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Digital Initiatives Standing Committee

This guide is designed for and to provide information on the Digital Initiatives Standing Committee.

News: Florida Islandora News


* Aug 2019:  Catching up on Islandora 8:  As of Spring 2019, the FLVC Islandora sites are run in Islandora 7 software.  The next coming version of software is Islandora 8.  Here are some resources to better understand the implications of sunsetting dates for Islandora 7.

** Islandora Foundation's Jan. 2019 video on Islandora 7 to 8 migration:
** Islandora versions support statement (gives the sunset dates for support for Islandora 7): (end of life for security updates is April 2022).

* April 2019:  Pensacola State College has requested an FL-Islandora site.  We welcome Pensacola State College to the FL-Islandora family! 

* March 2019:  The batch inserts are complete for all institutions who submitted spreadsheets.  At close of the project, values have been inserted into 35,477 items on the Islandora sites.  Adding the statement manually takes 8 clicks per object, that's 283,816 clicks saved for the librarians and work study students around the state!  This represents 62% of the public items across the Islandora sites and more than 80% of PALMM Islandora materials, not coming through FSU.  (FSU will add these in house.)  Several institutions who did not participate expressed time constraints and future plans to add these.  Going forward, FALSC is able to offer updated reports and to do batch inserts, including for a subset of items on your site.

* Feb. 2019: Polk State College has requested an FL-Islandora site.  We welcome Polk State to the FL-Islandora family! 

* Nov. 2018:  FLVC has finalized code for a new module called Islandora Scholar Embargo.  This allows embargos to be set on objects which will expire at a specific date in the future.  This functionality is available to any institutions requesting to be set up.

* Oct. 2018:  Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) is now contributing Islandora metadata to Mango.  FSJC Mango records are discoverable both through the union Mango catalog,, or through FSCJ's Mango catalog:

* Oct. 2018:  Workshops were held online regarding "Step-by-step instructions on getting Islandora metadata into Open Refine".  A recording of the Oct. 2 workshop is available at and a recording of the Oct. 9 workshop is available at .  A handout is available at .

* Sept. 2018:  Florida Atlantic University (FAU) has formally launched an institutional repository in Islandora.  The repository can be accessed by following the link to "Research Repository" on FAU's Islandora homepage at .

* Sept. 2018:  Florida State College at Jacksonville's (FSCJ's) Islandora site is formally launched.  The site contains student publications, including newspapers and journals, and video recordings of interviews with local authors from the Jacksonville area.  FSCJ's site may be viewed at .

* July 2018:  Hillsborough Community College's (HCC's) Islandora site is formally launched.  The site contains many materials about the town of Ruskin, and plans to add materials about other Tampa-area history materials.  HCC's site may be viewed at .

* July 2018:  Forms on the Islandora test sites are set up to handle values.  These new form fields are labeled "Access Condition:" in the text of the form when you look at it, and store in the MODS as <accessCondition type="use and reproduction" displayLabel=""> .  Sites are encouraged to test out these forms (add some rights statements, edit some rights statements, look at Solr fields, and report and bugs or any interface changes that would use the new fields).

2019 ISG Agendas and Recordings

Recording of this meeting: Play recording

Agenda for July 23, 2019 meeting:

  • Publication Year in Mango:  

    The DISC Digital Collection Interface Working Group reported that the Mango Publication Year limit doesn’t work for Islandora records.  Here’s an example of the MARCXML of one of these records:

    Per our Mango experts:

    The publication year facet is populated from the pubdate_text field which comes from the 008/07-10 field.

    So we’re probably going to have to map one of the MODS dates into 008/07-10.  

Recording of this meeting: Play recording

ISG Meeting June 25, 2019


We’re still in the process of testing the new release on the test server, but an issue has come up in conjunction with a migration of UCF’s Central Florida Memory collection into FL-Islandora, and we’ll need user feedback on proposed changes.


The issue has to do with the “Owner Institution” label in the Full Description tabs of every record: 

  • Over the years there seems to be consensus that the FL-Islandora site on which content is hosted does not necessarily mean that the hosting site “owns” the materials.
  • In addition, the issue of ownership of digital content is not a clear one, so the current “Owner” or “Owner Institution” label can be misleading.
  • In FL-Islandora it’s been assumed that the site host, e.g, FAU for is the “owner”, and some FL-Islandora functionality such as Offline Batch Ingest requires that the owningInstitution code match the site namespace.
  • UCF’s Central Florida Memory collection contains a large number of records that have been contributed by non-UCF partners, and to display UCF as “Owner Institution” in the full display tab is misleading.  I know that UCF is not alone in this situation.
  • We propose that the “Owner Institution” field label in the Full Description tab be changed to “Host Institution” or something of the sort, to remove the concept of ownership.  (UCF will be using the “otherLogo” field to brand records from partner institutions with the partner’s logo).


I’ll give a brief demo of this proposed change at the ISG meeting, and we’ll be very interested in discussion and feedback.

ISG Meeting April 23, 2019

Recording of this meeting: Play recording

  • 5/12/2019:  Solr optimize will be performed, and writes will be disabled for approximately 2 hours.
  • COOP/Disaster Recovery server:  updated periodically, approximately monthly at this point, and that also requires that writes be disabled for ~12 hours, during weekend hours.
  • The new functionality that allows loading of .zip files of Book pages and Newspaper issue pages is available for testing on the Islandora test server and on the production server.  FLVC is looking for volunteers to test the new functionality in production.

March 26, 2019

Recording of this meeting:
  • Update on Performance Improvement project:
    • Indexing changes are now in production, designed to eliminate the sometimes substantial lag between loading of objects and indexing.  Performance testing indicates that there is now no indexing lag.
    • The other components of this project's changes, .zip file loading of Book and Newspaper Issue pages, and ZIP loader loading of video objects, are still undergoing testing.
  • Update on insertion of rights statements
  • FAMU migration into FL-Islandora
  • Presentation:  Madeline Sims, FSCJ, will give a short presentation about their FL-Islandora site.

February 26, 2019

Recording of this meeting:


* Adding rights statements to FL-Islandora recrods - Wilhelmina

* Updates on the FL-Islandora performance improvement project - Lydia

* Adding a GDPR link from FL-Islandora, see


January 22, 2019

Recording of this meeting:


* Updating copyright statements

* Call for participation in new DISC subgroup for reviewing digital collections in Mango

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2018 July - Nov ISG Agendas and Recordings

November 27, 2018


* Islandora sites are now more responsive.  A demo of the changes and discussion.

* MODS forms:  <titleInfo><title> field with no attribute on <titleInfo>

* Islandora Scholar Embargo now available to Florida Islandora sites.  This module allows embargos to be set on objects with a specific expiration date.  Are institutions interested?

October 23, 2018

Video recording:


  • There will be no more development on the Excel to MODS Transformer.  So if a field exists in that, then you have it, and you can keep using it.  But, if a field isn't in there (ie. no spreadsheet column for what you need to add), then FLVC will not add it.
    • Going forward, please report needs (we will say no, but we will know the level of adequacy with which we are meeting your needs).
    • Going forward, let FALSC know if you are shifting workflows away from the Excel to MODS Transformer.  The Excel to MODS Transformer validates all MODS XML records.  So, anything you create with it will load into and operate smoothly with Islandora.  IF you switch to a new workflow, validation needs to be part of that workflow.
  • Change to slideshows on the Islandora homepages:  Now these have alt tags.  (FALSC to show alt tag setting.)  This makes the sites easier to use, and helps to meet ADA requirements.  FALSC added alt tags to all existing images, and going forward you all should add them to new images.  Also, everyone look at your homepage and report if anything looks different (it shouldn't but check anyway and also report any changes you'd like).
  • Contributing FL-Islandora records to Mango:  for FCS FL-Islandora sites you can view only your own FL-Islandora collections in your institution's Mango site.  There will be a Mango webinar and a setup guide that will help you to make the most of your digital collections in Mango.  The first step is to contribute your records to Mango.  (Note that currently it is not possible for SUS FL-Islandora sites to limit digital collections to only their own records in Mango because of historic "shared records" decisions.)
  • and Creative Commons indexing is now finalized on production Islandora sites.  Facets follow the Europeana facets for "Can I reuse it?" (on this facet is on the left hand side of a search result).  Facets will show up on your Islandora site when you have logged in and when a value has been added to items on your site.  At this time, the reuse facet is for logged in users only, and can be made to show up to the public after a value has been added to enough items that this facet is useful.  Back in August, each Islandora site got a spreadsheet report of items on the site with identifiers, a link to the item, title, date information, and any existing uncontrolled rights information, and a blank column for adding a value to each item.  If you want to add a value to every object on your site, then that spreadsheet is the best way to go.  You can fill it out and return it to FLVC.  A rights statement for each object will be required for participation in the Sunshine State Digital Network (SSDN), and the value meets that requirement.  However, FLVC is not telling you to add this value, and if you add it that doesn’t automatically submit your records anywhere else including to SSDN.  So, no action is required from you, but if you want to add these values, FLVC hopes to provide tools and assistance.

September 25, 2018

Video recording:


  • Staffing change at FLVC:  Amanda Yesilbas is in Electronic Resources through March 2019.
  • Announcements:
  • Workshops for metadata quality control will be held Tues. Oct. 2, 1-2pm and Tues. Oct. 9, 1-2pm.  These will cover going from OAI-PMH to MARCEdit to OpenRefine.  There will be a click through, then each participant should try and go through the same process to harvest a collection of interest to you.  Anyone who wants to participate should install MARCEdit and OpenRefine ahead of time, and should come with a specific question in mind.  The kind of questions that are good to cover are things like, "Are my author names spelled consistently in this collection?", "Do all of my items have a date in this collection?", or any other metadata question you are grappling with.  The workshop content is generalizable to other platforms, not just Islandora, so feel free to let others know in your institution.
  • Last look at the faceting by rights statements.
    • The issue:
      • Short issue:  What facets exist and what is sorted into each can't be changed later.
      • Long technical breakdown of the issue:  Searches and facets in Islandora do NOT run directly on the MODS records.  Instead, they run on an index.  That index is in Solr.  It updates for each item on a save to changes in the metadata.  But, the Solr index does not update on a rolling basis.
      • FLVC plans to lock in the facets on October 9.  Speak now or forever hold your peace!
    • Based on feedback solicited by phone, FLVC will likely break the facets down like this:
    • 3 categories:
      • Free Re-use
      • Limited Re-use
      • No Re-use
    • Here's what's in each
      • Free Re-use contains:
        • public domain
        • Creative Commons:  CC-BY-SA
        • Creative Commons:  CC-BY
        • Creative Commons:  CC0
      • Limited Re-use contains:
        • Creative Commons:  CC-BY-NC
        • Creative Commons:  CC-BY-NC-ND
        •  No Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Only
        • Creative Commons:  CC-BY-NC-SA
        • No Copyright - Other Known Legal Restrictions
      • No Re-use contains:
        •  Copyright Not Evaluated
        •  In Copyright
        •  Rights reserved - Free access
    • Please, everyone, have whoever does scholarly communications or copyright at your library look at this and give feedback on:  What conceptual breakdowns are useful for people searching the site?  Do you all think that federated searches in the U.S. will model after Europeana?

August 28, 2018

Meeting link (tentative): (tentative)


  • MODS <location><url> in Islandora records, and the Islandora to Mango workflow.  (This is a super quick item, but the long technical info is here.)
    • <location displayLabel="purl"><url> is where PURLs are stored that interact with FLVC's PURL server.
    • <location><url> shows up in the Mango record as a link.  The values in <location><url> break down into four general categories:
      • (1) Duplicate PURLs (due to a confusing interface for the Islandora MODS forms.
      • (2) DOIs, which often resolve to pay walls.
      • (3) Links to institutional sites (ie. webpage for special collections).  This is not in keeping with the MODS standard (MODS states that <location><url> is to be used for links to the resource and preference is only to use the link if it's a persistent link.
      • (4) Links to a duplicate of the item on a different digital library's page (ie. or UFDC).
    • Proposing to:
      • Retain the <location displayLabel="purl"><url> info and keep it active as a link in Mango.
      • Discard most of the <location><url> info, but keep it if it's a link to UFDC or to (the two kinds of links in use which are both in keeping with the MODS standard and which never resolve to a paywall).
  • SSDN Metadata Participation Guidelines are now posted at
    • Required fields:
      • Rights:  SSDN requires this field and requires that it be expressed in the controlled vocabulary.  No sites have these expressed in URIs.  Adding this is a priority.
      • Is Shown At:  SSDN requires a link.  This can be supplied by the Islandora system.
      • Preview:  SSDN requires a URL of a thumbnail.  This can be supplied by the Islandora system.
      • Data Provider and Intermediate Provider:  FLVC's preliminary analysis is that the institutional site hosting the content is the Data Provider, and Intermediate Provider will only be applicable if there is an intermediate aggregating the records before sending them to SSDN.
      • Provider:  This is always "Sunshine State Digital Network".
  • FLVC's Quarterly Maintenance Schedule:  Islandora is up for getting attention in quarter 3 of the 2018-19 fiscal year (Jan. - March).  Two projects will be considered for scheduling:
    • Routine software upgrade.  This keeps Islandora working smoothly, lets FLVC ask technical questions of the wider community, and usually comes with some new features.
    • Prioritized list of software performance improvements:  These will be worked through, time allowing.  So, it's very likely early items on the list will get done, and unlikely that the last item on the list will get done.
      • Priority 1:  Make .zip loader to where it passes a file to offline batch ingest server (at least for paged objects and for video).
        • Outcome for sites:  Sites will be able to upload items simultaneously.  For example, you can schedule multiple employees to upload Newspaper Issues at the same time.  You can also click through a set of uploads quickly.  Instead of seeing the completion bar in the browser, uploading through the .zip loader will send items to a queue for processing later.  Your workflow will involve checking back the next day for error/success messages.  For the public browsing the sites, sites will be much faster.
      • Priority 2:  Turning the indexing queue off
        • Outcome for sites:  Less weirdness from Solr indexing lags.
      • Priority 3:  Setup Varnish and Memcache
        • Outcome for sites:  Faster loading times for the public browsing the site.
      • Priority 4:  Modularize other allied services such as solr onto their own platforms. (Solr; RDF; djatoka)
        • Outcome for sites:  Faster loading and processing times for everyone.
      • Priority 5:  Upgrade to latest Fedora (3.8.1), we run 3.7.1
        • Outcome for sites:  You won't see any change.  This will make for a smoother backend and smoother operations at FLVC - developers here can better connect with the open source community, stay on a supported version of software, etc.
      • Priority 6:  Blazegraph implementation on production
        • Outcome for sites:  Avoid problems down the road.  Blazegraph scales better than the current backend technology (Mulgara), and FLVC's Islandora install is really big with many items in it.
      • Items on will not be comprehensively addressed, however, some of the performance improvements are also listed on islanddev.
    • This planning covers use of computer programming and system administrator resources only.  FALSC librarians are able to move things forward year round, under the obvious constraints of staffing and time.  If something needs to happen, but is not on this list, then please ask about it.  It may be the case that that is something that librarians can move forward, and if not, this list is just about but not quite final, so now is the time to ask.
    • The ISG meeting represents a chance to ask questions or give feedback, and you are always welcome to give feedback to anyone in FLVC or FALSC.

July 24, 2018

Video Recording:


* Update on the change in video recording technology:
** FLVC will discontinue Collaborate Ultra around August 23rd.
** The old ISG meeting recordings moved to an FLVC server, and the links have all been updated on the ISG and DISC wikis, so the recordings are safe.  Collaborate Ultra was used from January 2016 to present.  Older videos are still stored with UCF.  Very soon, possibly for the next meeting, the meeting link will change.
** FLVC has not yet selected software for online meetings, so an updated link and instructions are not available at this time.

* New metadata services:  Custom forms and metadata templates.
** Over the past two years, librarians at FLVC have worked with forms and we are now able to provide two new services.
** A metadata template is a set of values that prepopulate a form.  (Demo of FSCJ's template.)
** FLVC is willing to set up custom forms with fewer fields than the MODS Simple Entry form.  For example, a form might interact only with the DOIs on objects, or only with author names.  These are intended to be used for a limited time for metadata cleanup projects.


* implementation on the FLVC Islandora sites:

** Forms update:

*** Forms are up on all the Islandora test sites which include and Creative Commons for the accessCondition field in MODS.  Please try them out and report any problems.
** Formatting values:
*** The way FLVC will format this is like so:
<accessCondition type="use and reproduction" displayLabel=""></accessCondition>
*** Solr fields and the MODS forms will work with that specific way of formatting the value.
*** The Excel to MODS Transformer will not format any column of input like this.  If you are using the Excel to MODS Transformer to prep metadata, put the URI in as accessCondition in the Excel column, then use the Excel to MODS Transformer to do the transformation, then email the .zip file of MODS records to and request the Digital Services and OER department to correctly format the values.  (Also put "Islandora" in the subject line.)  Someone from Digital Services and OER should be able to email you back a .zip file of MODS with the values formatted like FLVC has standardized.

** This is an informational announcement only.  FLVC anticipates that the Sunshine State Digital Network will release metadata guidelines in the near future, and after those are released, the Digital Services and OER department will address metadata reports and remediation. 


* FLVC's Quarterly Maintenance Schedule:

** This year, FLVC will allocate IT resources on a quarterly maintenance schedule.  Each quarter of the year, one software platform will get developer support.

** Islandora is scheduled to get developer support in Quarter 3, January to March 2019.

** Two goals for that time period:

*** 1)  A routine software upgrade.

*** 2)  Make a prioritized list of all open development needs and bug fixes with more time commitment, and work through that list.  The idea is that the most important items would be completed, and items towards the end of the list would not.

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ISG Meeting Notes: June 2018 and earlier

Older meeting notes and recordings are available from the ISG wiki