We're Holding a Sprint for Paged Content


Fresh off the heels of our survey for what features to implement next, we're following through on the number one requested feature: paged content. For those who aren't familiar with the terminology, paged content is how we describe books/newspapers/journals/etc... where each page has been scanned individually as a high resolution image. In order to state that we fully support paged content, there's a handful of things Islandora 8 needs to be capable of doing:

  • Order pages trhough the UI
  • Render pages in a compatible viewer (IABV or Openseadragon)
  • Extract text from scanned pages so they are discoverable

A couple of organizations (UT Austin, UNLV) have already made some progress on these fronts, but in order to take that work over the finish line, we need your help! We're holding a two week sprint from September 3rd - 13th to put our heads together and get this done. So if you or your organization have an interest in using paged content in Islandora (that's at least 66 of you from the survey results!), then please put your name down on our sign up sheet. You don't neccessarily have to be a programmer to pitch in, either. There's plenty of configuration/documentation/testing that you can contribute. And if you haven't done so already, please fill out a contributor license agreement when signing up.

Islandora Webinar: The Next Release of Islandora 8

We followed the initial 1.0.0 release of Islandora 8 in June with an hour-long webinar that provided an overview of what was in the release, some quick demos, and a Q&A period for questions from the Islandora community. It went amazingly well and we got some excellent feedback from attendees, so we're going to try to make this a regular event for Islandora.

For our second webinar, we will dedicate an hour to what's next for Islandora 8, based on feedback from our development priorities survey. Join us to learn about features, improvements, release dates, and more. Just like the first webinar, we'll set aside a generous question period and record for those who can't make it.

The webinar will be on August 13 at 10 AM Eastern Time. Register now.

Islandora 8 Survey Results Are In

We asked for your input on features for the next release, and we got an impressive number of responses. A total of 76 individuals and organizations responded to our poll, which is a new record for us! It's the best view into the actual needs of our community members we've ever gotten, and we're excited to share the results with you. This spreadsheet has some charts for each of the three questions on the survey, and the raw data is tucked away in some shrunken columns to the left if you're curious.

As a summary, here are the top 10 results for each question, with the number of votes received in parentheses after each feature. Keep in mind that participants were allowed to vote for more than one feature, and there's a different number of responses for each question. There's a couple of ties in there too, so don't let the visual order of things sway you when there's the same number of votes for multiple features.

What features do you need before you could move to Islandora 8?

76 Responses

  • Paged Content (66)
  • Access Restrictions and Embargoes (44)
  • OAI-PMH Endpoint (36)
  • OCR Derivatives (33)
  • Web Accessibility (30)
  • Search and Discovery Improvements (20)
  • IR Support (17)
  • MODS Metadata Display (17)
  • Versioning (15)
  • Dockerization (13)

What features are "nice to have" but not critical?

65 Responses

  • Citation Generation (28)
  • Versioning (24)
  • SEO (24)
  • RDF Mapping UI (22)
  • FITS Derivaties (20)
  • MODS Metadata Display (20)
  • Oxford Common Filesystem Layout (20)
  • Search and Discovery Improvements (16)
  • Web Accessibility (14)
  • Dockerization (14)

What features are not necessary for your organization?

42 Responses

  • Integration with Alternate Fedora Implementations (25)
  • Fedora Multi-Tenancy (Multisites) (17)
  • RDF Mapping UI (11)
  • Oxford Common Filesystem Layout (10)
  • Dockerization (10)
  • MODS Metadata Display (7)
  • IR Support (6)
  • Citation Generation (5)
  • SEO (4)
  • OAI-PMH (2)

When interpreting the results, we're putting more emphasis on the features folks feel they must have before adopting Islandora 8. The features people responding as being "not necessary" or "nice to have" balance the picture a little bit, but we're not giving a ton of negative weight to them. We view them more of a reminder that, simply put, not everyone wants every feature.

Awesomely, many of the "must have" features already have a solution in the works at some stage of development within the community. This really adds gravity to their placement in the top ten, and speaks to our incredible developer community who are already ahead of the curve! And for the rest of the "must have" features, we've already identified our starting points using core or contributed modules from Drupal.org. It's possible to do a lot in Islandora 8 by enabling modules and exporting configuration, and we're confident we can help guide community activity towards getting these features in with the least amount of code possible. Here's the current lay of the land on all these "must have" features.

Paged Content

Paged content was the clear winner of the survey, with a whopping 66 out of 76 favorable responses. When initially developing Islandora 8, we purposefully chose to focus on "single" objects first and tackle books/newspapers/serials/compounds later. It's a major use case we're not meeting yet, and the survey results are strongly indicating that it's what we should tackle next. To that effect, I'm proposing we schedule a community sprint in early September. There's a couple of pilot projects working out the kinks of paged content (UT Austin, UNLV) whom we'd love to have involved, and hopefully we can synthesize this work and come up with a solution that will work for everybody.

Access Restrictions and Embargoes

A combination of core workflow and content_moderation modules with a handful of custom plugins can cover most of this. It won't be a zero code solution, but a couple of custom conditions and actions should do the trick.

OAI-PMH Endpoint

Kent State has developed an OAI-PMH module, and committer Seth Shaw has already whipped up sample configuration and a PR for it!

OCR Derivatives

UPEI has developed OCR derivatives for Islandora 8. It currently lives in their Github repo, but soon will make its way as into core islandora as a submodule.

Web Accessibility

Accessibility is something that must be kept in mind throughout all stages of development, and individual institutions must take care to ensure they do not introduce inaccessible portions of their site in their custom code. As a starting point for project that require accessibility (that's you if you work for university in the U.S. or Canada), we're looking to install our modules on top of the Web Experience Toolkit distribution.

Search and Discovery Improvements

Improvements to search and discovery can be contributed in the form of extra configuration. Tweaks to indexing and faceting can all be set up throught the UI and then exported.

IR Support

Replicating all of islandora_scholar from 7.x at first seems like a daunting task, but we've already made headway. We have entities for people, places, organizations, etc... in our controlled_access_terms module. UPEI has already developed citation generation using Twig templates as part of their RDM project. We've already outlined how we'll handle embargoes and access restrictions above, and we're planning on shipping with configuration to make Google Scholar indexing happen by default!

MODS Support

We have a lot of tools to get data out of MODS and into Islandora 8, but to generate MODS on the fly (or every time metadata is updated) we're going to use Twig templates like UPEI is doing for citations, Kent State is doing for OAI-PMH, and Diego Pino and Marcus Barnes are doing in their IMI and MIK tools for Islandora 7.


Eli Zoller from Arizona State University has already contributed making versions with Chullo, our Fedora client. Further work to integrate that with the rest of Islandora is underway.


The ICG has plans for Islandora 8! The ISLE project for Islandora 7 has an upcoming phase III, which will provide docker containers for Islandora 8. Although not every organization uses Docker, Islandora 8's microservice based architecture goes hand in hand with Docker and Kubernetes. We can't wait to see the results!

Final Thoughts

We're always striving to give the community what they want, and surveys like this give us the data we need to do so. In the spirit of openness and transparency, we're releasing the results so you can draw your own conclusions. We hope you take the the time to view these results and let us know what you think. It's always easier to make decisions when you have data in front of you, and we're really grateful for all the people who took the time to fill out the survey. As our community continues to grow, we're hoping that surveys like these can help us guide development priorities (and more) in the future.

Islandoracon 2019 Has a Logo!

One of the features of Islandora events is a themed t-shirt given to all attendees. Every camp has its own logo, and so does each conference. We recently held a logo design contest to award a free registration and an extra t-shirt to the Islandoracon attendee who came up with the best logo to represent our third conference. We've held this contest before, but this year saw a record number of entries, making for a very close result.

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the Islandora 2019 Logo Contest is Hillary Webb, from the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, with this design that takes the coasts as inspiration while nodding to Islandora's doe-eyed lobster mascot:


Lobster for the east coast and the Orca for the west coast, united by kelp and water
Lobster for the east coast and the Orca for the west coast, united by kelp and water.



Islandoracon will take place on the west cost, in Vancouver, BC, from October 7th - 11th. We hope you'll join us and proudly wear Hillary's design!

Looking Back at Islandora Camp Switzerand

Islandora Camp went to Switzerland for the first time this summer, with a three-day camp hosted by Lib4RI - Library for the Research Institutes within the ETH domain: Eawag, Empa, PSI & WSL, and located at Eawag. You can see the full schedule (and as many set of presentation slides as we could gather) here, but the highlights came on the third day, with:

  • an overview of the services our host provides to their internal users, including workflows and tools that make adding new material as quick and simple as possible for researchers,
  • a look at the migration taken by the Max Plank Insitutuute for Pschyolinguistics to move their data into Islandora, including a solution pack with a viewer for 3D images like this,
  • the amazing collections of the Fundación Juan March, and the way they integrate Islandora into a complex web of services.

The location itself was also a highlight, as we toured the peaceful, naturally landscaped campus of Eawag and hopped stepping-stones across the reclaimed river that runs through it:

Sessions were held in a low-energy building that deploys a myriad of clever tricks to provide a comfortable, modern, multi-storey office space while using no more electricity than a couple of single-family homes. It's also quite something to look at:

This Islandora Camp was the very first held since the release of Islandora 8, and our campers we eager to explore the new stack, with a half-day dedicated to site building Islandora 8 in the Admin Track, and the entire Developer Track spent (by audience request) on the new release.

If you want to experience your own immersion in all things Islandora, you can join us in October for our every-other-year full-week conference, Islandoracon, taking place from the 7th to the 11th in Vancouver, BC, Canada.


New Islandora 7.x Committer: Marcus Barnes

In recognition of his many contributions to Islandora and the Islandora community, the Islandora 7.x Committers have asked Marcus Barnes from the University of Toronto Scarborough to join their ranks and we are very pleased to announce that he has accepted.
Marcus is a longstanding member of the Islandora community, a dedicated member of multiple release teams, an active participant in our Committers Calls and reviewer of open pull requests, and a great help to new community members. Marcus also actively maintains one of the most popular contributed Solution Packs, for managing Oral Histories in Islandora.
Further details of the rights and responsibilities of being a Islandora committer can be found here:
Please join me in congratulating Marcus! We are very fortunate to have contributors like him standing behind Islandora.

Introducing the Islandoracon Use-a-Thon

Islandoracon has always had a 'hackfest' component, but we've yet to do the same thing twice. We're trying a new format this year to give all of our attendees a chance to work together, learn new things, and produce a tangible benefit for the rest of the Islandora community: The Islandora 8 Use-a-Thon.

How it works:

Islandora 8 is more tightly integrated with Drupal than Islandora 7, and very flexible, so many use cases can be solved with a combination of configuration and Drupal contrib modules. The Use-a-Thon will crowdsource use cases for things people might want to do with Islandora (i.e, a collection that can be viewed on a map; a collection with a commercial store component; a workflow for accepting and reviewing public annotations on objects). On Monday, October 7th, after we finish up the half-day workshops, we'll have a mixer at the Vancouver Public Library where attendees can form teams and talk about what use cases they would like to explore, either picking from the crowdsourced use-cases or inventing their own.

On their own, over the week of the conference, teams will take a use case and work to demonstrate how it can be done in Islandora 8 (with configuration and Drupal contrib modules), including documentation (“recipes,” for our shared Islandora Cookbook). Points will also be given for identifying gaps that may need further development work and creating issues to document those gaps.

On Friday, October 11th, we will gather again at the Vancouver Public Library where teams will have the morning to finish up their work and prepare a brief presentation describing what they have done. After lunch we'll watch presentations, pick winners and award prizes, and officially end Islandoracon. The rest of the day will be given over to an informal discussion of the future of Islandora (8, 9, and beyond) for anyone who wants to participate.



  1. Entries should come from teams of at least two people.
  2. The entries should be presented in person by at least one team member.
  3. Only one entry per team.
  4. No person may be in more than one team.
  5. Screenshots should be rough-and-ready.
  6. Writing code is discouraged; we want ideas, documentation, and GitHub issues describing what needs to be built if your use case can't be done with what's available now.
  7. Participants must ensure that entries do not in any way infringe copyright or other intellectual property rights of any third party.


Use-a-Thon projects will be judged based on:

  1. The value of the contribution to the Islandora community (i.e, is this something others will use?)
  2. The difficulty of the use case
  3. Community use case versus coming up with your own (bonus for taking on something from the community)
  4. The amount of work completed (draft documentation, completed 'recipes,' GitHub issues submitted)

And, because we want to encourage you to make new connections at Islandoracon, we'll also award points for team composition:

  1. At least two team members who have not worked together before
  2. At least one team member with a developer background and one with a library or other non-dev background.
  3. Bonus point for teams of 3+

(Credit to Open Repositories for their Ideas Challenge and points for team composition)

Islandoracon Full Schedule Now Available

The complete five-day schedule for Islandoracon (October 7 - 11 2019) is now available! Please join us and our 43 speakers and workshops leaders for a week of the best in Islandora and an opportunity to get together and share.

Registration is open and the Early Bird discount is on until July 1st.

The schedule at-a-glance:

  • Monday, October 7th: Pre-Conference and Half-Day Workshops
  • Tuesday, October 8th: Main Conference Sessions
  • Wednesday, October 9th: Main Conference Sessions
  • Thursday, October 10th: Main Conference Workshops
  • Friday, October 11th: Islandora 8 Use-a-Thon (Hackfest)


View the Islandoracon schedule & directory.

Islandora 8 Now Available

The Islandora Foundation is pleased to announce the immediate availability of Islandora 8 version 1.0.0! This is an important milestone for the Islandora project, and is a testament to our wonderful and vibrant community. Built using Drupal 8 and Fedora 5, Islandora 8 faithfully integrates the two as invisibly as possible, giving an experience that is both more Drupal-y and more Fedora-y at the same time. Islandora 8 unlocks all of Drupal's features along with its entire ecosystem of contributed modules, all the while quietly preserving your metadata in a Fedora 5 repository behind the scenes. It truly is the best of both worlds.

If you would like to try Islandora 8 for yourself, we have three options for you:

  1. A sandbox of version 1.0.0 is available to play with at future.islandora.ca.
  2. A virtualbox VM is available for download here.
  3. You can install a development or production environment with our Ansible playbook, which has a corresponding 1.0.0 release.
Islandora 8's documentation is stored in markdown on Github, with contributions welcome. If you would like to contribute a use case or file a bug, please see our issue queue.

The Islandora Foundation is committed to providing utilities for Islandora 7 repositories to make migration as painless as possible. All existing Islandora 7 users are encouraged to evaluate our migration tools and provide us with feedback. We are dedicated to working with everybody to make sure we all move forward together!

Here's a list of all the features currently available with the 1.0.0 release (including those that come for free from contributed modules):

  • Model content using core Drupal entities and fields
  • Out of the box support for
    • Collections
    • Images
    • Audio
    • Video
    • PDF
    • Binaries
  • Control how content is displayed using the UI
  • Configure forms for content using the UI
  • Categorize content using taxonomy terms
  • Expandable file storage
    • Drupal's public file system
    • Multiple private file systems using flysystem (check this link for a full list of supported adapters)
      • Fedora
      • Local or networked storage
      • Sftp
      • AWS S3
      • and more…
    • Basic CRUD operations with Drupal REST and JSON
    • Read-only JSONLD serialization
    • Extensive use of Link headers for discoverability
    • Add files to objects with PUT
  • Solr search (using search_api_solr)
    • Configure search index through the UI
  • Custom viewers
    • Openseadragon
    • PDF.js using the pdf module
  • Custom field types
    • Extended Date Time Format (EDTF)
    • Typed Relation
    • Authority Link
  • Custom entities for:
    • People
    • Families
    • Organizations
    • Locations
    • Subjects
  • Derivatives
    • Convert / transform images (or just use Drupal image styles!)
    • Extract images from PDFs
    • Extract images from Video
    • Convert audio formats
    • Convert video formats
    • All derivative operations have forms and can be configured through the UI
  • Access control
  • Control repository events through the UI using the context module
    • Index RDF in Fedora
    • Index RDF in a Triplestore
    • Derivatives
    • Switching themes
    • Switching displays/viewers
    • Switching forms
    • And much much more....
  • Multi-lingual support
    • Translated content is included in metadata and indexed in both Fedora and the Triplestore with proper language tags
    • The user interface can be translated to languages other than English
  • Bulk ingest using CSVs
  • Views! You can filter, sort, display, and otherwise manipulate lists of content in all kinds of ways. For example:
    • Make a browse by collections page (see this example on the sandbox, which can be customized here).
    • Make an image gallery (see this example on the sandbox, which can be customized here)
    • Make a slideshow (see this example on the sandbox, which can be customized here) using views_slideshow.
    • Put pins on a Google map using the geolocation module
    • Execute actions in bulk on views results using the views_bulk_operations module
      • Re-index content
      • Re-generate derivatives
      • And everything else you can do with Drupal actions (pretty much anything!)
    • Bulk edit metadata using views_bulk_edit (see this example on the sandbox, which can be customized here)
If there are any features that are missing that you consider to be requirements for adoption, we will be polling the community to find out what features to build next. Your input is valued and you are encouraged to participate in the upcoming poll.

This software is made possible by volunteer contributions from community members and organizations. Development, documentation, and testing are all significant undertakings that require time and effort. We thank each and every one of the people who have helped us deliver this software, to whom we owe a debt of infinite gratitude.

  • Aaron Coburn
  • Adam Soroka
  • Alan Stanley
  • Alex Kent
  • Alexander O’Neill
  • Amanda Lehman
  • Andrija Sagic
  • Ann McShane
  • Benjamin Rosner
  • Bethany Seeger
  • Brad Spry
  • Brian Woolstrum
  • Bryan Brown
  • Caleb Derven
  • Cara Key
  • Carolyn Moritz
  • Cillian Joy
  • Courtney Matthews
  • Cricket Deane
  • David Thorne
  • Diego Pino
  • Don Richards
  • Eli Zoller
  • Favenzio Calvo
  • Frederik Leonhardt
  • Gavin Morris
  • Janice Banser
  • Jared Whiklo
  • Jason Peak
  • John Yobb
  • Jonathan Green
  • Jonathan Hunt
  • Jonathan Roby
  • Kim Pham
  • Marcus Barnes
  • Mark Jordan
  • Meghan Goodchild
  • Mike Bolam
  • Minnie Rangel
  • Natkeeran Kanthan
  • Nick Ruest
  • Noah Smith
  • Pat Dunlavey
  • Paul Clifford
  • Paul Pound
  • Pete Clarke
  • Rachel Leach
  • Rachel Tillay
  • Rosie Le Faive
  • Seth Shaw
  • Suthira Owlarn
  • Yamil Suarez
We would also like to acknowledge the initial financial support from the following institutions, which got development started back in 2015:
  • The American Philosophical Society
  • Common Media Inc. (Born-Digital)
  • discoverygarden inc.
  • McMaster University
  • PALS
  • Simon Fraser University
  • University of Limerick
  • University of Manitoba
  • University of Prince Edward Island
  • York University