RESOURCE: New Versions of Omeka Plugins for Solr and Fedora

The Scholars’ Lab at the University of Virginia has announced the release of two updates to its Omeka plugins, SolrSearch and FedoraConnector.

Version 2.0 of the SolrSearch plugin integrates SolrSearch, a (fast) search engine that supports advanced features like hit highlighting and faceting. The SolrSearch plugin is advantageous over the existing Omeka search in a few contexts:

  • For large collections (i.e. over 10,000 items)
  • “Your metadata contains a lot of text content and you want to take advantage of Solr’s hit highlighting functionality, which makes it possible to display a preview snippet from each of the matching records”
  • “When your site makes heavy use of content taxonomies – collections, tags, item types, etc. – and you want to use Solr’s faceting capabilities”

The FedoraConnector plugin, on the other hand, allows you to link Omeka items with objects in Fedora Commons repositories, pulling metadata and content datastreams from Fedora into Omeka (it does not currently allow one to “push” items from Omeka to Fedora). The announcement discussed the impetus behind the plugin’s design:

For now, FedoraConnector is a pretty simple plugin. We’ve gone back and forth over the course of the last couple years about how to model the interaction between Omeka and Fedora. Should it just be a “pull” relationship (Fedora -> Omeka), or also a “push” relationship (Omeka -> Fedora)? Should the imported content in Omeka stay completely synchronized with Fedora, or should it be allowed to diverge for presentational purposes? These are tricky questions. Implementations of Fedora – and the workflows that intersect with it – can vary pretty widely from one institution to the next. The current set of features was built in response to specific needs here at UVa, but we’ve been talking recently with folks at a couple of other institutions who are interested in experimenting with variations on the same basic theme.

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