University of Hull

The Brynmor Jones Library at the University of Hull

Hydra in Hull

Hydra in Hull is an application of the Hydra model and technical stack designed to deliver the University’s institutional repository functionality.  One of the challenges for universities today is the amount of digital content they produce.  A truly institutional solution to managing this requires flexibility to meet the needs of different content types alongside an underlying robustness of infrastructure that ensures the durability of the content. Hydra offers the capability of addressing these multiple needs.

HiH3-1-150Since launching its repository, the University of Hull repository has developed a number of digital collections to meet a range of University needs.

These encompass open content ­ such as theses, datasets, digitised texts, and audio recordings ­ and restricted collections for University viewing only, for example, exam papers, committee papers, and student handbooks.

The Hydra application is being implemented to provide the flexibility required to manage these different content types through a common interface.

HiH3-2-150The implementation is based on the common characteristics of much of the content, allowing a reasonably generic approach, and specific needs are being addressed as they are identified and as priorities permit.  The Hydra repository is also bringing all create, read, update and delete functionality into a single application for ease of use.  The repository is one that can be used by content owners as much as repository administrators, and Hydra in Hull will enable both to work in the same environment.

Whilst there are clear advantages in encapsulating all repository activity within the single application, there is also scope for using different applications (Hydra heads) to interact with the repository.  The Hydra model has also allowed us to configure the University’s research information system so it deposits Hydra-compliant research output objects within the repository, allowing them to be edited and retrieved within the Hydra application.  We have also explored how our LMS, Sakai, can be used as a route into the repository, again via the production of Hydra-compliant objects.

HiH3-3-150The use of Blacklight as the primary discovery interface for Hydra has allowed us to develop the delivery of a common interface to the repository and our library catalogue. We are also tracking and informing the development of a Hydra solution for the management of digital archives, an additional internal content source we are looking to surface through Blacklight.

University website:

Hydra website:

Status:  production


Search and discovery (approx 7 minutes)

Creation and editing  (approx 7 minutes)