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The UC Libraries Digital Collection (UCLDC) Implementation Project is a collaborative initiative of the ten campus libraries that will result in a shared platform for managing and displaying selected digital resources. It will reveal the strength and breadth of the UC Libraries' combined digital collections to end-users, while providing a streamlined underlying technical infrastructure for campus libraries to manage and surface content.
The implementation phase is a two-year project to get the UCLDC up and running with a selection of digital collections representing each of the campus libraries.
The UCLDC project has three central objectives:
1. Configure and deploy a shared digital asset management system (DAMS)
A digital asset management system (DAMS) is software for describing and managing digital content such as images, audio, and video files. The UCLDC DAMS will enable campus libraries to add metadata to digital assets, publish them in the access interface, designate them for preservation, and perform many other stewardship functions. The DAMS offers the major benefit of allowing for “collections-in-process,” meaning librarians will be able to work on assets and metadata as they have the time, in a closed virtual environment, until they are ready to open the content for public viewing. During this implementation phase, we “seeded” the DAMS with several existing digital collections – migrated from legacy campus library platforms.
2. Aggregate campus-managed content hosted in disparate systems
Some campus libraries have their own systems for describing and managing content, and therefore may not need to use the central DAMS. And some are already hosting and surfacing content through third-party websites. This content is still considered part of the UC Libraries Digital Collection. We will be harvesting and crawling designated campus-managed collections and integrating them with the digital assets stored in the DAMS to create a single aggregation.
3. Create a public access interface for all of the content in the UCLDC
The final objective of the project is to surface all of the collections in a public interface. This will enable end-users to seamlessly search and browse across the whole UC Libraries Digital Collection–including content hosted in the DAMS and aggregated from other systems–in a single website. The website we build will be called "Calisphere." It will operate in beta mode for a period of time, and eventually will replace the current Calisphere website.
An API will also make it possible for campus libraries to build their own interfaces to UCLDC content.
Our target launch for the public interface is summer 2015. However, we expect to have many components of the system in place before then, enabling campus library staff to add content and interact with the UCLDC platform as soon as possible. Our development road map outlines our high-level targets and software releases.
We are using an agile model for development, the goal of which is to consistently deliver working software on a predictable schedule. It is an iterative approach, wherein each version incrementally improves upon the last. Agile development work is staged as a series of sprints and releases--check back there often to follow along with our progress!
You can also see our “development in action” by visiting our GitHub code repository.
Within the newly reconfigured UC Libraries Advisory Structure, the UCLDC project is in the purview of Strategic Action Group 2: Access, Discovery, and Infrastructure. We also anticipate working closely with campus library staff, in a variety of capacities, to develop and refine the platform so it best meets the needs of the UC Libraries and their users.
The UCLDC is the result of several years of planning across the UC Libraries. The project formally started in 2009 with the cross-campus Digital Libraries Services Task Force (DLSTF), which articulated a vision for the collection. A subsequent task force (DLSTF2) continued the work of scoping the UCLDC and formulating a plan. Finally, Next Generation Technical Services (NGTS) Power of Three Group One (POT1) coordinated several “lightning teams” which focused on various aspects of the UCLDC and laid the groundwork its implementation. We are excited to extend the work of these systemwide groups and bring the UCLDC vision to life.