Integrating Institutional Archives with Disciplinary Web Repositories

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General Information

When: January 23-24, 2020
Where: Duke University, West Campus (Gross Hall, room 330: Ahmadieh Grand Hall); Durham, NC
Organizers: Doug Boyer and Julie Winchester (MorphoSource, Duke University) and David Blackburn (oVert, Florida Museum of Natural History)
Expected number of participants: 30-40

Participant List

Click here for a list of workshop participants and their contact information


Articulate common practices and potential workflows for sustainable integration between museums, institutional repositories, and third party domain-specialized (disciplinary) repositories. Assess museum/institution perspectives on third party data.


Increasingly, physical objects in institutional collections are being digitally imaged and digital representations of objects are being used as the primary basis of scientific observations and analyses in peer reviewed literature. As recognized by the Biodiversity Collections Network (BCoN) and the National Science Foundation, these digital records thereby become vital primary extensions of the physical object itself, constituting unique evidence of the earth’s biodiversity, it’s natural history and/or our species’ cultural heritage. As with the physical objects themselves, it would seem that a good faith effort should be made to preserve and provide access to these digital representations in perpetuity. However, the increasing rate at which digital media are being created presents an urgent logistical challenge for collections regarding both preservability and discoverability. Another challenge stems from the fact that many existing digital representations have been created by third parties (mainly researchers not affiliated with collections) through a largely decentralized process. There are many unresolved questions about the rights and responsibilities of collections in these situations dealing with third party image data. However, when collections decide to take on ownership and preservation responsibilities, the task of recovering and organizing digitized materials from third party researchers is often greatly prolonged or made impractical by a variety of technological and human issues.

MorphoSource is a disciplinary repository designed to help researchers and museums format, curate, organize and manage access/rights to images representing physical objects in collections. It has made an unparalleled investment in supporting 3D imagery and imaging methods in order to serve as the repository for the NSF funded oVert TCN, which aims to archive and disseminate 3D CT scans of 20,000 vertebrate genera by 2022. As museums consider taking the proof of concept presented by oVert to a larger scale questions of how best to utilize MorphoSource and other disciplinary repositories have begun to arise.

Leadership of MorphoSource at Duke (Doug Boyer and Julie Winchester) and the lead PI of the oVert TCN (David Blackburn) are coordinating a two day, invited workshop with support from iDigBio. The workshop will address architecture of potential solutions to the problem of efficiently and sustainably acquiring, organizing, and serving digital media files, including images, audio, video, and three-dimensional datasets representing observations or objects from the natural world. The goals will be to (1) survey current needs, workflows and trajectories of the represented informatic community, (2) identify common ground among institutions, (3) explore potential for unifying approaches where appropriate, (4) assess the role that disciplinary repositories can/should serve here, and (5) articulate an overarching plan representing a consolidated set of workflows that will accommodate the diverse requirements and limitations of represented institutions.

Logistic Information

Airport: Raleigh-Durham International airport (RDU)
Airport transportation: taxi, uber, lyft, limo service (Charlene Safe Ride)
Interested in sharing a ride from the airport to the hotel with others? Use this form to self organize ride shares.

Workshop hotel: Cambria Inn, 2306 Elba St. Durham, NC (walking distance of workshop venue)
Transportation from hotel to venue: There will be shuttle services between Cambria and the workshop venue (Gross Hall 330) but not to dinner. There will be no direct shuttle back to Cambria on Friday night. However, those participating in the Lemur and Fossil Center tours will be transported back to Cambria after the tour.

Workshop venue: Gross Hall, room 330: Ahmadieh Grand Hall
Wifi networks: Eduroam and DukeVisitor (open network, no password required

Meals: Breakfast, break refreshments, and lunch will be catered on both workshop days. Dinner is not provided, but we have made a reservation for 40 at The Pit for 7:30pm Thursday night.

Invited participant support: Hotel cost covered; flight and per diem expenses reimbursed.

PDF Workshop Logistic Document


Day 1 Category/Session Topic/Title Speaker
7:15 Shuttles from hotel to Gross Hall begin. Service is "Carolina Livery."
8:15 Shuttles from hotel to Gross Hall end.
7:30-8:30 Check in, coffee, breakfast
8:30 Opening Remarks Introduction Doug Boyer; Duke University
8:45 Opening Remarks Initial insight and critical areas for further exploration David Blackburn; University of Florida
9:00 Domain-specialized Repositories CalPhotos: history, holdings, data model, integration Michelle Koo; Berkeley
9:15 Domain-specialized Repositories The Macaulay Library: Using digital media specimens to document and explore the behavioral phenotype Mike Webster and colleagues; Cornell
9:30 Institutional archiving services & needs Developing an Institutional CT Data Repository: An Example from Michigan Cody Thompson and Susan Borda; University of Michigan
9:45 Institutional archiving services & needs Lessons from Engaging with Repositories and Cyberinfrastructure Initiatives to Serve Digitized Collections Over a Range of Scales Gary Motz and Jon Dunn; Indiana University
10:00 Institutional archiving services & needs Timeline and institutional support of collections repositories at the University of Wyoming Chad Hutchens; University of Wyoming
10:15-10:45 Break
10:45 Data ownership and management Copyright and licensing issues: Are you slavishly reproducing? Kyle Courtney; Harvard University
11:00 Data ownership and management Copyright and licensing issues: Are you slavishly reproducing? cont. Kyle Courtney; Harvard University
11:15 Museums integrating third party resources Automated Publishing of MorphoSource Audubon Cores via IPT Warren Brown; University of Florida
11:30 Museums integrating third party resources Scalable Digital Asset Management for 3D Data Nelson Rios; Yale University
11:45 Integrating resources to preserve and access representational data MorphoSource's approach to describing, preserving and managing complex representational data Julie Winchester; Duke University
12:00 Integrating resources to preserve and access representational data Integrating MorphoSource with other resources Julie Winchester; Duke University
12:15 Discussion
12:30-1:30 Lunch (provided)
1:30 Breakout Breakout Session I
2:45 Breakout Whole group discussion
3:15 Break
3:30 Breakout Breakout Session II
4:45 Breakout Whole group discussion
5:15 Reception
5:30 Shuttles from venue to hotel begin
6:30 Shuttles from venue to hotel end
7:30 Arrange your own transportation to: “The Pit” 321 W Geer St, Durham, NC 27701 (919-282-3748)
Day 2 Category/Session Topic/Title Speaker
7:45 Shuttles from hotel to venue begin. Shuttle service is "Carolina Livery."
8:45 Shuttles from hotel to venue end
8:00 - 9:00 Coffee, breakfast
9:00 Opening Remarks Recap & Introduction to Day 2 Doug Boyer; Duke University
9:15 Importance integration The extended specimen network: looking forward for our community John Bates; Field Museum
9:30 Importance integration iDigBio and the Future of International Digital Data Aggregation Gil Nelson; University of Florida, iDigBio
9:45 Museum needs/solutions View from the Field - One Museum's perspective on storage Sharon Grant; Field Museum
10:00 Museum needs/solutions Managing digital assets at SI and NMNH: Current, planned, and aspirational approaches Rebecca Snyder and Ian Owens; Smithsonian
10:15 Museum needs/solutions Digital assets management via MCZbase at the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology Jim Hanken, Linda Ford and Brendan Haley; Harvard
10:30-10:45 Break
10:45 Resources for integration Data Services at TACC and in the National Cyberinfrastructure Chris Jordan and Dusty MacDonald; University of Texas, Austin
11:00 Resources for integration Sustaining the Specify Consortium--Adam Smith style. Jim Beach and Ben Anhalt; University of Kansas, Specify
11:15 Sustainability solutions A decade of Dryad: sustaining a non-profit open data repository Elizabeth Hull; Dryad
11:30 Sustainability solutions Sustainable open and community source involvement with Sakai Michael Greene; Duke University
11:45 Sustainability solutions MorphoSource: exploring sustainability solutions Doug Boyer; Duke University
12:00 View on sustainability Sustainable infrastructure Reed Beaman; NSF
12:15 Discussion
12:30-1:30 Lunch (provided)
1:30 Breakout Breakout Session III
2:45 Breakout Whole group discussion
3:15 Break
3:30 Breakout Whole group discussion and wrap up
4:30 DLC/DFP tours
7:30 Reconvene downtown for dinner
  • Please note there is no transportation provided back to the hotel on Friday unless you are on the DLC/DFP tours.

Breakout Sessions

Topics and participants for Breakout Sessions I, II, and III

Ad Libidum Questions and Topics

Please post any questions or topics you would like to see addressed here.

Workshop Resources

Extended Specimen Workshop Summary - download the "full report" document from this url for content and concepts relevant to this workshop

Code of Conduct

See the workshop Code of Conduct here.