Systems updates for Samvera name change

As noted in our recent posting, we propose to make significant changes around the weekend 17/18 June in order to move all our systems to “Samvera”.  With that in mind, please plan not to use any of our systems from Friday 16th June to Monday 19th June inclusive.  In particular, changes made to the wiki during that period may not migrate to the new version (which will be a clone of the old one) and emails made to our lists may be lost.

Our agreement to resolve the name conflict requires us to cease use of the name “Hydra”.  In terms of the wiki, this means that we will change all references to “Hydra” in the URL, on the home page and at least from the layer of pages immediately underneath (so, for instance, IG/WG charter pages).  It would be helpful, please, if the “owners” of the second level pages could do the editing of “Hydra” to “Samvera” (at any convenient time from now on; note that “Hydra Project” should become “Samvera Community”) and if everyone would use “Samvera” in new wiki content with immediate effect.  Any second level pages that have not been edited by 16 June will be handled centrally.  We are not being asked to edit “Hydra” out of historical content, only from material in current use.  The new version of the wiki will be at

During this four day “blackout” our mailing lists will be renamed from hydra-xxxx to  The new website ( will be launched as soon as its links to the new wiki instance can be verified.

Posted in Events, News

Hydra’s new name is “Samvera”

We are pleased to announce that the “Hydra Project” is to become the “Samvera Community”.  Samvera is an Icelandic word which expresses the idea of “togetherness”.  It was one of the top scoring names in the Community vote.

The change from Hydra to Samvera will take place gradually over the coming weeks but we are planning a flurry of activity either side of the weekend 17/18 June.  At that time, for instance, we anticipate that the new website ( will go live, the wiki will become (which will redirect to and our mailing lists will be renamed from to  A new logo for our community is under development and we will make it available (for forthcoming presentations etc) as soon as we can.  We will provide further details of the exact timetable for these changes in a further email.  We hope to have all major changes complete in time for the Open Repositories conference which begins on June 26th.

Please join us in celebrating the next phase of our Community’s development.

Posted in News

UC Santa Barbara joins the Hydra Partners

We are delighted to announce that the University of California at Santa Barbara has become the latest Hydra Partner.

UC Santa Barbara has been successfully running the Alexandria Digital Research Library (ADRL) using a production instance of Hydra since 2013, at  The repository initially launched hosting Electronic Theses and Dissertations (ETDs) and has grown to include various born digital and digitized archival images.  Most recently they have implemented access to their collection of more than 10,000 wax cylinder recordings held by the Department of Special Research Collections.

The UC Santa Barbara team have been active participants in the community, not only attending every Hydra Connect to-date, but also by hosting community events such as Hydra Camp and the first West Coast regional Hydra meet up.

The team is putting the final touches on a release of ADRL that will provide access to digitized versions of their scanned map collections.  This release will highlight the use of Hydra to navigate complex object relationships and leverage Open SeaDragon and IIIF technologies to provide deep zoom interaction with high-resoultion scans.  This functionality will be rolled out later this year with an even larger GIS initiative following shortly after.

We welcome UCSB to the Partnership and look forward to even more collaboration with them in the future!

Posted in News

Hydra 2016 Annual Report

Since its inception in 2008, Hydra has evolved from a loose consortium of a few like-minded people into a thriving community comprising many, many hundreds of people worldwide.  As Hydra has grown it has become more difficult for any one individual to keep track of all that is going on in, and all that has been achieved by, that community.  In late 2016 it was decided that Hydra would be well served by publishing an Annual Report each year to summarize its achievements both for those in the Hydra Community and for those who may be looking to find out more about it.

A copy of the 2016 Annual Report can be downloaded here.

Whilst we hope it will interest a wide audience, the Report is aimed primarily at managers and administrators and we would urge you to share it widely with colleagues who may find it of interest.

Posted in News

IMLS grants for two Hydra-related projects

We are delighted to announce that the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded grants to two Hydra-related projects.

The Boston Public Library and the University of Utah have secured funding for “Newspapers in Hydra”.

The project will create: (1) a shareable, system- and programming-language-agnostic RDF-based data model addressing structural and descriptive metadata features unique to digitized newspapers; (2) a set of modular, open-source plugins for the popular Hydra/Fedora digital repository framework for ingesting, describing, discovering, displaying, and disseminating digitized newspaper content; and (3) a community of practitioners — including developers, librarians, content specialists, and managers — dedicated to addressing challenges and collaborating on best practices associated with managing digitized newspapers.

Northwestern and Indiana Universities have secured funding for “Avalon Media System: Integrating audiovisual collections with research, digital preservation, and a sustainable developer community.”

The aim of this two-year project is to increase adoption of Avalon within the library and archives community by enhancing the value proposition of Avalon and carrying out work to help ensure sustainability: (1) Integrate Avalon within the Hydra community. We will adapt Avalon to make use of the current Hydra open source repository software stack and will engage members of the Hydra community in development through community sprints. We will also increase the modularity of Avalon so that its components can be more easily integrated into other Hydra-based repository systems, including Hydra-in-a-Box, to provide time-based media access; (2) Implement a cloud-hosted Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) version of Avalon. We will work with Lyrasis and DuraSpace on the establishment of a hosted SaaS offering by conducting pilots to help provide cost modeling for Avalon as a cloud based service; (3) Connect Avalon to media preservation systems and workflows. We will connect Avalon to long-term digital preservation solutions and improve interoperability with workflow and management tools in order to provide a complete AV preservation and access platform, by working with Artefactual Systems to integrate Avalon with the Archivematica platform; (4) Enable interoperability with scholarly tools. The Avalon technical team will take a leadership role with the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) by contributing to the creation of an AV interoperability spec and providing a demonstration implementation.

Our congratulations to both teams!

Posted in News

The Digital Repository of Ireland joins Hydra

We are delighted to announce Hydra’s latest formal Partner, the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI).  DRI is Ireland’s national trusted digital repository for Humanities, Social Sciences and Cultural data. The repository links together and preserves both historical and contemporary data held by Irish institutions, providing a central internet access point and interactive multimedia tools. As a national e-infrastructure for the future of education and research in the humanities and social sciences, DRI is available for use by the public, students and scholars.

DRI Director, Natalie Harrower, said: “While DRI has been involved and welcomed in the HydraSphere for many years now, we feel that the time is right to ‘step up’ and become Hydra Partners. We look forward to contributing more to the community and to helping Hydra grow in Europe and further afield.”

DRI became a partner at the end of 2016 but, for some reason, whilst we announced the fact on our mailing lists we failed to do so on this blog.  Our sincere apologies to the team at DRI for the omission.

Posted in Events, News

Rebranding the Hydra Project

Some of you may be aware that the Hydra Project has been attempting to trademark its “product” in the US and in Europe.  During this process we became aware of MPDV, a German company that has a wide ranging trademark on the use of ‘Hydra’ for computer software and that their claim to the word considerably predates ours.  Following discussions with their lawyers, our attorney advised that we should agree to MPDV’s demand that we cease use of the name “Hydra” and, having sought a second opinion, we have agreed that we will do so.  Accordingly, we need to embark on a program to rebrand ourselves.  MPDV have given us six months to do this which our lawyer deems “generous”.

The Steering Group, in consultation with the Hydra Partners, has already started mapping out a process to follow over the coming months but will welcome input from the Hydra Community – particularly help in identifying a new name, a matter of some urgency.  We will be especially interested in hearing from anyone with prior success in any naming and (re-)branding initiatives!  Rather than seeing this as a setback we are looking at the process as a way to refocus and re-invigorate the project ahead of new, exciting developments such as cloud-hosted delivery.

Please share your ideas via any of Hydra’s mailing lists.  If you use Slack you may like to look at a new Hydra channel called #branding where some interesting ideas are being discussed.

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IMPORTANT – Change of dates for Hydra Connect 2017

Apologies, but after our announcement, just before Christmas, of dates for Hydra Connect 2017 it became apparent that they clashed with a PASIG conference which, at that point, had not been widely advertised.  This would have represented a conflict of interest for a significant number of our Hydra community

Accordingly, the dates for Hydra Connect 2017 have been changed.  It will still be hosted by Northwestern University but the dates are now Monday November 6th – Thursday November 9th, 2017.  This year we have made the decision to use a conference hotel and the event will take place at the Hilton Orrington near the University.  Please update your calendars!

Further information via emails and the Hydra wiki in due course!

Posted in Events, News

Connect 2017 dates confirmed

We are pleased to be able to confirm the dates for Hydra Connect 2017.

HC2017 will take place from Monday 11th to Thursday 14th September hosted by Northwestern University.  Please reserve the dates in your calendar.  Connect 2016 saw some 260 people from almost 90 institutions meet in Boston for a very successful event; help make Connect 2017 even bigger and better!

Posted in Events, News

Tentative dates for Hydra Connect 2017

Just a heads-up to the community that we have tentative dates for Hydra Connect 2017 – it is likely to take place Monday 11th to Thursday 14th September.  You might want to put these dates in your calendar…  Confirmation of dates and venue to follow as soon as we have them.

Posted in Events, News