Drupal & Digital Collection Sites - 2

Ok, more Drupal stuff for Digital Collections site. I’ll yammer on about “must have” modules in this one. Hit the snooze button if you’d like. Oh, and this is in addition to the ones I mentioned in the previous post… Community Tags, Tagadelic, Service Links, Faceted Search, Views, Zen Theme, Quicktabs, and of course CCK.

First thing first, CCK add-ons:

  • Audio Field - Defines audio field type for CCK content.
  • CCK Fieldgroup Tabs - Display CCK fieldgroups in tabs. Enables splitting up content onto tabs in both editing and display.
  • EMail - Defines an email field type for cck
  • File Field - Defines a file field type.
  • File Field Meta - add metadata gathering and storage to file field.
  • Image - Defines an image field type.
  • Media Field Display - Adds display options for media fields.
  • Node Reference - Defines a field type for referencing one node from another.
  • Number - Defines numeric field types.
  • Text - Defines simple text field types.
  • Video Field - Defines video field type for CCK content.
  • View field - Defines a field type that displays the contents of a view in a node.

Category - combined with CCK, are two absolute must have modules for doing digital collections. You MUST have some way to organize your collections - this is the module. Set up a container for each collection, the categories for your different “themes” and sub-categories, and sub-sub-categories. It goes on and on, but this is the way to do it.

Devel - is a great development module for… you guessed it DEVELOPMENT! Seriously, it is great. You get feed sooooooo much output. Arrays, beautiful arrays!

Feedback 2.0 - allows site visitors and users to report issues about this site. We use it internally for tracking issues with metadata creation, and technical issues during digital projects.

Node Import - this is perfect for those silly Filemaker pro databases “some” people start out with. Requires quite a bit of patching to get it to work with cck image field, but well worth it! Ingests the standard csv, tsv files and allows you to map them to specified cck fields.

Nice Menus - works with the standard drupal menus setup. It additionally provides the ability to have horizontal and vertical menus. It is mostly css, and little javascript. The css is highly customizable, so you can easily make it work with your theme.

Front Page - allows you to go further than declaring a node in your settings.php file for the front page. If you are feeling all early 21st century and want to rock a flash landing page, this is the way to do it. Or, can just use it for deciding what users see what front page.

ImageCache - allow you preprocess all your images on the site with ImageMagick.


Google Analytics - …well you probably know all about google analytics, if not, for god’s sake sign up for an account! Very nice features, track certain users, certain content, restrict content, etc.

Printer-friendly pages - is perfect for all of those text heavy case studies. Destroy the environment and print it out to read it later.

Sections - is perfect for theming “sections” (collections) of the site. Each section can have an installed template, theme or style attached to it.

Pathauto - …I’ll just quote from the description, “The Pathauto module automatically generates path aliases for various kinds of content (nodes, categories, users) without requiring the user to manually specify the path alias. This allows you to get aliases like /category/my-node-title.html instead of /node/123. The aliases are based upon a “pattern” system which the administrator can control.”

Automatic Node Titles - is perfect for all those thousands of records that you don’t want to scribe titles for. You can pull from fields and create a title. So, something like this: Creator, source, date - which is done with a php script:

< ?php
$token = '[field_creator-formatted]';
if (empty($token)) {
return htmlspecialchars_decode("[field_source-formatted],  [field_date-formatted]", ENT_QUOTES);
}else {
return htmlspecialchars_decode("[field_creator-formatted], [field_source-formatted], [field_date-formatted]", ENT_QUOTES);


Well, that is it. Next one will be on the custom/customized modules. Don’t worry, I’m not going to beat a dead horse and talk about the OAI module again.

Nick Ruest
Associate Librarian


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