I have failed to write/blog about this for quite some time because of shear busyness (<– is that even a word?). But, since mid October of last year I decided to use Drupal as a content management system for McMaster University Library’s digital collections. I elected to go the brave/trail blazing/cheap route, instead of using an out of the box solution like CONTENTdm. Nothing against CONTENTdm, but I believe that libraries, especially academic libraries need to be at the forefront of using and incorporating open source software solutions to meet their needs.
With the help of a web designer/programmer (Ryan Barrett) hired for the Peace & War for the 20th Century and other staff members, we have been able to begin to mold Drupal into the beast that it can be. We have taken advantage of the CCK module (and the plethora of compliments to it) to develop individual collections, with their own unique meta data combined with Dublin Core for OAI compliance. In the next week or so, we will move from developing collections in FileMaker Pro, to exclusively Drupal. Soon after students will be able to test the alpha version of the site for research, and submit comments, errors, and bugs to a forum we have setup for them on the installation.
This spring the Peace & War in the 20th Century will launch, powered by Drupal. Authenticated users will have to ability to comment, tag, and contact research staff with any questions.