Hydra/Fedora Repository

Hydra is a repository solution that is being used by institutions on both sides of the North Atlantic to provide access to their digital content.  Hydra provides a versatile and feature rich environment for end-users and repository administrators alike. For the Yale Library, Hydra represents a new framework for us to manage digital preservation and dissemination. Based on the Fedora Commons software, Hydra offers flexibility in building a repository solution that fits our needs exactly without requiring us to make massive changes in infrastructure. Hydra also uses Blacklight as the main delivery platform which provides a simple to use discovery platform making searching our collections much more modern and streamlined compared to our legacy interfaces.

In June 2013, the Yale Library became the 18th partner in the Hydra community. For a full list of partner institutions, use this link: http://projecthydra.org/community-2-2/partners-and-more/

We continue to migrate legacy collections into the Hydra platform and are in the process of releasing a new version of our Blacklight front end which contains a very wide variety of new features in support of the Dr. Henry Kissinger digitization project. The features include integration with Aeon for authorization to restricted content, full text search and a new, highly customized, layout for archival materials. This new interface will go live in the fall of 2015. 

Beyond the release of this new interface we will begin to plan upgrades to our Hydra application stack including a migration to the latest version of Fedora and Blacklight. We are also exploring three additional Hydra applications. Avalon is being considered for support of audio/video materials, Sufia is being explored as an option for Faculty self-deposit of digital files as well as a simplified collection management platform for small library collections and Spotlight is being evaluated as a platform for creating online exhibitions using Hydra content. 

Library IT staff working on the project

Primary contact: Mike Friscia

Collaborating staff: Ray Frohlich, Katie Bauer, Osman Din, Steve DiSorbo, Eric James, Robert Rice, Lakeisha Robinson, Kalee Sprague, Tracy MacMath, Anju Meenattoor

Partners / collaborating departments

Arthur Belanger, Euan Cochrane, Law Library Technical Services, Cataloging and Metadata Services, Digital Initiatives


Digital Initiatives

Digital Infrastructure Working Group

Hydra Implementation Group


  • November 2012 Hydra officially selected
  • Winter/Spring 2013 Training, research & development, infrastructure setup
  • Summer 2013 Beta launch
  • Fall 2013 Production release
  • Summer 2014 - interface enhancement planning, enhanced security integration with Aeon and wide range of new features
  • Sept 2014 - August 2015 - UI programming
  • Sept 2015 - release of new interface in support of the Dr. Henry Kissinger project
  • Fall 2015 - planning for Hydra upgrades including migration to Fedora 4 and upgrade to Blacklight 5