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a new solution for preserving our digital metadata


The State and University Library (hereafter SB) is engaged in long term preservation of digital cultural heritage material. To ensure long term preservation a bit preservation solution called Bitmagasinet ( has been developed in close cooperation with The Royal Library and The Danish National Archives. In addition to bit preservation the collections are also preserved on the functional level. This has so far been carried out in an inhouse custom-built system called DOMS (Digital Object Management System), built on Fedora Commons 3.6.

DOMS is no longer up-to-date and upgrading it would involve so many resources that SB has chosen to search the market for at new solution for functional preservation of its digital collections. We are researching systems and software which can be used to preserve our digital metadata in a metadata repository for SB's large collections of audiovisual material and newspapers . The new system must of course be able to integrate with our bit preservation solution. The existing metadata solution at the library carries out the preservation of many millions of objects and we anticipate to see a large growth in the years to come.

During the next few months we will research a number of systems suitable to become SB's new metadata repository. We expect to implement a new solution in 2016-2017.

To evaluate each potential system the best way possible we have constructed a range of user stories which describe demands and wishes for a future system. The user stories can be divided in the following groups:

  • System requirements
  • Implementation
  • System integration
  • Migration from DOMS
  • Ingest
  • Tracking
  • User interface
  • Data models
  • Metadata and data relation
  • Metadata enrichment
  • Legal aspects
  • Access
  • Preservation actions
  • Persistent identifiers
  • Dissemination
  • Crowd sourcing
  • Trusted Digital Repository
  • Confidence in the system

A user story can describe that we want to establish, for instance:

  • The extent of  the use of resources in connection with implementation of the system
  • whether a potential system will be able to scale to the many millions of objects that SB manages
  • if automated ingest into the system is possible
  • the possibilities to assign different roles in the administration of the system

In our research we have chosen to focus on a number of commercial systems and the following three open source systems: Islandora, Hydra and Archivematica. We are well aware that these systems offer different solutions and possibilities and that choosing open source system(s) might imply a combination of more systems. On the basis of an evaluation of the user stories for each potential system we expect to be able to decide on our future metadata system in early 2016.

If you want to hear more, please contact

Jette G. Junge
Digital Collections Manager

+45 8946 2054


Juli 2016: The research resulted in a request to find a commercial solution. A tender was annonced on July 2, 2016 at the State and University Library's tender page.