The Texas Digital Library (TDL) staff focuses efforts upon a few projects at a time. Current TDL development projects are listed below. For a list of existing TDL services, please visit the TDL Services page.
For additional information on current and past TDL projects, see the TDL Publications and Presentations page.
Texas Learning Object Repository (TxLOR)
With funding from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the UT System Office of Health Affairs, the Texas Digital Library partnered with UT San Antonio to create a statewide learning object repository that stores and disseminates materials used in teaching and learning.
UT TeleCampus initially contracted with the TDL to provide technical development services for the project, including the creation of a submission and review workflow system and a DSpace repository for dissemination of the learning objects. UT San Antonio took administrative ownership of the project in the fall of 2010.
The TDL supports digital preservation through existing tools and on-going development of a robust preservation infrastructure.
The TDL provides members with the ability to to store assets in a dark archive at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC), a world-class advanced computing facility located on the UT Austin campus, and with TACC’s partner supercomputing facilities at geographically dispersed locations.
Additionally, the TDL is a member of the initial launch team for the Digital Preservation Network (DPN) project, a nationwide effort among academic institutions to develop a geographically distributed, format independent preservation infrastructure.
Thesis and Dissertation Management: Vireo and the TDL Statewide ETD Repository
With initial backing from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), the Texas Digital Library created a system for managing the entire life-cycle of electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) from initial submission to final publication. One part of this system is Vireo, a software interface developed by the TDL for online submission of ETDs, as well as for administrative management of the documents through the approval process and finishing with publication in a digital repository.
A second part of the project is the development of a federated digital repository housing electronic theses and dissertations (ETDs) from colleges and universities across Texas.
The TDL continues to support and develop Vireo under the guidance of the Vireo Users Group.
In keeping with its commitment to the use of open-source technologies, the Texas Digital Library employs Shibboleth federated authentication software for authentication and identity management. The Shibboleth System is a standards based, open-source platform that allows TDL to authenticate users by leveraging its member institutions’ authentication and identity management systems.
With Shibboleth, faculty and staff at participating TDL member institutions can log on to most TDL services using the ID and password they use at their home institutions. The home institutions (or identity providers) give TDL enough information about each faculty member to enable authorization. In this way, faculty members at TDL institutions do not have to create unique IDs and passwords for TDL services, and TDL can leverage the existing authentication infrastructures of its member institutions.
In October 2009 TDL announced a partnership with the Lonestar Education and Research Network (LEARN) to collaborate on networking projects in service to Texas researchers and academics. One key part of the collaboration has been the development of a statewide Shibboleth Federation managed by LEARN.
The Shibboleth Federation sets the policies and manages the relationships among TDL service providers and its members’ identity providers. In the LEARN Federation, LEARN mediates the relationships between TDL services on one side and member identity providers on the other, essentially “vouching” that the information provided by identity providers is trustworthy.
In its early years, the Texas Digital Library managed its own Shibboleth Federation. Since 2009, however, TDL has worked with LEARN to transfer all its members from the legacy TDL Shibboleth Federation to the LEARN Federation.
In addition to using federated authentication via Shibboleth, the TDL maintains its own identity provider and authentication service to allow access as appropriate to non-TDL members and members outside the TDL Shibboleth Federation.
For more information:
- TDL Shibboleth policies and information
- Shibboleth website
- Shibboleth Publications and Presentations
- The TDL/LEARN partnership