Category Archives: dSPace

Unit 12: pre-installed VM versus DIY

I think the question here is really: what skills are really needed in a librarian working in digital collections? That is not easy to answer, because libraries vary so much in terms of staff size, budget, and training. I certainly feel much more confident about installing and configuring virtual machines (VMs) as a result of this course; but I wonder if it was the best use of class assignment time, especially since it could be so time-consuming. But if I was the sole librarian in a small non-profit or museum, with no technical staff, and I wanted to create and host a digital collection, the ability to create a VM from scratch would be important. I guess the question is, how common is this scenario, and how common will it be in the future? And what sorts of librarianship does the DigIN program want to support?

I don’t know if a middle ground might have worked better; maybe install only 3 VMS and spend more time on metadata and actually working with collections. I think DSpace and Eprints were sort of repetitive; maybe we could have been given a choice to install one or the other as our example of digital repository software. I think it was good to see Drupal because it is so ubiquitous, and to get an idea of the more technical end of the spectrum in digital collections management. And I think Omeka seems to represent the other end, the simple end of digital repository management.



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Filed under Content Management, Digital Collections, digital repository, Drupal, dSPace, ePrints, Library science, Omeka, SIRLS 675

Unit 11: Repository Software Homepages – an assessment

A repository software package’s homepage ought to be attractive, clear, and inspire the users’ confidence.  Some of these homepages do that better than others; but they are also geared toward very different audiences. In general I think each site is geared toward the user that could best benefit from it.

  • Eprints ( clearly states what it is, the interface is clean, and provides a live demo as well as links to documentation, downloads, and a description of the principles of open access.
  • Omeka ( again, the homepage is well-designed, attractive, and provides clear links to all the information a user could want. It seems geared especially to draw in the new or uninitiated user (i.e. me). The user could be an individual rather than an institution.
  • DSpace ( There is a lot of white space on this page. For some reason I find that intimidating. There is a very clear statement about what it is–if you know what an “institutional repository application” is. The logo at the top identifies it as a “scholar space” – This is definitely geared toward an institutional user/IT professional that already knows what an institutional repository is. This might be more confidence-building if you are an institutional administrator looking to find a turnkey application.
  • Drupal ( This is a very busy page. But the tag line: “Come for the Software, Stay for the Community” is catchy. The page goes out of its way to show you how world-wide its scope is; you can tell that the software is geared for IT professionals and developers; they even have announcements about DrupalCons (a very geeky term for conventions). This is definitely a geek community and that means that I am not the sort of user they are targeting.
  • PKP (Public Knowledge Project This site also has a lot of projects besides the harvester software. It takes a while exploring and reading to figure out what this site is and what it contains. It’s not for the casual user, and it seems to already assume that the user is committed to open source and open access projects.
  • JHove ( This is a site full of technical jargon, definitely targeting the technical user, not the casual user or the repository administrator.

I guess each site has its advantages for the type of user it is seeking. As a librarian or a non-profit or museum curator, I find the first 3 more attractive and accessible.

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Filed under Content Management, Digital Collections, digital repository, Drupal, dSPace, ePrints, Omeka, SIRLS 675

Unit 6 – DSpace Install notes and comments

I was able to install and configure DSpace with no problems;  we followed these steps:

We set up a new virtual machine, and built, not a LAMP stack, but a LTPJ stack: Linux-Tomcat-PostgreSQL-Java. Once those programs were installed, we needed to create all the structure for DSpace: we used sudo to create linux directories and users for DSpace, set their permissions, and then set up a related user and space in PostgreSQL. Then we set up a DSpace database and directories in Tomcat.

Once those structures were ready, then we downloaded the DSpace source code and set up a configuration file, then used maven to actually “build” the installation according to the configuration we specified. I’m guessing that means maven compiled all the code using the modules and settings we specified in the configuration files. The we used ant to do a “fresh install” – I guess it installed the compiled binary code that maven created.

The we had to create a DSpace administrator/user  at the linux command line and edit some configuration files to give that user privileges; then we rebooted the system and were then able to access DSpace from the browser and set up our collection.


The alternate instructions Bruce suggests at


look like they would be followable; although the comments on those instructions show there is some room for error in interpretation.  The details of the steps are different than what Bruce gave us, but they seem to follow the same general outline. I’m not sure I could follow them without technical support. Bruce’s step-by-step commands are probably best if you are going to try to do this without support; but the screenshots in the second link are probably helpful; and I like the clear delineation of steps in the first link.

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Filed under dSPace, Operating systems, SIRLS 675

DuraSpace | Open technologies for durable digital content

DuraSpace | Open technologies for durable digital content.

This is the home page of the non-profit organization that runs DSpace and Fedora Commons. I wanted to link it here for future reference.

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Filed under Content Management, Digital Collections, Digital Humanities, dSPace, SIRLS 675