About Us

Harvested Collections

If your materials have already been digitized and described, and are currently accessible in an asset management platform (such as CONTENTdm, Omeka, DSpace, etc.), then your institution may be able to contribute collections to the Digital Commonwealth repository using the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).

In the harvesting process, metadata records for digital resources (rather than the digital objects themselves) are ingested into the repository, converted, and normalized according to the Digital Commonwealth metadata profile, and are then accessible in the public search interface, along with a link back to the original item on the contributing institution’s site.

Metadata records that have been harvested into Digital Commonwealth will also become available in the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Please note that all metadata records contributed to the Digital Commonwealth and harvested into DPLA will be made available under a Creative Commons CC0 license.

OAI feeds from participating institutions are harvested on a regular basis, so new or updated records created by your institution will become accessible in the Digital Commonwealth repository with each harvest.


To have your metadata harvested by Digital Commonwealth:
  • Your institution (or consortium) must maintain its own digital content management system capable of making metadata records available via OAI-PMH. (Check your system’s documentation for details -- many platforms offer this as a standard feature.)

  • Your materials meet the criteria outlined in the Collection Development Policy.

  • Metadata records created by your institution must meet the Digital Commonwealth metadata standards. (A review of your metadata records will be conducted by a Digital Commonwealth representative after you submit your request.)

Getting Started

To request that your metadata records be harvested by Digital Commonwealth, please submit the "Boston Public Library/Digital Commonwealth Digitization Request Form and Service Agreement".

Use the 'Access Options' section to indicate that your materials have already been digitized and are available via OAI-PMH. If possible, please include the base URL for your OAI feed.

Samples from Harvested Collection "SAILS Library Network" 

from Digital Commonwealth Repository

(Images Rights Status Not Evaluated)

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