Constructing Consortial Digital Repository Services: A Look at the Core Components and Communities of the Alliance Digital Repository

Jessica Branco Colati

part of Implementing an Institutional Repository: 2009 Midwinter Symposium

Abstract: Both the benefits and challenges of establishing an institutional digital repository program on any one campus or within any single organization can be exponentially increased in the consorital environment. No matter how large or small a collaborative digital repository initiative is, though, the core components of the service remain much the same as any single repository implementation.

In building a repository service collectively, local and consortial functionality and content priorities must be balanced, financial and human resource allocations must be thoughtfully considered, and hardware and software platforms and vendors must be selected. Policies and practices need to be structured enough to ensure the security, stability and scalability of the consortial service, while being flexible enough to support local visions, needs, and goals.

Using the Alliance Digital Repository (ADR) as a case study, one model of how the hardware, software, content, controls, relationships, and trust components of a consortial repository service can be constructed and coordinated will be offered for consideration.

The ADR is a Fedora-based consortial digital repository service at the Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries Alliance (Alliance) with a tri-fold mission to offer digital asset access, management, and preservation services to its members along the front range of Colorado and Wyoming.


Jessica Branco Colati currently serves as the Project Director of the ADR. At the Alliance, she coordinates the administrative, functional, and user interface development of the consortial digital repository service. Ms. Colati holds a MLS with a specialization in Archives Management from Simmons GSLIS, and has worked in academic and museum archives, as well as at library consortia and as an independent consultant for cultural heritage institutions, assessing, advising, and facilitating metadata development, finding aid encoding, collections management workflows, digital content creation, digital repository design processes, and digital library services.