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Avalon Spotlight: Univ. of Alberta Libraries and Chris Want's Contributions to Avalon

As an open source, community-driven application, the Avalon Media System progresses and improves via contributions from users.  A recent example of how our community supports Avalon can be found in the work from Chris Want at the University of Alberta Libraries.
UAL hosts ERA Audio + Video (Education & Research Archive), which utilizes the Avalon Media System.  “Currently [UAL] hosts over 1600 research, instructional, licensed and other types of multimedia resources. Its purpose is to provide a platform for the University of Alberta community to host its own digital audiovisual content in a secure environment built for academic needs, in support of the increasing use of media content in research and teaching. The repository helps to ensure that audio-visual content from the University is properly managed and curated, and will be accessible for many years to come,”  says Weiwei Shi, UAL’s Digital Initiatives Applications Librarian.
Lead developer Chris Want has recently worked to upgrade the Avalon 5 system to Avalon 6, migrating data and ensuring the stability of ERA Audio + Video.  During the migration, Chris remained in constant contact with the Avalon core development teams at Northwestern and Indiana Universities, providing us with updates, and uncovering bugs. His work included  an array of useful upstream code changes that have strengthened the Avalon 6 codebase.  
By reaching out on Slack, contributing to the Avalon codebase via Github and remaining in close contact, Chris has helped make Avalon 6 a better system for anyone who wishes to jump onboard.  This truly collaborative relationship has paved the way for how Avalon can work with more developers while bringing a better system to the community.
However, as Weiwei states, “At the end of the month, we are saying a bittersweet goodbye to Chris as he moves to another position on campus, and we'd like to express our sincere appreciation for the amazing work Chris has done for us over the past few years.”  
The Avalon team wishes to express its sincere thanks to Chris Want for his contributions to the Avalon codebase and to the University of Alberta Libraries for allowing Chris to spend the time necessary to share his experience and his code.  We wish Chris the best of luck and look forward to working with UAL again in the future.

Avalon Office Hours to Begin August 28th and Run Weekly through October

The Avalon Team invites you to join us for Office Hours every week on Tuesdays from August 28th to October 30th.  We're currently piloting a program to enable anyone with an interest in Samvera to spend some time with our team to discuss all things Avalon Media System.


For full information, click here.



Join us on Tuesdays at 2:00 Eastern/ 11:00 Pacific beginning on August 28th




We'll have both Slack and BlueJeans webconference options available


And, two weeks per month we'll feature special a special focus


Focus on Deployment and Support

August 28th and September 25th

Avalon Community Tech Lead Chris Colvard and Phuong Dinh will be available to discuss Avalon implementation and management & maintenance of your Avalon System.


Focus on Avalon Roadmap and Community

September 4th and October 2nd

Product owners David Schober and Jon Cameron will discuss work on the Avalon Roadmap, what's going on in the development cycles, and what we're looking at next for Avalon.

Avalon 6.4.3 Now Available

Avalon 6.4.3 is now available for download at the Avalon GitHub.  
Click here to download and to learn more.
This point release corrects issues found in batch upload processes.  
  • Files ingested from a dropbox are properly handled when the masterfile management strategy is set to 'move' #2903
  • Batch ingest emails are sent successfully, even when items are deleted by users before the job completes #2892
  • Manifest files are deleted after reading and before any processing has happened to avoid race conditions or other errors #2919

For any questions or assistance, please email us using our contact form.

or join our discussion:

Or find us on Slack at: 

Avalon Slack team:

Joining a Slack team requires an invitation, but anyone can generate an automatic invite to the Samvera Community slack channel using the following form: Samvera Slack invite



OHMS Now Available For Avalon

Avalon Media System is proud to announce the successful completion of integrations between Avalon, a Samvera solution bundle for audio and video management, and OHMS, the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer.


Libraries and archives host rich collections that include audio and video recordings of oral histories and interviews, often first-hand accounts of events important to cultural memory.  While many of these recordings have languished in formats that made them inaccessible to researchers and, in many cases, the public, the combination of OHMS and Avalon can make these oral histories accessible and manageable, leveraging open technologies designed specifically for the specific needs of libraries and archives.


The integrations, developed by AVP (formerly AVPreserve), will enable media managers to use the latest version of OHMS to index or connect interview transcripts with video or audio media, managed and stored in the robust Avalon Media System via Avalon's JavaScript player API.  Paired with the powerful time-based search, discovery and navigation features in OHMS, the final product will create a package complete with transcripts and menus derived from user-created metadata, ready for display.  


Douglas Boyd of Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries states “Indiana University is the first institution besides the University of Kentucky to make a significant contribution to the OHMS code.  We are always looking for ways to make OHMS a more effective solution and the incorporation of Avalon represents significant step forward for OHMS and Avalon.”


This work was supported by the Indiana University Office of the Bicentennial as part of Indiana University’s Bicentennial Oral History Project.  Avalon Media System is developed by Indiana University Libraries and Northwestern University Libraries, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  OHMS is developed and managed at the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries and was made open source and free through support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 


For more information regarding Avalon and OHMS, please contact Avalon at:












Survey: Avalon Training Needs

Avalon is seeking your input to help us create Avalon Media System specific training.


You can tell us what areas would be of the most use for your team when it comes to training, and what works best for you in terms of delivery.  


Just fill out this brief survey to give us some ideas.  The survey should only take about 5-10 minutes to complete, and if you have additional ideas for what we could offer, we're all ears.


We'll follow up soon to let you know our plans!


If you'd like to discuss training in more detail or have other topics of discussion, as always, please use the following channels

  • email the list-serve at:
  • if you're a Samvera Community member, just look for us on Slack at #avalon
  • or contact the Community Manager directly at:  ryan dot steans at northwestern dot edu


Avalon Sprint Review #153

Jon Cameron (Indiana) hosts and Adam Arling (Northwestern) stars in Sprint Demo #153 


See our first public demo of the IIIF stand-alone player


View here


Runtime:  6 minutes, 30 seconds

Avalon Forum - June 13th at 4:00 PM

Avalon will host the second Avalon monthly forum on Wednesday, June 13th at 4:00 Eastern.

Topics will include:  

  • Northwestern University – Avalon for e-Reserves Media Distribution (Molly Zolnay and Natalie Pelster)
  • Avalon and IIIF for Video (Adam Arling and Brian Keese)


The Forum will last approx.. 30 minutes.


If you can’t make it, we’ll be posting the presentation video to the Avalon Demo site within the days following.  (Our first Forum is here.)


To join the Meeting:


To join via Room System:

Video Conferencing System: -or-

Meeting ID : 730726712


To join via phone :


1)  Dial:

                +1.408.740.7256 (United States)

                +1.888.240.2560 (US Toll Free)

                +1.408.317.9253 (Alternate number)

                (see all numbers -


2)  Enter Conference ID : 730726712

Avalon Releases version 6.4.2

The Avalon Media System team is happy to announce the release of Avalon 6.4.2.  
This release contains two new features:
  • Adaptive Bitrate Streaming - Avalon can be configured to provide an additional quality setting, auto, within the media player. When auto is selected, the browser will automatically select the quality level best suited for the user's available bandwidth.
  • InterCom - a service which allows organizations hosting more than one Avalon Instance to push items from one Avalon instance to the other.  Users may perform this task with individual items or in bulk.
In addition, Avalon 6.4.2 has corrected minor bugs which will improve performance of the system.
6.4.2 was released as code on April 20th, 2018.  The first upgrade to a system (Avalon Demo System) occurred shortly thereafter.  Indiana upgraded Media Collections Online on 05/08/2018.
For a walkthrough demonstration (approx. 26 minutes) please visit this link.  
Those interested in exploring Avalon should contact us at:

Indiana Libraries teaming with WGBH and AVP to Configure Avalon for American Archive of Public Broadcasting

Under a grant from the Andrew A. Mellon Foundation, Indiana University is partnering with AVP and WGBH Educational Foundation on behalf of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting to configure Avalon Media System to ingest, manage and provide access to 70+ years of digititized public broadcasting content.


To see the full press release, please visit the American Archive of Public Broadcasting website.

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Join Us for the Inaugural Avalon Forum: May 2, 4:00 PM Eastern

Inaugural Avalon Forum

May 2, 2018 - 4:00 PM Eastern, 1:00 PM Pacific


  • Duration:  Approximately 30 minutes
  • Who should attend:  current users of Avalon Media System,  those who are considering Avalon as a solution for managing the audio and visual resources of their organization.  Librarians, archivists, administrators, developers, DevOps and SysAdmins - if you are working with audio and/ or visual media, we'd love to hear from you.


The Avalon Forum is a new, monthly webinar series providing the Avalon Community with an opportunity to learn about:

  • the direction and development of Avalon
  • community activities and opportunities
  • how your colleagues are using the system

and, we hope you will take us up on the opportunity to speak directly to the Avalon team, ask questions and tell us about the challenges you're facing as you take on video and audio.


In this first Forum, we will provide a history of Avalon, describe current efforts and share our plans for future development.  We'll also discuss how we're working with the Samvera and Hyrax Communities, how you can participate to help ensure Avalon grows in useful directions, and provide opportunity for community feedback.

In future installments of the Avalon Forum, we'll be showcasing how your colleagues are using Avalon Media System.  We'll also discuss opportunities for outreach, training and other ways we can enhance the Community. 

We hope you'll be ready and willing to spotlight the good work at your institution or organization.


Ways to join the Avalon Forum:

To join via Room System:
Video Conferencing System: -or-
Meeting ID : 965324578
To join via phone :
1)  Dial:
+1.408.740.7256 (United States)
+1.888.240.2560 (US Toll Free)
+1.408.317.9253 (Alternate number)
(see all numbers -
2)  Enter Conference ID : 965324578