Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Easing the transition to Digital Library Cloud Services for the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

Edward Mayhew Watercolour on new RCVS website

RCVS have been progressing a multi year digitisation strategy to make some of their archives freely available (see http://www.rcvskblog.org/category/historical-collections/rcvs-archives-project/ ). They had begun digitisation and had some material available but were looking for the best way to make it available online. They were already aware of the Universal Viewer project and knew of our work with the Wellcome Library.

We walked through their requirements and goals for the project, we discussed the suitability of the Universal Viewer and identified the need for a lightweight layer in front of our Digital Library Cloud Services (DLCS) to maintain and serve the metadata about their works. Digirati had been working on an internal project called Waylon that met a lot of the requirements and after some additional analysis of their data and requirements proposed some extensions to Waylon that would allow it to meet their needs. Additionally we supported RCVS in customising the Universal Viewer configuration to best fit with their web environment.

Waylon has three main roles, one is to accept and store metadata about RCVS works, the second is to migrate the images for these works on to the DLCS where they are made available via IIIF. The third is to act as a proxy and produce IIIF manifests for the works, including their bespoke metadata, out to the Universal and other clients. 

In addition to supplying the necessary access to the DLCS and the extensions to Waylon we also worked with them to identify a metadata format that suited their internal workflow and also assistance transitioning their infrastructure to AWS.

We created a WordPress plugin that lets them easily embed hosted manifests into their pages using the Universal Viewer. As a result of this work RCVS can easily curate this material through a standard WordPress website with rich functionality provided by the Universal Viewer for the artifacts themselves.

Our needs for the online display of our archive collections were quite specific, and the open-source Universal Viewer was a brilliant solution, but beyond our technical capabilities to implement. Digirati were great at taking our specification and exceeding our expectations with the results. They showed a great understanding of what we wanted to achieve, and were very patient and adaptable throughout the development. We are delighted with the final product, which presents our collections to the standard they deserve.

- Lorna Cahill, Archivist, RCVS