LYRASIS is a 501 c 3 non-profit membership organization whose mission is to support enduring access to the world’s shared academic, scientific and cultural heritage through leadership in open technologies, content services, digital solutions and collaboration with archives, libraries, museums and knowledge communities worldwide. LYRASIS organizational and staff values are: communication, respect, collaboration, impact, and service.

LYRASIS was created by its members to help them tackle wide-reaching challenges with a collective strength, including: the development and selection of new technology solutions; fostering community-wide projects that help deliver better outcomes and services; content creation, acquisition and management; support for new content models and strategies; and large-scale knowledge management programs unique to collections-holding institutions.

In 2019, LYRASIS merged with DuraSpace, a globally recognized leader in open source software technologies. The merger brought together two dynamic communities and made LYRASIS home to 10 community supported programs and 1733 users, all under one roof. Click here for more information about the LYRASIS + DuraSpace merger.

With an organizational history dating back to 1936, LYRASIS is home to more than 1,000 member academic and public libraries, museums, archives and other collections-holding organizations located in 28 countries. With a global staff of over 50 experts and professionals, LYRASIS is organized into three primary units of focus – community supported/open source software, technology hosting services and content creation and acquisition. In addition to these business units, we also offer specific programs such as consulting, training, fiscal services and more.

Supporting these three units are dedicated teams including member outreach and member services (sales and customer service), marketing and communication, fiscal operations, grant writing and licensing. These are unique functional areas and benefits afforded the member.

LYRASIS operates with strict fiscal discipline. This commitment ensures the financial health needed to preserve the heart of a non-profit, enabling it to build a mission-driven team of professionals and an organizational structure capable of creating sustainable global solutions at scale.

Ultimately, LYRASIS helps its members amplify their impact and influence, participate in national and international programs, create and deliver better programs and services to their communities, while still maintaining their unique collections, cultures and identities.

Samvera; Repository Framework

Samvera is an Open Source Repository Framework

Samvera software was conceived as an open source repository framework.  That is to say that we set out to create a series of free-to-use software “building blocks” that could put together in various combinations to achieve the repository system that an institution needed – as opposed to building a “one size fits all” solution.

The framework as it exists today consists of a number of Ruby gems that can be combined, configured and adapted to serve a wide variety of needs, as you can see on our “applications and demos” page.  Some of our adopters started with just the basic building blocks, but then a more common approach became to find another institution whose use case was similar, clone their Samvera variant and then adapt it to more closely fit local needs.

Using the Samvera framework in this way potentially allows an institution to build for themselves a repository solution closely fitted to their needs, however the building process and later the maintenance of such a customized system can be resource intensive.  In the last few years the Samvera Community has seen an emerging need for some off-the-shelf “solution bundles”, addressing particular needs, that can be installed and maintained with fewer local resources – or that can be deployed as a hosted, cloud service.  The Community has responded to this need with three such bundles, built using the standard Samvera framework, which are currently in various stages of development:

  • Avalon – a time-based media solution
  • Hyrax – is a Ruby gem that includes much of Samvera’s functionality.  It is the basis on which users can build their own, customized version of Samvera.
  • Hyku – the product from the “Hydra-in-a-Box” project. The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Stanford University and DuraSpace have partnered to extend the existing Samvera codebase to build, bundle, and promote a feature-rich, robust, flexible digital repository that is easy to install, configure, and maintain. Hyku can be installed locally or run in the cloud and is based on Hyrax.  A number of service providers, including DuraSpace themeselves, are – or will soon be – offering cloud-based, hosted versions.

All Samvera’s software is free and open source, available under an Apache 2 license.