I've had a week or so to recover from our first European Islandora Camp and I can say that is was a great success. Camp was located in the historic Castle in the town of Arcidosso in Tuscany Italy and it would not have been possible without our hosts: Alex Siedlecki, the town of Arcidosso and the Shang Shung Institute.
All the presentation slide decks are available on the Europe 2013 site - you will need to click on each session title to see if there is a dowload file. The participants came from Italy, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Denmark, The Netherlands, Spain. The instructors were Donald Moses, Paul Pound and Mark Leggott (University of PEI), Nigel Banks (discoverygarden Inc.) and Thorny Staples (The Smithsonian). By all accounts the sessions were informative and each participant was able to try operations in their local virtual machine running the latest version of Islandora 6 and 7. They also received the latest documentation in a printed book - yes, they do exist.
The Tuscan countryside was just coming into Spring, so we were exposed to the chill, sun, wild daffodils and wild boar - all in the context of a friendly and welcoming community. Highpoints outside of the learning activities included: a tour to the amazing Tibetan Temple and Library at the Shang Shung Institute; 2 dinner banquets at local restaurants with a generous helping of local foods and wine; and most importantly the comraderie of a group of people interested in stewarding the world's cultural memory. We even had Camp prizes: Islandora Camp Mojo Award (a tie between Anna Perin and Giancarlo Birello from the DigiBESS project in Italy); Islandora Camp Driver Award (Roger Hyam, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, for driving a big car on the wrong side of the road) and the Islandora Existentialism Award (Joris Oserhaus, University of Amsterdam for, well, his existenialism, mostly at the dinners).
Even when dining the talk always came back to the opportunities and challenges of stewarding digital data, so the group was pretty focused. I know they came out of the event with a renewed sense of possibilities with the Islandora framework and the knowledge that the community is there to help.
There are some preliminary photos up on the Islandora Flickr Group (feel free to add more if you were there!) and I can report that the shortlist of venues for Islandora Camp Europe 2014 includes Tenerife and Crete, so if you want to lend your support to one or the other (of a 3rd option) let me know, as we hope to get the place and time settled int he coming months.