New to FindIt — The Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection

The Lewis Walpole Library Digital Collection was recently added to FindIt. All of Walpole Library’s digital content was migrated from their former stand-alone system and integrated into the Yale University Library’s Digital Collection. The migration included approximately 14,000 prints, the core of their graphics collection, which encompasses both satirical and non-satirical prints, portraits, theatrical, and topographical prints, as well as several of the library’s extra-illustrated volumes and manuscripts.

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Highlights from Samvera Connect 2017

Several of Library IT’s staff attended the Samvera Connect 2017 conference in Chicago, this past November 6-9th.  The conference had nearly 200 attendees from over 90 institutions, representing mostly higher-education institutions but a few corporate, non-profit and government agencies were in attendance as well. The Samvera Connect conference is an opportunity for users of the Samvera framework to come together to share knowledge, collaborate in technical development, and build the Samvera community.

The 2017 Samvera Connect conference offered many new changes — a new name, new tools and a new framework. Starting with the name, Samvera is the new name for Hydra, the open-source framework Yale University Library uses for digital collections discovery, FindIt.

The Stack Is Getting a Makeover 

Currently, Samvera  has 3 major components:

  • the Fedora repository software as the repository layer.
  • Solr indexes, providing quick access to information about an institution’s resources.
  • Blacklight, a Ruby on Rails plugin that sits above Solr and provides faceted searching, browsing and tailored views on objects.

Announced at the conference, coming late spring of 2018, Samvera will be rolling out a new framework and tools. In the new paradigm, institutions will have the ability to implement one or all of the components in the framework to develop a repository.

New Tools:

  • Hyrax: the user interface around common repository features. This tool replaces Blacklight. This tool can be used independent of the other components and gives developers one consistent tool to use to create solutions instead of disparate home-grown ones. Hyrax continues to use Fedora 4 and Solr.
  • Hyku: a complete turn-key repository solution
  • Valkyrie: a new tool that enables multiple backends for storage of files and metadata

Library IT staff conference attendees were:

  • Nadia Boumahdi, Application Programmer
  • Martin Lovell, Application Programmer
  • Tracy MacMath, User Interface Programmer
  • George Ouellette, Digital Collections and Repository Service Manager
  • Kalee Sprague, Senior Systems Librarian for Integrated Access

The consensus among the group was that there will be exciting developments to watch for in the Samvera community over the next year.

Findit Digital Collections now in Quicksearch

The Quicksearch Implementation team  and Library IT are happy to announce that collections from the Findit digital repository are now available in Quicksearch!

You can view digital collections in Quicksearch by going to the library front door at, or directly to the Quicksearch main page at, and searching for a term like “Andy Warhol”.

Three result bento boxes now display, Books+, Articles+, and Digital Collections.

Clicking on the “See xxx results” link in the Digital Collections bento box, or the “Digital Collections” facet in the left hand menu, will bring you to the full Digital Collections page.  The Digital Collections page provides facets that match the facet functionality in Findit.  Clicking on a title link will bring you into the Findit interface.


LIT and partners Tech Talk | Wednesday May 18th 2016

Next Wednesday May 18th, from 2:30pm-3:30pm in Bass L06, join Library IT and partners in our monthly discussion of tech-related projects around the Library and beyond.

Our agenda includes:

  • Adding/migrating collections to Findit (George Ouellette)
  • Tour of Software at Yale (ITS web site) (Beatrice Richardson)
  • Google Cultural Institute (Jenn Nolte)
  • ArchivesSpace updates (Matthew Gorham)

For those who cannot join us in person, the session will be streamed via Adobe Connect: [sign in as a guest]

Slides and recordings of the Tech Talk sessions will be archived in 

See you there!

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!

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 ( 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, 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

Update on Digital Collection Migration Initiative

In an effort to provide a unified interface for all Yale Library collections, Library IT has embarked on a wide scale project to migrate over sixty individual digital collections to a single Hydra / Fedora repository (

The first collection that was successfully migrated is the Drama School Collection, consisting of 850 posters and photographs highlighting over 80 years of theater performed at Yale.

Other collection that are expected to be available in the coming months include the Lewis – Walpole Library digital collection, Chinese Rare Books at Yale, Yale Silk Roads, China Christian Colleges and Universities Image Database, Yale Medical Library Bookplates collection and Birren Collection of Books on Color.

For questions about this project please contact George Ouellette.

FindIt, QuickSearch Security Design Review Completed

"data.path Ryoji.Ikeda - 4" by r2hox is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
data.path Ryoji.Ikeda – 4” by r2hox is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Yale University Library FindIt and QuickSearch services have completed a Security Design Review (SDR) by the Information Security Office of Yale ITS.  These systems use the Hydra repository solution as the underlying technology stack.  The SDR process is used to provide recommendations for building, improving, or reengineering services to meet University policies, industry best practices, laws, and regulation requirements.  Thanks to Bob Rice for evaluating and implementing the recommendations and Tom Castiello and Marcus Aden from the Information Security Office for their insight and participation.

New Digitized Collections Page Live

The Library has a new entry page to its digitized collections, Yale University Library Digital Collections, linked from the home page.

The new page features Digital Collection Highlight pages for every collection, with rotating images from the collections. The collection page lists all the collections in the new Findit interface, and other major digitized collections in other interfaces such as the Yale Daily News Historical Archive. Over time these digitized collections will move to the Findit interface.

Collection owners can use these pages to describe the collection, acknowledge funding organizations, and link to information in the Orbis catalog or other related resources. For an example of an individual highlight page see the Day Missions Collection: Annual Reports.

LibraryIT acquires New Relic performance management service

LibraryIT recently purchased a license for the performance management and monitoring service New Relic. We will be using the New Relic APM-Application Performance Management application to monitor and improve performance of the new Hydra/Blacklight complex (aka Findit and Quicksearch beta).  This is a SaaS, cloud-based service for monitoring applications and their underlying infrastructure as well as the programs themselves.

New Relic does do some usage monitoring, much in the vein of Google Analytics, but the particulars of installation and setup of this service will allow the Information Architecture Group in LibraryIT and others to specifically target performance issues like page loads and search result returns. New Relic will be a great help in assessing the health and responsiveness of the critical servers, applications and  which run the Library’s key services.