London, UK, November 27, 2007 - Fedora users excel at finding opportunities to talk about making better use of Fedora software's unique capabilities. On November 22, 2007, 32 representatives from Fedora projects gathered at Birkbeck College in London for the most recent Fedora UK and Ireland User Group Meeting to do just that. The morning session featured reports from members followed by presentations of general interest in the afternoon. Chris Awre's (University of Hull) meeting notes and selected presentations are available online (http://fedora.info/wiki/index.php/Fourth_meeting). Highlights from community presentations follow.
2007 marks the centenary anniversary of the National Library of Wales (NLW - http://www.llgc.org.uk/\). What began as an experimental Fedora project at NLW over three years ago has become an ongoing program at this national library dedicated to preserving Welsh culture, heritage and knowledge for the people of Wales. Paul Bevan explained that NLW uses Fedora with VITAL. Challenges include ingest scalability of large collections that may include 1,000,000 images. NLW continues to look at ways to streamline overall processes to get more content "in," especially now that other teams at NLW have discovered what the repository can do for them.
Rightscom (http://www.rightscom.com/default.aspx?tabid=1074) specialises in the provision of solutions for the management, trading and protection of intellectual property rights and digital content in the network environment. Martin Dow presented Fedora "as a storage layer in the overall technology stack" in a suite of ongoing projects: TIME (Testbed for Interoperability of Metadata for E-Books - http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/programmes/programme_pals2/synthesis/projects/time.aspx\); RELI (Registry of Electornic Licences - http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/dis/disresearch/RELI/index.html\), and; RIDIR (Resourcing IDentifier Interoperability for Repositories - http://www.hull.ac.uk/ridir/\). Collaborating with the University of Hull, they have identified the importance of semantics for the RIDIR project as clear descriptions of what is being described is essential. RDF functionality within Fedora is proving invaluable to this work.
David Flanders, Bloomsbury Colleges, presented an early look at a project that aims to "Enable anyone to easily install a repository system for their entire institution's use in one day; therefore allowing institutions to focus on the real work of the repository: collecting and enhancing their content!" Fedorazon (Fedora plus Amazon Web Services - http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/repositories/digirep/index/Fedorazon\) will accomplish this by using "Amazon Web Services (AWS) which will enable libraries to forego the cost and maintenance fees of server hardware installations (outsourcing the work to AWS's EC2 and S3). Instead the server configuration for Fedora will be pre-loaded as an "Amazon Machine Image" which enables the immediate "out of the box" installation of Fedora on a highly-scalable and robust network."
The StORe (Source-to-Output Repositories - http://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/1412\) Project is a collaborative effort among 9 UK and US institutional partners led by the University of Edinburgh that seeks to add value to the intellectual products of academic research by enabling repositories of published reports and papers to interact directly with the repositories of source data. Fedora is used as a gateway for people to upload data into the Archive. They are also keen on investigating Muradora as a way to implement security.
The UK and Ireland Users Group has agreed to help organize the Fedora User Group Meeting to be held in Southhampton on April 3-4, 2008, as part of the Open Repositories Conference (http://or08.ecs.soton.ac.uk/). The next UK and Ireland Users meeting will be held in Dublin to coincide with the Seventh International JISC/CNI Conference (http://www.jisc.ac.uk/events/2008/07/cniconference.aspx) scheduled for July 2008 in Belfast.