DISA recently hosted another intern - this time from the African Union (AU) based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Stephen Mayega is a cataloguer in the AU Archives and the purpose of his internship was to better understand the digital cycle of creating, managing and preserving digital data. The African Union has a large collection of AU reports going back to the 1960’s and their aim is to digitise and make these available to all their members through their website.


Stephen Mayega

All AU reports are published in 4 languages, English, Portugese, French and Arabic. This provides challenges for content management and creation of metadata. The ability to create metadata once, in English, with translation into the other languages would be a huge time saver. Drupal, with its powerful taxonomy module, was demonstrated to Stephen, as an extensible and scaleable content management system. In addition Drupal is able to operate in mutiple languages simultaneously - a really important consideration for a multi-language collection.  The entire process of digitisation, including hardware and software requirements, were covered in a week of intensive theory and practical exercises.

Stephen’s internship was sponsored by the American Embassy Mission to the African Union Commission.

Open access news from e-IFL.net in their latest newsletter is available here 

According to the newsletter, JISC in the UK has released a Digital Repositories InfoKit which is a practical guide to setting up and running a digitial repository (mainly institutional repositories) and includes planning, setting-up, management and maintenance guidelines. 

DISA has a wide range of guidelines relating to best practices for digitisation and metadata for digital projects. These guidelines are soon to be expanded with additional toolkits and information to support management and maintenance of (institutional and subject) repositories.

Do you have other user requirements? Let us know by posting a comment below.


A call went out recently for comments on the comparative evaluation of 4 IR software packages - DSpace, ePrints, Fedora and Zentity.

The project blog at http://blogs.lib.purdue.edu/rep/ gives more information …

The analysis includes both qualitative and quantitative measures taken from default installations of the repositories on a benchmark machine with a predefined base collection. The repository software will also be evaluated on the execution of four common workflows: consume, submit, accept, and batch.

Our aim is to produce a holistic evaluation that will describe the four repository software packages in a comparative manner, similar in approach to Consumer Reports. The output of this study will be useful for repository developers, repository managers, and especially those who are selecting a repository for the first time. As members of these respective communities and the organizations who support them are increasingly collaborating (e.g, DuraSpace), this study will help identify the relative strengths and weaknesses of each solution to inform the “best-of-breed” in future solutions that may be developed.

We solicited and received input from the principals of each repository project. The purpose of this blog is to request comments from the DSpace, Fedora, e-Prints, and Zentity developer and user communities to help us refine our evaluative criteria and appropriate measures and methods. Comments can be left at  http://blogs.lib.purdue.edu/rep/2010/02/25/a-comparative-analysis-of-institutional-repository-software