NIUDL Technology

Northern Illinois University Digital Library uses Islandora, an open-source software framework for creating, managing, and displaying digital collections. Originally developed by the University of Prince Edward Island's Robertson Library, Islandora now has contributors and implementers from around the world. It is built ontop of several other open-source tools, the base of which includes Drupal, Fedora, and Solr.

Drupal is a widely-used content management system, which enables site creators to build flexible and versatile websites from structured content. Modules enable developers to extend the core Drupal functionality, while themes give designers control over how that content is presented. Islandora itself is a collection of modules, which enable display, management, creation, and organization of digital objects. These includes solution packs, which allow us to work with particular data types (books, images, video, etc.) or knowledge domains (digital humanities, scholarly publications, etc.). The NIUDL theme, available on GitHub, was created using the Bootstrap framework, one of the most popular front-end frameworks for developing responsive, mobile-first websites.

NIUDL collections reside in a Fedora Commons repository, which is a robust and modular digital asset management system for managing and disseminating content. Fedora provides tools for ingesting and exporting digital objects in a variety of formats, as well as APIs for management and access.

Solr is a search platform built on Apache Lucene, powering search and metadata display on NIUDL.

Our digitization guidelines, metadata specifications, and digital preservation plan may be found under "Policies."


For questions and comments about NIUDL technology, contact:

Matthew Short
Digital Collections and Metadata Librarian
(815) 753-9868