We are delighted to announce that the University of California at Santa Barbara has become the latest Hydra Partner.
UC Santa Barbara has been successfully running the Alexandria Digital Research Library (ADRL) using a production instance of Hydra since 2013, at http://alexandria.ucsb.edu. The repository initially launched hosting Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) and has grown to include various born digital and digitized archival images. Most recently they have implemented access to their collection of more than 10,000 wax cylinder recordings held by the Department of Special Research Collections.
The UC Santa Barbara team have been active participants in the community, not only attending every Hydra Connect to-date, but also by hosting community events such as Hydra Camp and the first West Coast regional Hydra meet up.
The team is putting the final touches on a release of ADRL that will provide access to digitized versions of their scanned map collections. This release will highlight the use of Hydra to navigate complex object relationships and leverage Open SeaDragon and IIIF technologies to provide deep zoom interaction with high-resoultion scans. This functionality will be rolled out later this year with an even larger GIS initiative following shortly after.
We welcome UCSB to the Partnership and look forward to even more collaboration with them in the future!
Since its inception in 2008, Hydra has evolved from a loose consortium of a few like-minded people into a thriving community comprising many, many hundreds of people worldwide. As Hydra has grown it has become more difficult for any one individual to keep track of all that is going on in, and all that has been achieved by, that community. In late 2016 it was decided that Hydra would be well served by publishing an Annual Report each year to summarize its achievements both for those in the Hydra Community and for those who may be looking to find out more about it.
A copy of the 2016 Annual Report can be downloaded here.
Whilst we hope it will interest a wide audience, the Report is aimed primarily at managers and administrators and we would urge you to share it widely with colleagues who may find it of interest.
We are delighted to announce that the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded grants to two Hydra-related projects.
The Boston Public Library and the University of Utah have secured funding for “Newspapers in Hydra”.
The project will create: (1) a shareable, system- and programming-language-agnostic RDF-based data model addressing structural and descriptive metadata features unique to digitized newspapers; (2) a set of modular, open-source plugins for the popular Hydra/Fedora digital repository framework for ingesting, describing, discovering, displaying, and disseminating digitized newspaper content; and (3) a community of practitioners — including developers, librarians, content specialists, and managers — dedicated to addressing challenges and collaborating on best practices associated with managing digitized newspapers.
Northwestern and Indiana Universities have secured funding for “Avalon Media System: Integrating audiovisual collections with research, digital preservation, and a sustainable developer community.”
The aim of this two-year project is to increase adoption of Avalon within the library and archives community by enhancing the value proposition of Avalon and carrying out work to help ensure sustainability: (1) Integrate Avalon within the Hydra community. We will adapt Avalon to make use of the current Hydra open source repository software stack and will engage members of the Hydra community in development through community sprints. We will also increase the modularity of Avalon so that its components can be more easily integrated into other Hydra-based repository systems, including Hydra-in-a-Box, to provide time-based media access; (2) Implement a cloud-hosted Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) version of Avalon. We will work with Lyrasis and DuraSpace on the establishment of a hosted SaaS offering by conducting pilots to help provide cost modeling for Avalon as a cloud based service; (3) Connect Avalon to media preservation systems and workflows. We will connect Avalon to long-term digital preservation solutions and improve interoperability with workflow and management tools in order to provide a complete AV preservation and access platform, by working with Artefactual Systems to integrate Avalon with the Archivematica platform; (4) Enable interoperability with scholarly tools. The Avalon technical team will take a leadership role with the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) by contributing to the creation of an AV interoperability spec and providing a demonstration implementation.
Our congratulations to both teams!
We are delighted to announce Hydra’s latest formal Partner, the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI). DRI is Ireland’s national trusted digital repository for Humanities, Social Sciences and Cultural data. The repository links together and preserves both historical and contemporary data held by Irish institutions, providing a central internet access point and interactive multimedia tools. As a national e-infrastructure for the future of education and research in the humanities and social sciences, DRI is available for use by the public, students and scholars.
DRI Director, Natalie Harrower, said: “While DRI has been involved and welcomed in the HydraSphere for many years now, we feel that the time is right to ‘step up’ and become Hydra Partners. We look forward to contributing more to the community and to helping Hydra grow in Europe and further afield.”
DRI became a partner at the end of 2016 but, for some reason, whilst we announced the fact on our mailing lists we failed to do so on this blog. Our sincere apologies to the team at DRI for the omission.
Some of you may be aware that the Hydra Project has been attempting to trademark its “product” in the US and in Europe. During this process we became aware of MPDV, a German company that has a wide ranging trademark on the use of ‘Hydra’ for computer software and that their claim to the word considerably predates ours. Following discussions with their lawyers, our attorney advised that we should agree to MPDV’s demand that we cease use of the name “Hydra” and, having sought a second opinion, we have agreed that we will do so. Accordingly, we need to embark on a program to rebrand ourselves. MPDV have given us six months to do this which our lawyer deems “generous”.
The Steering Group, in consultation with the Hydra Partners, has already started mapping out a process to follow over the coming months but will welcome input from the Hydra Community – particularly help in identifying a new name, a matter of some urgency. We will be especially interested in hearing from anyone with prior success in any naming and (re-)branding initiatives! Rather than seeing this as a setback we are looking at the process as a way to refocus and re-invigorate the project ahead of new, exciting developments such as cloud-hosted delivery.
Please share your ideas via any of Hydra’s mailing lists. If you use Slack you may like to look at a new Hydra channel called #branding where some interesting ideas are being discussed.
Apologies, but after our announcement, just before Christmas, of dates for Hydra Connect 2017 it became apparent that they clashed with a PASIG conference which, at that point, had not been widely advertised. This would have represented a conflict of interest for a significant number of our Hydra community
Accordingly, the dates for Hydra Connect 2017 have been changed. It will still be hosted by Northwestern University but the dates are now Monday November 6th – Thursday November 9th, 2017. This year we have made the decision to use a conference hotel and the event will take place at the Hilton Orrington near the University. Please update your calendars!
Further information via emails and the Hydra wiki in due course!
We are pleased to be able to confirm the dates for Hydra Connect 2017.
HC2017 will take place from Monday 11th to Thursday 14th September hosted by Northwestern University. Please reserve the dates in your calendar. Connect 2016 saw some 260 people from almost 90 institutions meet in Boston for a very successful event; help make Connect 2017 even bigger and better!
Just a heads-up to the community that we have tentative dates for Hydra Connect 2017 – it is likely to take place Monday 11th to Thursday 14th September. You might want to put these dates in your calendar… Confirmation of dates and venue to follow as soon as we have them.
As a reminder, OR2017’s call for proposals has an earlier-than-normal deadline this year. Proposals are due November 20, 2016. So please start thinking now about what topics, presentations, panels, workshops, etc. would be most useful and valuable for next year’s conference, and get your submissions written up in the next few weeks.
Hydra Connect 2016 takes place from Monday October 3rd to Thursday October 6th in Boston, MA. Full details of the conference can be found in its wiki page.
Poster Show and Tell
Tuesday afternoon at HC2016 will largely be given over to an open session of posters and possibly demos where attendees will have ample chance to mingle, find out what others are doing with Hydra and ask detailed questions. We ask that all institutions with staff attending HC2016 try to provide at least one poster about what they have done/are doing/plan to do with Hydra! There is a list of institutions on this page in the wiki– please sign up if you haven’t already done so. The page also has details of local printing arrangements, should you wish to take advantage of them. For display, the local Organizing Committee will provide easels; they will also provide stiff backing for 24″ x 36″ posters. If you decide to produce 36″ x 48″ posters you will need to have them printed on foam core or otherwise provide a rigid backing of your own.
Registration and hotels
Registration is going well and the Sheraton hotel, where we arranged a discount room rate, sold out the block. They have now added a small number of double rooms but we have arranged an “overflow” at the Charlesmark Hotel across from the Boston Public Library. If you haven’t yet booked for the conference and/or for accommodation now would be a very good time! Booking details and full details of the conference program can be found on the Hydra Connect 2016 wiki page.
Lightning talks and workshop sessions
The Program Committee has left space on the Wednesday morning for up to 24 lightning talks of no more than five minutes each. If you’d like to take one of these slots to share some ideas/concerns/rants/raves or whatever, get planning – we’ll publish a sign-up list next Friday. At the same time, we’ll mail registered delegates with details of how to sign up for Monday’s workshop sessions. This process will allow us to judge the take-up for each one and assign rooms accordingly; it will also allow workshop coordinators to know who will be attending and to send out any advance information that they wish to provide.
Thursday morning at Hydra Connect will be given over to unconference sessions and we’ll provide details of the process for proposing these on 9th September.
We hope to see you in just about five weeks!