Practice Article

Lessons Learned in Partnerships and Practice: Adopting Open Source Institutional Repository Software

  • Amy Leigh Allen (University of Arkansas)


INTRODUCTION After the establishment of the University Archives at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, it became apparent that processes needed to be established for collecting, preserving, and providing access to born-digital materials. The University Archivist established partnerships across multiple departments within the Libraries and with faculty and staff of colleges, schools, and administrative units across campus to test open source repository software and develop collections to fulfill this need. DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM This case study examines three specific projects and workflows providing access to digital undergraduate honors theses, university serials, and music concert recordings. Lessons learned during the project include the success strategies for partnership formation along with the identification of project processes that need improvement, such as promotion and long term preservation. NEXT STEPS AND CONCLUSIONS The campus has transitioned to a proprietary system for the official institutional repository. However, the pilot projects examined in this study filled intermediate needs: providing a group of files and metadata for the official institutional repository and helping the Libraries to evaluate the sustainability of open source platforms. Staff gained experience and identified areas where improvement was needed. However, the most successful aspect of the project was establishing partnerships that will carry over to the new repository. 

Keywords: institutional repositories, digital collections, open source software, archives, theses, sound recordings

How to Cite:

Allen, A. L., (2017) “Lessons Learned in Partnerships and Practice: Adopting Open Source Institutional Repository Software”, Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication 5(1), 2170. doi:

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Published on
13 Sep 2017
Peer Reviewed