Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sharing access with the DPLA: Providing metadata from Primo for harvest

Because Ex Libris Primo, which is the platform for Mountain West Digital Library's harvesting, discovery, and delivery, doesn't include an Open Archives Initiative (OAI) provider for metadata, we had to come up with another way for the Digital Public Library of America to harvest metadata for inclusion into its aggregated portal. Fortunately, Primo does expose its own X-Services functionality for use as an application-programming interface (API). Some Ex Libris customers, such as Brigham Young University's Harold B. Lee Library, use this API and/or the Web services API in Primo to create their own search and delivery interfaces, bypassing the standard Primo viewers in favor of custom control over the user experience.

Snippet from Primo normalized XML
Snippet from Primo normalized XML
Recognizing that queries to these services bring back search results in XML format, and that this highly organized text can be parsed in much the same way as an OAI stream is parsed by an OAI harvester, Tracy Medley from the Discovery Services team at the University of Utah J. Willard Marriott Library and I put our heads together and decided this might just work for harvesting. Tracy opened up the X-Services access to DPLA technical consultants for testing, and I asked them if they would be willing to create an ingestion routine. Jeffrey Licht and his amazing team at Pod Consulting agreed to take this on, and they are now testing the ingestion of MWDL data into DPLA's fields on a testing server, using the Mapping from Mountain West Digital Library to DPLA Metadata Application Profile (V3).

Jeff will soon have an interface available for MWDL staff to use for viewing how the ingested MWDL metadata appears in DPLA's test portal. There will be further aspects of this to work out before we are done, but it's exciting to have the ingestion working!

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