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U.T. System Digital Library

Digital Library Technologies, Protocols and Best Practices at UT Austin

Table of Contents

      1. Content Management
           a. Institutional Repository (IR) - D-SPACE
           b. Proprietary Web Content Management System - STELLENT
2. Metadata
           a. Dublin Core
           b. METS and MODS
           c. EAD
           d. SFX and OpenURL
           e. OAI
           f. Guidelines and Best Practices
      3. XML
      4. Digital Collection Building
      5. Digitization
      6. Server/Storage Hardware/Software
      7. Application Programming
      8. Authentication/Authorization
           a. LDAP
           b. EZ Proxy
           c. EID
           d. Shibboleth
      9. Digital Library Organizations and Standards/Guidance Bodies

1. Content Management
      a. Institutional Repository (IR)
     b. Proprietary Web Content Management System

1.a. Institutional Repository
   The most widely deployed technology for IR is D-Space and this is the technology that UT Austin will be using in its IR implementation. We are currently on schedule to release our D-Space with Theses & Dissertations on Jan 1, 2005. This project will use the next release of D-Space - which will incorporate a re-vamped database design and enable a more sophisticated handling of metadata. See the IR Project Timeline (Aaron Choate, June 2004).

Open Source IR Systems:
     D-Space <>
     Arno <>
     CDSWare <>
     Eprints <>
     Fedora <>
     i-Tor <>
     MyCoRe <>

Other D-Space Implementors:
     < >

The Institutional Repository concept has been significantly informed by work done by the Consultative Committee on Space Data Systems (CCSDS) through a document titled: Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System <> This document outlines the critial concepts and processes involved in establishing a long-term digital archive. This is not a technical reference document, but a conceptual reference model created in an effort to define and organize critical concepts and terminology. This document attempts to describe a life-cycle view of digital content.

This is a recent survey and report on the state of institutional repository implementation. It was conducted by the Publisher and Library Learning Solutions group (PALS) and offers an excellent summary of current activity. <>

Interesting IR News:

See 2.e. OAI for more information regarding the Open Archives Initiative.

1.b. Proprietary Web Content Management System (CMS)

   The University of Texas at Austin recently signed an agreement with Software AG for use of the the Stellent content management system <>. While Stellent offers a diverse array of products the University licensed the following: Stellent Content Server, backup server and development server. The content server allows for management of metadata, workflow, versioning and other document management features. The package UT Austin licensed also contains converters for HTML, PDF and XML as well as developers tools for creating and managing websites. This product suite is in the beginning stages of deployment by a small group of campus developers. The Library's role has been in establishing the metadata framework, see Metadata Recommendations (Bob Stewart, June 2004, Word).

The Library received a development server license and will operate a version of Stellent. We are currently in the planning stages of this project and expect to begin the process of mapping workflow in early fall '04. See the CMS Project Timeline (Rue Ramirez, July 2004, Word).

Open Source Content Management Systems:
     Apache Lenya <>
     Macromedia Spectra <>
     Midgard <>
     MMBase <>
     Mysource Matrix <>
     OpenCms <>
     Red Hat CMS <>
     Typo3 <>
     Zope Content Mgmt Framework/Collaborative Portal Server and Plone <>

Proprietary Content Management Systems:
     Stellent <>
     Interwoven <>
     Documentum <>
     Merant <>
     Vignette <>

2. Metadata
     a. Dublin Core
     b. METS and MODS
     c. EAD
     d. SFX and OpenURL
     e. OAI
     f. Guidelines and Best Practices

2. Metadata
   Metadata Registry Project <>

Metadata is central to what we hope to accomplish in the digital library. Discussion to this point has focused mainly on what the content of the catalog records should be and, to a lesser extent, how these records will be put into a database, who will produce them, and how they will be made available to OAI harvesters and internet search engines.
2.a. Dublin Core
   Dublin Core <>

We began implementing Dublin Core 6 years ago and have since implemented it in numerous digital collections projects at UT Austin. The first implementation was in the Robert Runyon Photographic Collection <> and more implementations can be found at Digital Library Projects <>.
2.b. METS and MODS
   Our goal is to produce METS and MODS metadata for all archival content.

Metadata Encoding and Transfer Schema (METS) <>
Metadata Object Description Language (MODS) <>

The University of Texas Libraries are in the midst of a project to implement the Metadata Encoding and Transfer Schema (METS) on the PCL Map Collection, see Proposal to build a Digital Maps Collection Repository (Aaron Choate, Spring 2004, Word). The metadata aspect of the digital library is critical to all of our efforts. It will be the strength of the metadata that will determine how well we provide access to materials.
2.c. EAD
   Encoded Archival Description (EAD) Format <>

We have implemented EAD in the Texas Archival Resources Online project (TARO) <>.
2.d. SFX and OpenURL
   We implemented ExLibris' SFX and OpenURL in May 2004. Learn more at our FAQ page <>.
2.e. OAI
   Our goal is to make OAI metadata available for all of our public content.

Open Archives Initiative (OAI) <>

A description of the OAI from their website, "The essence of the open archives approach is to enable access to Web-accessible material through interoperable repositories for metadata sharing, publishing and archiving. It arose out of the e-print community, where a growing need for a low-barrier interoperability solution to access across fairly heterogeneous repositories lead to the establishment of the Open Archives Initiative (OAI). The OAI develops and promotes a low-barrier interoperability framework and associated standards, originally to enhance access to e-print archives, but now taking into account access to other digital materials. As it says in the OAI mission statement "The Open Archives Initiative develops and promotes interoperability standards that aim to facilitate the efficient dissemination of content."

D-Space is OAI conformant which means that the material in D-Space repository is available to OAI harvesters - which means that the materials in the repository are available on a broad scale. See 1.a. IR for more on Institutional Repository.

From the OAIster website: "Our goal is to create a collection of freely available, difficult-to-access, academically-oriented digital resources that are easily searchable by anyone.

Institutions OAIster harvests OAI-enabled metadata from:
2.f. Guidelines and Best Practices
   Virsual Resources Assocation (VRA) <>

From the VRA website, "The Visual Resources Association is a multi-disciplinary community of image management professionals working in educational and cultural heritage environments. The Association is committed to providing leadership in the field, developing and advocating standards, and providing educational tools and opportunities for its members."

The VRA has produced a set of guidelines for the cataloging of cultural objects. Those guidelines can be found at the following CCO URL:

From the CCO's webiste, ""CCO provides guidelines for selecting, ordering, and formatting data used to populate catalog records. CCO is designed to promote good descriptive cataloging, shared documentation, and enhanced end-user access. Whether used locally to develop training manuals, or universally as a guide to building consistent cultural heritage documentation in a shared environment, CCO will contribute to improved documentation and enhanced access to cultural heritage information."

3. XML
   XML Protocol <>

The UT Libraries use XML for the encoding of finding aids, electronic documents and metadata. See Introducing XML (Maria Esteva, May 2004, PowerPoint) for a general overview of XML.

4. Digital Collection Building
   This document <> produced by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) establishes a set of principles to inform the decision-making about whether or not a collection should be digitized. For example,

"Collections principle 1: A good digital collection is created according to an explicit collection development policy that has been agreed upon and documented before digitization begins."

"Collections principle 2: Collections should be described so that a user can discover important characteristics of the collection, including scope, format, restrictions on access, ownership, and any information significant for determining the collection's authenticity, integrity and interpretation."

5. Digitization
   The UT Austin Libraries are involved in numerous digitization projects involving text/image, audio and video content. These projects range in scope from exhibits to collection automation. We work with bibliographers, faculty members and graduate students in the production and dissemination of digital collections materials.

In addition to production of digital collections the Library is involved in electronic publishing projects with the Texas State Historical Association and the UT Press to assemble a core set of materials on the history of Texas.

What follows in this section is a description of the hardware and software we use in the digitization process as well as links to various standards, guidelines and best practices.

Digital Assets Discussion Group <>

     -Contex: Chroma TX 40
           40 inch wide-format scanner
     -Epson: 1640 XL
           Flatbed scanner
     -Epson: 1640 XL
           Flatbed scanner
     -Microtek: Artixscan 1800f
           Flatbed scanner with transparency adapter
     -Microtek: ScanMaker 9800XL
           Flatbed scanner
     -Nikon: Super Coolscan 4000
           Slide and film scanner
     -QA/QC workstations
     -A/V workstation
     -Audio capture station
     -I2S: Digibook 10000
           Bound book scanner

6. Server/Storage Hardware/Software
   The UT Austin Digital Library operates on a Sun server platform that is redundant and failsafe behind the firewall.

     -Apache Web servers
     -EZ Proxy
     -Helix Universal Server
     -Sun ONE Application Servers

     -MySQL Database Server
     -LDAP Directory Server
     -Z39.50 Database Server

     -Verity K2 Enterprise

     -Helix Universal Server
     -Sun ONE Application Servers

     -9TB Network Attached Storage

. Application Programming

          - PHP
          - Java
          - Web Services

8. Authentication/Authorization

     a. LDAP
     b. EZ Proxy
     c. EID
     d. Shibboleth

8.d. Shibboleth
   Shibboleth <>

Software that enables privacy-oriented inter-institutional access management to licensed and/or otherwise non-public information resources.

9. Digital Library Organizations and Standards/Guidance Bodies
Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) <>

CLIR sponsors the Digital Library Federation and is a leading organization the digital library community. CLIR publishes a series of reports and newletters that provide important and useful information to anyone involved in the meeting the challenges of producing, hosting, disseminating and preserving digital material.

The Digital Library Federation (DLF) <>

From the DLF website, "The Digital Library Federation (DLF) is a consortium <> of libraries and related agencies that are pioneering in the use of electronic-information technologies to extend their collections and services. Through its members, the DLF provides leadership for libraries broadly by -
     * identifying standards and "best practices" for digital collections and network access
     * coordinating leading-edge research-and-development in libraries' use of electronic-information technology
     * helping start projects and services that libraries need but cannot develop individually. "
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Page last modified: July 23, 2004