New Member: Masaryk University

The Islandora Foundation is very pleased to welcome a new member: Masaryk University in Czech Republic. Islandora is a broadly international project, and we are grateful for the support from this fourth European member-supporter of our non-profit organization.

Event: ICG Metadata and Migration Hack/Doc, January 13-14

Registration is now open for an upcoming virtual ICG hack/doc, which will focus on metadata and migration out of Islandora 7. The goal at this hack/doc is to create useful documentation for ICG members and other members of the Islandora community as we face the task of migrating out of Islandora 7x. Planned sessions will include hands-on installation/documentation of the migrate 7x module, a lightning round on tools for metadata remediation followed by a metadata remediation clinic, and co-working on project management tools for migration. Sessions will be highly interactive and participants will be invited to shape, add to, or propose new sessions. Participants with a wide variety of skill sets will be welcomed and supported.

The hack/doc will be held on Zoom on January 13 and 14, 12-3 pm EST/9 am-12 pm PST both days. 

More information about the hack/doc can be found on the ICG github site:

And the registration form is here:

Please register by January 8 (or before -- attendance is capped at 50 and the organizers will be sharing this registration with other members of the Islandora community, in particular the Metadata Interest Group). A Zoom link and more information will be sent to registrants closer to the date. 


Islandora 8 Open Meeting: December 15th, 2020

Our first general open meeting for Islandora 8, held on November 17th, went great! We didn't have a moment of down time in four hours, and we ended up covering everything from basic introductory demos to detailed looks under the hood of Islandora 8 sites in production.

We will be holding another open drop-in session on December 15th, from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM Eastern. Full details, and the Zoom link to join, are in this Google doc. The meeting is free form, with experienced Islandora 8 users on hand to answer questions or give demos on request. Please drop in at any time during the four-hour window.

Registration is not required. If you would like a calendar invite as a reminder, please let us know at

Upcoming Sprint for Drupal 9 Compatibility

Drupal 9 has been out for a while, and it's about time we made the switch. Unlike the move from 7 to 8, the upgrade to 9 will be fairly smooth.  It's more of a code cleanup task as opposed to the herculean migration between versions that we're used to.  And there's already been some good community efforts around identifying the scope of what needs to be done.  There's even a pull request for the main islandora module!  But there's still a bit more to do and many hands can make light work of this.

That's why we're asking for volunteers from the community to join us from December 7th to the 18th while we prepare Islandora for Drupal 9.  We will be auditing the codebase for deprecations, fixing them, and then testing it all out.  If you or your organization need Drupal 9 readiness and don't mind helping us out, you can sign up here.  Contributions can be as small as running drupal-check on a module or doing a quick sanity test after we've removed deprecations.  And as always, commitment is as much or as little as you like. 

We hope to see you there. And if Drupal 9 isn't your thing, don't worry, we're lining up a bunch more community sprints in the new year.  There will be plenty of chances to participate if you've already got a full holiday season ahead of you.


ISLE Sprint Wrapup

Our first quarterly ISLE sprint has wrapped up and I'd like to thank everyone that participated.  From the community contributions we received, we can now move repository data between ISLE instances. This allows us to move a repository from development to testing and finally a production environment. It was pretty crucial that ISLE 8 be able to handle this, and the community really stepped up and delivered. Plus, as a bonus, we're also ready for composer 2.

The work's been done, but there's still a few pull requests under review:

Once those are merged, we can begin documenting the process of how to move your data around.  We'll also be seeking user feedback from both new and existing ISLE users as they set up their repositories.

As always, this was a successful sprint. That really speaks to what we're capable of when we work together on common ground to solve shared problems.  It never ceases to amaze me what can be accomplished if we put our heads together.  Thanks so much to everyone who signed up.

  • Nigel Banks - Lyrasis

  • Cary Gordon - Cherry Hill

  • Noah Smith - Born Digital

  • Gavin Morris - Born Digital

  • Hertzel Armengol - Born Digital

  • Andrija Sagic - Library Milutin Bojic

  • Alan Stanley - Agile Humanities

  • Aaron Birkland - John Hopkins' University

  • Seth Shaw - University of Nevada Las Vegas

  • Rosie Le Faive - University of Prince Edward Island

  • Janice Banser - Simon Fraser University

  • Jeffery Antoniuk - University of Alberta

  • Yamil Suarez - Berklee College of Music

We couldn't do it without awesome people like you and organizations that understand and value open source software. Thank you so much for your commitment to make Islandora the best it can be.

Open Meeting: Islandora 8 Sandbox Time

We're holding an open meeting in November for anyone who wants to drop in for some Islandora 8 demos and Q&A. Join us on November 17th from 10:00 AM - 2:00 Pm Eastern.

This event is modelled after the successful ISLE Release Party in September, where the Islandora community came together for an ICG-led open meeting for folks to drop in and work together on updating their installations of Islandora ISLE. This time, the topic will be more general, with a four-hour window to drop in and talk about Islandora 8 or request demos and walk-throughs from developers, experienced users, and early adopters. 

Full details and a Zoom link for the meeting can be found in this Google doc.

You do not have to sign up to attend, but if you would like a calendar invite to save the date, please let us know at

ISLE Sprint: November 2nd to 13th

Have you seen ISLE for Islandora 8 yet?  It's Islandora on Docker and it's crazy fast.  It's a much better overall experience for intstalling and maintaining Islandora.  And best of all, ISLE has recently transitioned into a full community project!  What started as a Islandora Collaboration Group and Born Digital project is now officially under the umbrella of the Islandora Foundation. To ensure it gets the open source love it needs to really take off, we're proposing something we've never done before: quarterly sprints. ISLE already has so much momentum with an active interest group and contributors that we think this is sustainable moving forward.

ISLE is such an amazing facet of Islandora.  It lowers the overall barrier to entry by making installation and maintenance much smoother. What used to take 45 minutes to an hour and was subject to random fails now takes about 5 to 10 minutes and is much more stable.  After the initial build, making changes generally takes seconds because ISLE uses Docker's amazing buildkit feature, which dramatically speeds up the process using aggressive caching.  Oh, and did we mention it also works on Windows? But ISLE is still relatively new for Islandora 8, and it needs a little work... and a lot of documentation.

That's why we're asking all you developers, documenters, and users out there to help us out!  Even if you have no experience with Docker, just trying it out and letting us know what you think is helpful.  From November 2nd to the 13th, we'll be documenting, testing, and hacking on ISLE or Islandora 8.  If you're interested in joining us, please sign up here.  Commit to as much or as little as you like.

If you'd like to help organize the sprint, we're also holding a sprint planning meeting the week before to get ready.  Please fill out this doodle poll if you are interested.  We'll close the poll on October 23rd.

We hope to see you there. And if Docker isn't your thing, don't worry, we're lining up a bunch more community sprints around everything from Drupal 9 to embargoes to migration tools and batch ingesting.  And of course, there's always plenty of work to do on documentation. We'll be making more announcements in the coming weeks.




The Return of the DIG (Documentation Interest Group)

The Islandora Documentation Interest Group is coming back! 

It has been on hiatus for a few years now, but the DIG is being relaunched as a place where we can have discussions about the best approaches for building and maintaining Islandora documentation, identify and prioritize gaps and opportunities for improvement, and coordinate community work to write and edit our shared Islandora documentation. 

The updated Terms of Service for this group are here:

Along with my co-convenors Mirko Hanke and Jeff Rubin, I would like to invite you to fill out this Doodle poll to find a time for a kick-off meeting. One of the first orders of business at the initial meeting will be to establish a day and time for a recurring monthly meeting.

The Latest Survey Results Are In!

Our first community poll on what features folks want was a huge success, with 76 people responding.  Our second poll just wrapped up, and we managed to beat that number with a total of 80 responses.  For having approximately 320 Islandora installations out there, 80 responses means we got input from roughly one quarter our users.  Not too shabby!

We changed up how we presented the questions and also asked for a bit more info, so we have a little more to report on than just a ranked list of features this time around.  We've published the anonymized data here if you're curious or want to follow along with this summary.  Without further ado, here's what the community has told us.


We asked folks to provide details like their job title and what solution(s) they are currently using. Most people kindly answered these questions even though they were optional, and from that we've categorized them broadly into the following groups.

  • Users
    • Librarians (35.4%)
    • Archivists (10.8%)
    • Managers (18.5%)
  • Developers
    • Programmers (24.6%)
    • Dev / Ops (10.8%)

Added together, the users make up 64.6% of those who responded, heavily outweighing the 35.4% of developers who answered.  This is an encouraging sign, as open source software is overwhelmingly developer oriented by nature.  So it's good to know that the lion's share of feedback is coming from our user base.

With regard to the solutions people are currently using, we received the following details:

  • Islandora 8 (17.2%)
  • Islandora 7 (63.4%)
  • Islandora 6 (1.1%)
  • Other (18.3%)

The clear majority here is Islandora 7, which is great to see.  Helping people transition from 7 to 8 is a high priority for the Islandora Foundation, so it's good to know that we're capturing feedback from those who have yet to make the switch.  Interestingly, we received a total of 16 responses for Islandora 8, which means there's more out there in the wild than we're aware of!


Here's all the features that were voted on, ranked by the amount of "I need this feature" responses that were received.

Batch editing of metadata 54 22 2 2
Better documentation for migrating into Islandora 8 53 19 6 2
Better documentation for customizing metadata 49 25 4 2
Embargoes 47 20 10 3
Collection based access controls 45 30 2 3
Islandora 8 Accessibility Audit and Improvements 41 31 3 5
Pre-installation documentation on everything you'd want to know before making a production environment 38 34 3 5
Advanced boolean search as in Islandora 7 38 33 5 4
Make migrating from 7.x more manageable 36 20 18 6
A batch uploader that does not require terminal usage 35 32 9 4
Auditing functions to ensure all background jobs completed successfully 34 40 3 3
Documentation on upgrading each piece of software in Islandora 8 34 36 2 8
More written documentation for users 34 34 9 3
Collection management interface 33 33 1 13
Focus on the Drupal 9 upgrade 32 35 6 7
Integration for Google Scholar indexing 32 32 13 3
Improved ingest experience 31 41 5 3
Making migration from 7x more manageable 31 40 7 2
Documentation on pushing changes from development to staging to production environments 30 40 7 3
IP Restricted Access 28 36 12 4
Improved update process between versions 26 37 5 12
Import metadata from an XML record using the GUI 26 33 14 7
Fixity Auditing 25 47 4 4
Minimize resources needed to deploy Islandora 8 25 34 11 10
Multisite search and namespacing 25 21 28 6
Expand and improve preservation functionality 24 44 6 6
Views bulk operations to perform actions on more objects that the current UI allows 24 28 4 24
Linked data lookup (autocomplete subjects from LOC and more) 23 48 7 2
Dynamic Citation Generation 23 41 10 6
Provide a user interface for configuring RDF mappings 22 44 6 8
Examples of using Drupal's workflows to create editorial workflows. 22 38 8 12
Repository reporting/dashboarding 21 48 2 9
Better documentation for deploying Islandora 8 in the cloud 21 42 15 2
More intuitive default form 21 39 7 13
Multisite administration 20 24 30 6
Export metadata into an XML record using the GUI 19 40 15 6
Integrations with other library systems 18 56 3 3
Provide a GUI for migrations 18 46 13 3
More IIIF viewer options 18 45 6 11
Dashboard for background operations and their status 16 56 3 5
Enhance/Replace Carapace Theme 15 34 20 11
PDF to PDF/A conversion upon ingest 14 50 13 3
Multilingual OCR 13 49 15 3
Faster speed when provisioning an environment 13 40 18 9
Model uploaded file and all derivatives as a single media 13 31 3 33
More video documentation for users 10 47 21 2
Documentation for using the Learning-to-rank (LTR) module for Solr 7 24 6 43
Build default splash page with Layout Builder 6 34 22 18

Unsurprisingly, documentation is all over the top of that list.  Certainly there will be a documentation sprint in our near future. There's also a few features that already have existing solutions out there that we can utilize.  Batch editing has a few Drupal modules that work very well, and Bryan Brown from Florida State University has already developed an embargo module that is starting to get uptake in our community.  In addition to embargoes, other Institutional Repository features ranked high, particuarly IP restricted access and Google Scholar integration.

One feature that has been in the top ten for both surveys but hasn't seen much love is accessibility.  Living with someone who has a physical disability, I know all too well that the norm is for things to be inaccessible.  Being accessible means going out of your way to take extra steps that most people don't prioritize because it doesn't affect them personally.  In my opinion, an accessible Islandora isn't likely to happen without a concerted effort from the top to push the issue.  It would be prudent for us to start taking steps towards improving accessibility, starting first with an audit of the software as it is now so that we can find out where we need to improve.

Next Steps

The Islandora Foundation will be organizing community sprints around these features.  We'll try and get as many of these in that we can before the next release of Islandora 8.  So be on the lookout for further announcements if you're interested in these features or want to help us build them.

On top of that, the Technical Advisory Group has is using the survey results to formulate a Technical Roadmap for the software. The roadmap will include things like our version support timeline, as well as strategic initiatives to give folks a sense of where the software is headed in the future.

Thanks to everyone who took the time to fill out this survey. It's not much effort, and it really helps give us a solid understanding of what the community needs so we can best serve you.  As always, we couldn't do this without you!




Free Event: Building the maintenance-mindset into Islandora lifecycle

Reposted from the Islandora mailing list:

Join us anytime on Sept. 22 (between 11am-3pm EDT) for our first ISLE 7 Release Party! This informal Zoom drop in session offers a supportive and shared learning environment where you can ask questions as you install the newest version of ISLE. This pilot will help determine if offering a regularly scheduled ISLE Release Party would be beneficial for our community to update together while creating a practice of maintenance and accountability in a supportive environment. (Future release parties will include ISLE 8, too.)

Come pop in and receive a warm hello from Danny Lamb, Gavin Morris, Melissa Anez, Joanna Dipasquale, Paul Wentzell, Cary Gordon, Mark McFate, David Keiser-Clark, and other friendly faces :)

When: Sept 22, 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM EDT


Add this event to your calendar: Email + request a calendar invitation for "ISLE Release Party"


  1. May I show up if I do not have ISLE installed? Of course!
  2. Several versions behind? No problem. Come get yourself caught up.
  3. Curious about ISLE and what it takes to upgrade? No problem. Join us.
  4. Want to listen without any commitment or expectations? Join us in this pressure-free zone.
  5. Not sure where to start? Join us - we are all trying this for the first time.  
  6. And... ISLE 7 version 1.5.2 will be released just prior to this event. (TY Gavin!!)

Want more information? Please see: Maintenance-Mindset: ISLE Release Party!

David Keiser-Clark

(With much gratitude to a small team within the ICG who developed this as an ICG Incubator idea.)