LYRASIS and the DSpace community are presenting an ongoing series of webinars focused on how DSpace is meeting the emerging needs of institutions around the world as they respond to the challenge of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The webinars highlight examples of how DSpace repositories have quickly adapted to provide critical infrastructure required during this crisis: integrating DSpace with other platforms; strengthening Open Access; creating new research collections; engaging with off-campus users; supporting cultural heritage; enhancing user experiences; dealing with a high volume of access, and more.

The webinar series, “Repositories During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” is held on Thursdays at 9AM EDT, 1:00 UTC. Translated recordings will be made openly available after each webinar. Register for the webinar, “DSpace Repositories During the COVID-19 Pandemic—World Heritage Digital Libraries at University of Coimbra,” here.

On June 25, 2020 Ana Luísa Silva, Mário Bernardes, Bruno Neves, Ana Maria Miguéis from the Joint Library Service of the General Library (Biblioteca Joanina) at the University of Coimbra (UC) will present an overview of how UC actively supports access to world heritage during this time of Covid-19.

Coimbra University (UC), founded in 1290, preserves an important cultural heritage that is part of UNESCO World Heritage (2013). Over the last ten years, a large number of documents from this heritage have been digitized, forming the basis for several digital libraries. In this webinar we will present AlmaMater (ancient books, manuscripts, letters, photographs, drawings) which is the most historically significant of those digital libraries. During this challenging and uncertain time of limited traveling due to Covid-19, visitors can explore from their home some of the most precious documents that exist at UC. The platform provides access to different types of materials and aims at long-term access and preservation of digital assets, regarding the Cultural Heritage of the University of Coimbra.

This platform is built around a custom Python/WSGI based frontend and a DSpace-CRIS/GLAM backend exposed through the DSpace REST API. Deep zooming of Digital libraries images is made available through International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) image and presentation APIs integrated in the backend. The system was developed internally by UC technical staff, UC Framework, a University of Coimbra company, and 4Science, a DuraSpace Certified Partner.

Since it was launched in 2019, AlmaMater has been enriched with new content and it now gathers about 12000 items.