable. Fedora 4 offers a new way, thanks to a modern technology stack. A number of leading institutions that run both Sakai and Fedora expressed an interest in further exploring the integration possibilities via this approach.

From the Hydra News blog: HydraDAM 2 update

posted Fri, 22 May 2015 by Michael Friscia

Indiana University and WGBH recently presented their plans for the grant funded HydraDAM 2 project . Some interesting bullets from their presentation:

HydraDAM 1 came from a need for WGBH to migrate off the vendor product Artesia which was heading in a new direction

Indian University’s use case is to ingest 10 Terabytes per day for 4 years for a total of 6.6 Petabytes of master and use copy video files along with associated files for preservation into HydraDAM 2

HydraDam 1 is too slow for ingest so ingest is handled externally

HydraDam2 will use two different storage system models with Fedora 4 managing both online/nearline and offline tape copies

Out of region copies are out of scope for the size of the collection going in, however, IU is a DPN member and plans to use that for high risk items. Currently they are in the process of setting policies and preservation levels associated with the content.

Preservation services to be offered in HydraDam2 include:

Storage and retrieval of files

Scheduled fixity checks and file characterization on demand

Auditing based on Fedora 4


Media migration (from one storage solution to another storage solution)

Format migration for risk of obsolescence

There is a working version of Avalon using Fedora 4

This was a preliminary presentation. IU and WGBH will be giving a detailed presentation at the upcoming Open Repositories conference in June.

Decisions from the 5/18 UXAC

Decisions from the 5/18/2015 User Experience Advisory Committee meeting:

  • Change the “Feedback” link on the bottom of all pages from the Qualtrics form to the new locally-developed Drupal feedback form.
  • Decisions made by the User Experience Advisory Committee will be put in the IT Newsletter with links to the full meeting minutes for those who are interested.
  • The technology behind the Resources About Yale search is great and the feature should be highlighted, but it shouldn’t be on the Quicksearch home page.
  • Decisions on the eBooks search should be held off until we get information from the eResources folks about the overlap between Orbis/Morris eBook content and Summon eBook content.

For more information, see the full meeting minutes available on the UXAC’s SharePoint site.

Library IT and LSF Complete GFA LAS Overhaul

Since the inception of the Library Shelving Facility (LSF), staff rely on GFA‘s Library Archival System (LAS) for inventory and storage management of both local and in transit items. Staff from Library IT and the LSF, in conjunction with GFA, have successfully completed both an upgrade and migration of the LAS application. Thanks to Mike DiMassa, Gary Burcheski, and staff at LSF for their participation in the planning and testing phases of the project.

For the original project announcement see here.

Quicksearch Update April 2015

Several new features and bug fixes were rolled out in the first two weeks of April.

We did a full extract and re-load of all Orbis and Morris records, in order to take advantage of several changes we made in response to user Feedback.

To highlight a few of the changes made possible by the re-load:

  • All records will now have an Acquisitions Date, so sorting by Acquisitions Date will make more sense when sorting by ‘Acquired earliest’
  • URL Links stored in the MFHD are now extracted and will appear in the holdings section of the item view.
  • We updated the format mappings and labels for two formats – “Archives or Manuscripts” and “Dissertations & Theses”.  For more information about format mapping changes, see: How Quicksearch Assigns Format Facet Terms
  • We updated language mapping to add ISO 693-2 codes
  • We added 69x local subject fields to the Subject Index
  • We fixed the Google Books bug that sometimes caused the incorrect book cover to display

The total number of records extracted and re-loaded was:

Morris records: 459,491
Orbis records: 9,787,510

For a full list of bugs fixed in the April update, see the Quicksearch 4.0 Release Notes.

IMLS funds collaborative development of “Hydra-in-a-Box”

Digital Public Library of America – Boston, MA

Grant Program: National Leadership Grants

Category: National Digital Platform

Award Amount: $1,999,897; Matching Amount: $2,000,686


The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Stanford University, and DuraSpace will foster a greatly expanded network of open-access, content-hosting “hubs” that will enable discovery and interoperability, as well as the reuse of digital resources by people from this country and around the world. At the core of this transformative network are advanced digital repositories that not only empower local institutions with new asset management capabilities, but also connect their data and collections. Currently, DPLA’s hubs, libraries, archives, and museums more broadly use aging, legacy software that was never intended or designed for use in an interconnected way, or for contemporary web needs. The three partners will engage in a major development of the community-driven open source Hydra project to provide these hubs with a new all-in-one solution, which will also allow countless other institutions to easily join the national digital platform.