New partnership between PALS and Minnesota Water Research Digital Library for Islandora digital repository


PALS is happy to announce that we have formed a partnership with the Minnesota Water Research Digital Library to build their digital repository using Islandora.

The Minnesota Water Research Digital Library is “a user-friendly, searchable inventory of water research relevant to Minnesota, with emphasis on publications from 2000 forward. The Library provides one-stop access to all types of water research, enabling water managers, researchers, engaged citizens and others to easily find, share, and coordinate research to support their efforts to protect, conserve, manage and restore water in Minnesota.”

You can find out more about the Minnesota Water Research Digital Library at their site by clicking here.  PALS is excited to begin working with them.  Our goal with this project is to further increase access to their important material, and to provide them with a website and user interface that meets their needs.

PALS hopes that forming this partnership with the Minnesota Water Research Digital Library can serve as a model to other State Agencies in Minnesota, and help prove the value of a digital asset management solution.

With this partnership, PALS is now providing Islandora services for 9 sites in Minnesota and Iowa.

community map_leech_lake_mn_water.jpg

A community to empower access

Part of our goal in providing these services is to build and nurture a strong, innovative community that can share knowledge, resources, and ideas to ensure the continued viability of the Islandora digital asset management solution.   We want to empower access to your unique digital assets and special collections.  Please contact us by clicking here  if you are interested in learning more about our services.



New partnership between PALS and Leech Lake Tribal College for Islandora digital repository

PALS is excited to announce that we have formed a new partnership with Leech Lake Tribal College to implement their Islandora digital repository.  This is only possible because of the hard work put in by Leech Lake Tribal College staff that resulted in them getting selected as a grant recipient of the American Indian College Fund’s Traditional Native Arts and Energy/Water Infrastructure Program, with the proposed project Renovations for the Leech Lake Tribal College Archive Room.

As part of this project PALS will help Leech Lake set up their online digital repository to support their goal of digitally preserving Leech Lake cultural heritage material.  This project will respect the need for and observe cultural protocols.  To this end, PALS will be developing Cultural Protocol functionality for Islandora that will allow material to be restricted from public view as needed.

The grant funds will also be used to develop online exhibit functions to support the usability of Leech Lake Tribal College’s online repository.

Hannah Buckland, Director of Library Services at Leech Lake Tribal College, and PALS staff are very much looking forward to this project.

Please contact Hannah Buckland at if you have any further questions on this project, or contact PALS here if you have any questions about Islandora.


Opening up the Archives: Bethany Lutheran College


New partner: Bethany Lutheran College

PALS is excited to now be working with Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato, MN) on their online digital repository.  We provide hosting, support, and training for the Islandora digital asset management (DAM) system.  Bethany Lutheran College looked at several DAM options, and “Islandora rose to the top with the most potential for versatility and ease of use.”

Embrace the DAM work 

PALS provides the Islandora service so that institutions will have a viable, flexible DAM solution that can meet their unique needs.  It allows them to preserve, manage, and share their unique assets.  The ability to promote content effectively online is particularly important.  Doing so allows institutions to showcase their material to the right people, which can result in advocates for the DAM solution, and eventual partnerships that can lead to funding.  We have seen that embracing the DAM work and starting DAM initiatives are a way that libraries and archives can take a leadership role and show their value to Administrators, students, and others.

First collection: Panoramic photographs of student body and faculty

Bethany Lutheran College is keeping that in mind as they start their project.  One of their first collections they are loading – “ingesting” – are a set of panoramic photographs from 1929 – 1962 that show the entire student body and faculty.   This collection provides an invaluable resource and glimpse at Bethany’s past that will become available to the general public.

“One of the target audiences is alumni.  The Bethany community has a strong connection with former students, faculty, and staff, and we think this digital resource will help bring back the “good ol’ days” in an inspiring way.” – Alyssa Inniger, Bethany Lutheran College

This collection also shows what a DAM solution can be used for, and it is Bethany’s hope that this will lead to further support for the DAM initiative.

Next projects

The next project for Bethany Lutheran College will be their yearbook, the Fidelis.  Alyssa Inniger, Bethany Lutheran College Archivist, thinks that this collection should also connect with their campus and show what the project is capable of.  “A yearbook is a powerful piece of history.  Islandora allows someone to search a name and find wherever it has been printed.  There are several families who have students attend Bethany each generation since the school first opened.  This will help them easily trace their recent histories.”

Their third main priority will be to work on digitizing choir recordings, originally on vinyl, and making them available as they are able to.  This would be a unique collection among the PALS sites and will really help show Islandora’s viability as an option.

Further development of Islandora

In addition to looking at Islandora to meet their needs, Bethany Lutheran College is excited to help “see how we can, with the help of PALS, develop the open source software to its fullest potential.”  Their help, along with contributions of our other six sites, should continue to help push Islandora forward.  PALS plans on submitting anything that comes from their partnerships back to the Islandora international community.

Alyssa Inniger thinks that “Islandora will provide a comfortable yet powerful interface for us.”  PALS looks forward to continuing to work on this project with Bethany Lutheran College.

Growing excitement

Erling T. Teigen, College Archivist, is also excited for this project:

“For several years, I have been researching and writing the history of our school. This year marks the 90th year of our church’s ownership of the college, and we will celebrate those 90 years. This project allows us to make available for our alumni and friends to witness in word and picture some of the events of these years. To open up our archives in that way is exciting, and we look forward to discussion that may grow out of that.”

Please contact PALS here if you are interested in learning more about Islandora or these projects.

New PALS Islandora Partners: Bethany Lutheran College and Luther College

PALS Welcomes two new Islandora partners: Bethany Lutheran College and Luther College

PALS is excited to announce that Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, MN and Luther College in Decorah, IA have joined our Islandora community!

Bethany Lutheran College looked into several options for a digital asset management (DAM) platform, and “Islandora rose to the top with the most potential for versatility and ease of use.” They plan to follow Minnesota Digital Library metadata guidelines, and sharing content between Islandora and the Minnesota Digital Library “should be pretty painless.”  Bethany is also quite interested in seeing how, “with the help of PALS, [we can] develop the open source software to its fullest potential.  We don’t have spare library staff here at Bethany, but with some extra effort on the front end, I feel confident Islandora will provide a comfortable yet powerful interface for us.”

Bethany plans to start with their yearbook collection, and possibly some early recordings of choirs done on vinyl, or photographs.  Bethany has a method in place to convert the vinyl to digital format.  PALS and Bethany are both excited to see how this turns out.

Luther College is looking at possibly starting with their Alumni newsletter, documents, or perhaps faculty meeting minutes and agendas.

“We (Luther College) have been experimenting with Islandora for a few years, attracted by the continued development of the product and the growth of the user community. The affordable package of support and hosting provided by PALS will allow us to implement a secure production system, while allowing us to focus on our strengths – curating and maintaining a repository of local materials.”

PALS looks forward to working with Bethany Lutheran College and Luther College, and providing them with a DAM solution that meets their needs.

“Dispatches from List Serv”: Islandora Managed Access

Melissa Anez on recently posted some highlights regarding developments from the Islandora community list servs.  One we are likely going to take a look at is the Islandora Managed Access Module:

“In a nutshell, it allows for you to put certain objects behind a log-in wall without suppressing them from searching & browsing, and when a user tries to access one of these objects they get an explanation of why the object is restricted and a prompt to register an account with extra info that copyright holders/grant funders would need to know. All that data gets stored for later viewing on the backend. There are options for whitelisted IP ranges and automatic deletion of these users as well. Could be useful in a digital archive where copyright is an issue, or in an IR where there’s sensitive data around.”

See the YouTube demo here.

If we do test out Islandora Managed Access, we’ll be sure to let everyone know what we find out.



A DAM Presentation Toolkit


What is Islandora

One of the hardest things about getting started in Digital Asset Management can be building support and buy-in to the right people.  This will often include presentations that may or may not include live demonstrations.  To help with these endeavors, PALS has created a “toolkit” of materials you can use as you see fit.

The toolkit includes a presentation (PowerPoint) and a Detailed Introduction to Islandora document.  Please feel free to distribute/use as you see fit.   We would be happy to answer any questions about these materials.

Click on the links (blue text) to download the presentation and the Detailed Introduction to Islandora.   Clicking on the links will download the material to your computer.

Please contact us if you have any more questions about Islandora.


PALS Islandora Community Update


PALS Islandora Community.jpg

PALS currently works with five Islandora partners across Minnesota.  The following is a summary of the projects we are working on with our partners.  Please contact us if you have any questions about these projects or would like to learn more about Islandora.

Minnesota State University-Mankato ARCHives Digital Repository Project Update

MSU-Mankato continues work on ingesting photographs, newspapers, and yearbooks into their digital repository, Arch.   In addition we are helping MSU-Mankato to work with their Athletics Department to ingest thousands of photographs into Arch.  The Athletics Department is very excited about this opportunity, as it means they will be able to access images remotely while on the road.   MSU-Mankato also plans to work with the Theater Department to get their materials ingested.

Current projects include:

  • The scanning of 15,000+ black and white negatives that are victims of Vinegar Syndrome.  See our blog series, The Archivation Line, about our journey.
  • In honor of our most recent Minnesota State University, Mankato Homecoming celebration, the MSU Archives collected and ingested 39 oral histories.
  • In support of the Minnesota State University, Mankato upcoming Sesquicentennial Celebration during 2017-2018, we are currently digitizing and anticipate ingesting (very soon) Catalogues and Bulletins into ARCH.
  • In an attempt to close the gap, we continue to scan from microfilm, and ingest, our student newspaper, The Reporter.  We are currently scanning and ingesting late 1982.
  • Minnesota Historical Society has awarded a $6,175 Minnesota Historical & Cultural Heritage Grant to the MSU Archives to be used for the digitization of paper issues of The Reporter, 1998-2008.
  • We anticipate adding more already digitized and transcribed audio oral histories, as well as selected manuscript collections to ARCH in support of the Minnesota State University, Mankato upcoming Sesquicentennial Celebration during 2017-2018, in the near future.

Southwest Minnesota State University Digital Archives Project Update

Southwest Minnesota State University (SMSU) in Marshall, MN, continues ingesting their alumni newsletter, student newspapers, and documents related to their college founding.  College catalogs and campus news releases are the next targets for growing the digital collection.

Winona State University Digital Archives Project Update

WSU is particularly excited about making their yearbook collection available to everyone for discovery, as well as their collection of photographs depicting art across campus.   They are also planning to have a growing collection of University photographs.  PALS is close to completing finishing touches on WSU’s website before they go live.

The College of St. Scholastica continues work in two ways with their Quarry, which is what they are calling their repository. The first is ingesting the College’s publications.  The second is PALS recently completed a batch load of 17,000 photographs into the Quarry, so they are now completing the metadata for those photographs.  Heidi Johnson and Kevin McGrew partnered with PALS on a presentation the end of September at the Minnesota Library Association Conference in Duluth, MN on how you can get started with digital asset management and what we’ve learned.   PALS greatly appreciates their help on the session.  The College of St. Scholastica officially announced the Quarry to their College this fall at their faculty/staff academic technology institute, and it is now “live” and fully available to everyone.