Monday, August 7, 2017











The decision to build rather than to buy is not always easy!

 --- Marriott Library’s Migration from CONTENTdm to SolPhal - MWDL Webinar Series


MWDL appreciates the research and initiatives launched, and progress made by its partners.  These partner endeavors lead to amazing teachable moments we can all benefit from as a community that strives to share information in the most flexible, useful, and uncomplicated way possible, given the resources at hand. 

MWDL’s host institution, and partner, J. Willard Marriott Library, at the University of Utah, recently adopted a home-grown platform, using open source applications as their new Digital Asset Management system, SolPhal.  This effort was launched through a 2013 kick-off planning session that embarked on a two-year collaborative effort involving majority of Marriott’s constituents that proceeded to form a ‘systems evaluation’ committee.  The committee got busy exploring alternatives to the vendor solution (CONTENTdm) the digital library had clearly outgrown after a long, 15-year stint. 

The pursuit of a system that would meet the needs of not only Marriott’s digital library, but also of Marriott’s content contributors that run the whole gamut from public, state, private, and academic institutions resulted in the decision to build, rather than to buy.  

The formal migration plan began with a comprehensive inventory of all digital assets. Marriott Library waited eagerly until appropriate resources were identified for planning, developing and migrating their almost 22 million newspaper records database, as well as another million records from their non-newspapers server.  Formal coordinated efforts were launched in July of 2016.

The journey was not without hurdle or pain, but it resulted in the development of a system that is robust, and one that sits on a sturdy architecture comprising of Solr (indexer), Phalcon (PHP framework), and NGINX (webserver).  The ingestion of content into the system is facilitated through the SIMP (Submission Information and Metadata Packaging) tool, which is another home-grown initiative of the Marriott Library.  

To learn more about this migration project and for a demo of the SIMP, please click on the archived link or by going directly through the MWDL website.

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