Category: Project Hydra

Avalon 4.0.1 Released

The Avalon team at Indiana University and Northwestern University is pleased to announce the release of Avalon Media System 4.0.1. Version 4.0.1 adds the following capabilities over the previous version 3.3:

·         New Metadata Fields: Notes, More Identifiers, Table of Contents
·         Structural Metadata: Navigation by structure, create and edit structure
·         Wowza Support: Wowza Media Server integration with Avalon’s authorization
·         Hydra 8: Latest versions of Fedora 3 backed Hydra dependencies
·         Accessibility Improvements: Navigation of web page elements with screen reader and tab key; using player controls with keyboard
·         Active Encode: New transcoding API to support use of alternative transcoding engines
·         oEmbed Support: Avalon provides an oEmbed service with autodiscovery headers on item pages
·         LTI integration improvements: Avalon provides LTI URLs for direct access to item or sections when used with a Learning Management System such as Canvas
·         Offset URLs: Avalon users can now create URLs that jump to specified points within video or audio files.

Current users of Avalon 3.3 can take advantage of these new features by upgrading Avalon 3.3 to 4.0.1.

For a more comprehensive list of changes, see the 4.0 release notes. For more details on each of these new features, visit the What’s New in Avalon 4.0 wiki page.

Fedora Quarterly Report available online

The quarterly report for Fedora for January – March 2015 is now available:

The report details much of what happened in the first three months of this year but also covers a number of general topics from January to June.

Highlights include:

  • Fedora Development
  • Fundraising
  • Fedora Committers
  • Upcoming training and events

Announcing the IIIF Consortium

Big news! On Tuesday [June 16], eleven world-leading institutions agreed to form the IIIF Consortium, a member organization dedicated to sustaining and advancing the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF). The consortium will support the work of IIIF by pooling and allocating funding from members for exposing content via IIIF; doing outreach, training, and advocacy to grow the community; maintaining and elaborating on the IIIF technical specifications; providing catalytic support for IIIF-compatible software development; helping coordinate the IIIF community, and more.

The Consortium will reinforce and amplify the work currently done within IIIF community by providing ongoing support for the IIIF working group, editorial efforts, community calls and meetings. A core principle of the Consortium is that it derives its strengths from the active participation of a distributed community, and therefore values the diversity, inclusiveness and transparency that have characterized IIIF since its inception.

The consortium will extend invitations to additional Founding Members later this year. The first eleven institutions in the IIIF Consortium have each played prominent roles in helping develop IIIF to its current state, and have committed to helping grow it over the longterm. These institutions are:

  • Artstor
  • Bavarian State Library
  • British Library
  • Cornell University
  • National Library of France
  • National Library of Norway
  • Oxford University
  • Princeton University
  • Stanford University
  • Yale University
  • Wellcome Trust

For next steps, we will continue to work to expand the number of IIIF-compatible repositories and software packages in the world, and do ongoing development of the technical specifications on authentication, search within objects, and discovery of IIIF resources for use.

This is a watershed development as it signals major, international commitment at an institutional level for the Framework, and the beginning of organized support to help sustain the benefits of interoperability over the longterm.

To read more about IIIF visit:

HydraDAM 2 update

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
    • Reporting
    • 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.

Mellon funds University of Michigan Press collaboration to create new ecosystem for digital scholarship


The University of Michigan Press, which is part of the University of Michigan Library, will collaborate with the university presses at Indiana, Minnesota, Northwestern and Penn State universities (each institution will receive funds from Mellon) to build workflows and infrastructure using Hydra/Fedora, a robust and flexible technical framework and repository system.

Read more about this 3 year, $899,000 grant:

“Hydra-in-a-Box” DPLA, Stanford University, and DuraSpace Initiative Funded by IMLS


April 15, 2015

Read it online:

Contact: Dan Cohen (, Tom Cramer ( or Debra Hanken Kurtz (

Far-reaching “Hydra-in-a-Box” Joint Initiative Funded by IMLS

A tripartite DPLA, Stanford University, and DuraSpace partnership will produce a turnkey, Hydra-based solution that can be widely and easily adopted by institutions nationwide.

Boston, MA  The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Stanford University, and the DuraSpace organization are pleased to announce that their joint initiative has been awarded a $2M National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). Nicknamed Hydra-in-a-Box, the project aims foster a new, national, library network through a community-based repository system, enabling discovery, interoperability and reuse of digital resources by people from this country and around the world.

This transformative network is based on advanced repositories that not only empower local institutions with new asset management capabilities, but also interconnect their data and collections through a shared platform.

“At the core of the Digital Public Library of America is our national network of hubs, and they need the systems envisioned by this project,” said Dan Cohen, DPLA’s executive director. “By combining contemporary technologies for aggregating, storing, enhancing, and serving cultural heritage content, we expect this new stack will be a huge boon to DPLA and to the broader digital library community. In addition, I’m thrilled that the project brings together the expertise of DuraSpace, Stanford, and DPLA.”

Each of the partners will fulfill specific roles in the joint initiative. Stanford will use its existing leadership in the Hydra Project to develop core components, in concert with the broader Hydra community. DPLA will focus on the connective tissue between hubs, mapping, and crosswalks to DPLA’s metadata application profile, and infrastructure to support metadata enhancement and remediation. DuraSpace will use its expertise in building and serving repositories, and doing so at scale, to construct the back-end systems for Hydra hosting.

“DuraSpace is excited to provide the infrastructure for this project,” said Debra Hanken Kurtz, DuraSpace CEO. “It aligns perfectly with our mission to steward the scholarly and cultural heritage records and make them accessible for current and future generations. We look forward to working with DPLA and Stanford to support their work and that of the community to ensure a robust and sustainable future for ‘Hydra-in-a-Box.’”

Over the project’s 30-month time frame, the partners will engage with libraries, archives, and museums nationwide, especially current and prospective DPLA hubs and the Hydra community, to systematically capture the needs for a next-generation, open source, digital repository. They will collaboratively extend the existing Hydra project codebase to build, bundle, and promote a feature-complete, robust digital repository that is easy to install, configure, and maintain—in short, a next-generation digital repository that will work for institutions large and small, and is capable of running as a hosted service. Finally, starting with DPLA’s own metadata aggregation services, the partners will work to ensure that these repositories have the necessary affordances to support networked aggregation, discovery, management and access to these resources, producing a shared, sustainable, nationwide platform.

“The Hydra Project has already demonstrated enormous traction and value as a best-in-class digital repository for institutions like Stanford,” said Tom Cramer, Chief Technology Strategist at the Stanford University Libraries. “And yet there is so much more to do. This grant will provide the means to rapidly accelerate Hydra’s rate of development and adoption–expanding its community, features and value all at once.”

To find out more about the Hydra-in-a-Box initiative contact Dan Cohen (, Tom Cramer ( or Debra Hanken Kurtz ( An information page is available here:

About DPLA

The Digital Public Library of America ( strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. Since launching in April 2013, it has aggregated over 8.5 million items from over 1,700 institutions. The DPLA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit.

About DuraSpace

DuraSpace (, an independent 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing leadership and innovation for open technologies that promote durable, persistent access to digital data. We collaborate with academic, scientific, cultural, and technology communities by supporting projects (DSpaceFedoraVIVO) and creating services (DuraCloudDSpaceDirectArchivesDirect) to help ensure that current and future generations have access to our collective digital heritage. Our values are expressed in our organizational byline, “Committed to our digital future.”

About Stanford University Libraries

The Stanford University Libraries ( is internationally recognized as a leader among research libraries, and in leveraging digital technology to support scholarship in the age of information. It is a founder of both the Hydra Project and the Fedora 4 repository effort, and a leading institution in the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) (

About the Hydra Project

The Hydra Project ( is both an open source community and a suite of software that provides a flexible and robust framework for managing, preserving, and providing access to digital assets. The project motto, “One body, many heads,” speaks to the flexibility provided by Hydra’s modern, modular architecture, and the power of combining a robust repository backend (the “body”) with flexible, tailored, user interfaces (“heads”). Co-designed and developed in concert with Fedora 4, the extensible, durable, and widely used repository software, the Hydra/Fedora stack is centerpiece of a thriving and rapidly expanding open source community poised to easy-to-implement solution.

Penn State’s ScholarSphere now running on Fedora 4

From the Hydra Community:

The PSU team successfully deployed ScholarSphere on Fedora 4 into production this past Saturday April 12th.

It took approximately 20 hours to migrate our code and our data from Fedora 3 (Sufia 5) to Fedora 4 (Sufia 6) on our production servers.

The transition went smoothly and our upgraded system has been running well for the past two days.

Thank you to my team (Adam Wead, Hector Correra, and Michael Tribone), Penn State ITS Services an Solutions, Penn State Libraries, and the Hydra community for all the hard work and funding that made this transition possible!

Announcing Mirador 2.0 and

The following was recently announced to the IIIF community. While we have not yet adopted IIIF or Mirador in the Yale Library, these technologies are in use on campus. We anticipate adopting them as we plan to update our current Hydra platform.


We are excited to (officially) announce the release of Mirador version 2.0.  Please visit our new project website at Here you will find a live demo, a four minute screencast demonstrating Mirador 2.0’s features, and links to the code repository and documentation (

The 2.0 release of Mirador builds and improves upon the first release with major user interface improvements and a rich feature set. These include:

  • Deep zoom and pan using OpenSeadragon
  • Multiple viewing modes, including single image, two-page, horizontal scroll and thumbnail gallery
  • Synchronized navigation of multi-image objects by filmstrip or table of contents (when available)
  • Metadata view
  • Comparison of multiple images in a fully configurable workspace
  • State saving and bookmarking for sharing a workspace
  • Embeddable in blogs and third-party web apps
  • Annotation 

Notably, Mirador now supports viewing and creation of annotations on regions of images. The annotation functionality is fully compatible with the OpenAnnotation specification (, and of course Mirador 2.0 is fully compliant with the IIIF Image and Presentation API’s ( 

A variety of features are in the backlog for the next version, and you can view the updated roadmap at

Mirador 2.0 is the result of a gratifying global collaboration. Many thanks and congratulations to the lead development team, which consists of Drew Winget from Stanford University and Rashmi Singhal from Harvard University. Mirador 2.0 would not have been possible without contributions of code, advice, testing and support by many others at Harvard, Stanford and the IIIF community. See a full list of acknowledgements on the project website. 

As we look forward to subsequent releases, improvements and extensions to Mirador, we invite contributions of issues, bug fixes, and new features by others. If you are interested, please sign up for the list, and head to Github to read the contributor guidelines and get started.  

DPLA joins the Hydra Partners

We are delighted to announce that the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has become the latest formal Hydra Partner.  In their Letter of Intent Mark Matienzo, DPLA’s Director of Technology, writes of their “upcoming major Hydra project, generously funded by the IMLS, and in partnership with Stanford University and Duraspace, [which] focuses on developing an improved set of tools for content management, publishing, and aggregation for the network of DPLA Hubs. This, and other projects, will allow us to make contributions to other core components of the Hydra stack, including but not limited to Blacklight, ActiveTriples, and support for protocols like IIIF and ResourceSync. We are also interested in continuing to contribute our metadata expertise to the Hydra community to ensure interoperability across our communities.”

Yale Library to Host Northeast Fedora User Group Meeting May 11 & 12

Northeast Fedora User Group Meeting
Location: Sterling Memorial Library, Lecture Hall, Yale University
Times: 9am – 4pm
Fee: Free to attend
Monday’s agenda is less structured with unconference style discussion with lightning rounds in the afternoon.
Tuesday’s agenda is structured to provide training on Fedora 4 and will be led by David Wilcox and Andrew Woods
Additional info can be found on the wiki:
Please register for the event here: