The National Endowment for the Humanities recently awarded the Indiana University Libraries and WGBH Boston a grant to support the development of HydraDAM2. This preservation-oriented digital asset management system for time-based media will improve upon WGBH’s existing HydraDAM system and work seamlessly with the Avalon Media System for user access, among other features.
Both HydraDAM and the Avalon Media System grew from the Hydra community. Hydra is an open source technology framework that supports the creation of preservation and access applications for digital assets based on the Fedora repository system. A community of institutions known as the Hydra Partners works together to maintain the framework and create applications for local or shared use by libraries, archives, and cultural institutions. Both Indiana University and WGBH Boston are among the 25 Hydra Partner institutions. Indiana University is collaborating with Northwestern University on the development of the Avalon Media System and WGBH developed the original HydraDAM system with help from the Data Curation Experts group.
The current version of HydraDAM is designed to help libraries, archives, and cultural institutions preserve audio and video files. HydraDAM accepts batches of files via FTP or a browser upload, extracts technical metadata, and moves the files and metadata into a Fedora 3 based preservation repository and a hierarchical storage management system. HydraDAM accepts multiple file formats. Via the user interface, users may also edit metadata and set access controls.
Watch a demo of HydraDAM during an Open Source Digital Preservation and Access session at the Association of Moving Image Archivists Conference 2014 (start at 35 minutes):
The Avalon Media System
The Avalon Media System is focused on the needs of these same types of institutions in providing access to digital audio and video. The software is designed with particular metadata and authentication capabilities, along with many other features that support its usefulness for students, researchers, and teachers. Avalon is currently in production or in production planning at several institutions.
In the HydraDAM2 project, Indiana University and WGBH will:
1) Extend HydraDAM to work on Fedora 4
2) Develop Fedora 4 content models for audio and video preservation objects based on current standards and best practices and utilizing new features in Fedora 4 for storage and indexing of RDF
3) Implement support in HydraDAM for two different storage models, appropriate to different types of institutions:
a. direct management of media files stored on spinning disk or on tape in a hierarchical storage management (HSM) system; and
b. indirect management and tracking of media files stored offline on LTO tapes
4) Integrate HydraDAM into preservation workflows that feed access systems including Avalon and WGBH’s Open Vault and conduct testing of large files and high-throughput workflows
5) Document and disseminate information about implementation and experience to the library, archive, digital repository, and audiovisual preservation communities
HydraDAM2 builds upon the philosophy, purpose, and experience of the HydraDAM, Avalon Media System, Open Vault, and Fedora projects. It will support digital preservation of time-based media files in a way that can easily be tied in with access. The Avalon team is very excited to see this project develop and be shared with the community.