Technology

November 29th, 2011

We intend that this project would use the existing technology platform and infrastructure built by the library to support its broad range of digital initiatives, the DAMS (Digital Asset Management System), and would integrate the data created through the project with its current resource discovery service, SOLO (based on the ExLibris technology, Primo). This approach will ensure that the project is using a tried and trusted methodology, that existing staff skills can be used to their best advantage, and that best value is derived from the investment in the project.

The DAMS provides a robust and flexible architecture based on the use of the Fedora object model that can be readily adapted to changing demands and technologies over time as well as incorporating long-term archival and preservation capabilities. A key aspect of the architecture is that it permits, and expects, that there will be multiple applications which use and manipulate material within the DAMS. This project will develop several such applications.

The DAMS platform is appropriate for this project having been used for a variety of other initiatives such as Cultures of Knowledge, futureArch[1], and OCIMCO (a JISC-supported development).  In particular, the Cultures of Knowledge application architecture (illustrated in Appendix F) already has a workflow for processing handling digitised and keyed catalogues, albeit for more conventional library materials (letters and print editions). It will therefore form the basis for the development for this project. Appendix F also indicates which components of an application are drawn from the common DAMS platform and which are application specific.

It will enable the content created by the project to be openly accessible and available for re-use by a geographically dispersed scholarly network. All materials and metadata in the Open Access portion of the DAMS are accessible using OAI-PMH[2] and OAI-ORE[3] standards (along with newer Resource Description Framework [RDF][4] formats) to maximise reuse in the wider community.  Support for “Web 2.0” features such as RSS feeds, Zotero eCitation and integration with iGoogle are also provided as part of the basic feature set, having been developed as part of Oxford’s institutional repository – ORA: the Oxford University Research Archive[5].

Senior staff at OCLC, such as Karen Calhoun[6] (VP WorldCat & Metadata Services), have expressed a keen interest in collaborating with the Bodleian Libraries on this endeavour should our pilot project indicate that automated matching of such rekeyed and encoded records with data WorldCat is viable. Given the volume, richness, and variety of catalogue data that we are proposing to capture, it is highly likely that technical staff at the Bodleian would need to collaborate with their counterparts at OCLC to refine the matching process. Should this prove successful, then it would certainly open up tremendous possibilities for other research libraries seeking more cost-effective ways to expose their hidden collections and/or match pre-existing data with WorldCat records.

The proposed 0.5fte Software Engineer[7] for the project will have primary responsibility for adapting and enhancing the existing cataloguing QA and enrichment environment developed as part of the Cultures of Knowledge Project. The Engineer will also develop the necessary applications and services to  validate the new catalogue data via the WorldCat API, and ensure its exposure via SOLO, OAI-PMH/OAI-ORE etc. as described above. S/He will also be responsible for the ingest and management of all data into the DAMS, and provide any technical support or enhancements required by the project’s  cataloguing staff.


[1] See http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/beam/projects/futurearch

[2] Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting see http://www.openarchives.org/OAI/openarchivesprotocol.html

[3] Open Archives Initiative Object Reuse and Exchange see http://www.openarchives.org/ore/toc

[4] See http://www.w3.org/RDF/

[5] See http://ora.ouls.ox.ac.uk/

[6] See http://www.oclc.org/speakers/bios/calhoun_karen.htm

[7] NB Given the range of expertise required, this role is unlikely to filled by a single individual but  will involve contributions from existing staff employed in the SERS Information Technology & Systems Development Group. The total effort required over the lifetime of the project has been estimated as 0.5fte for 24 months.

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