HydraCamp Europe 2014

This time last year I barely noticed the Day of DH go by. I was on the second year of a part time M.A. in Digital Humanities, trying to study while working full-time and generally getting stressed about upcoming exams and my looming dissertation.

There has been a lot of change in the last twelve months. I finished my studies and started a new job in Maynooth as a Digital Humanities Support Officer which is a role split between An Foras Feasa (where I studied) and the University Library.

So in a very real way digital humanities has changed from being an abstract idea that I study to being something that I work at for a living. (Which doesn’t make it any more straightforward when describing it to people).

I have spent today at the first day of HydraCamp Europe,  a “technical training event that enables developers to learn about Hydra and how to get up and running with a local solution”.

Hydra is used by a range of libraries and other institutions to provide different repository solutions. In Ireland the best known instance would be the Digital Repository of Ireland. Central to the Hydra ‘philosophy’ however is that Hydra is not just software, rather the project has three main strands:

  • there is a vibrant, highly active community supporting the work of the project which shares an  underlying philosophy behind all that it does. [Everyone who has spoken from the project emphasises this and it’s importance].
  • there are design (and other) principles involved in constructing a successful Hydra “head” for use with compatible digital objects, and of course,
  • there are the software components, the Ruby gems, that the Hydra community has constructed which are combined together to provide a local installation


HydraCamp 2014 Attendes
Attendess at HydraCamp. Just my luck both of my colleagues from NUIM were out of the room.


In Maynooth we’re looking to develop a digital library and while we haven’t settled on a solution yet Hydra is a serious contender.

So for me, this year’s day of DH has been a fun one, though it’s not a typical work day for me. Apart from HydraCamp I added a couple of people to a mailing list for Omeka users in Ireland, if that sounds like something that would interest you feel free to join.

If you get a chance check out the posts from everyone else in the ‘DH in Ireland’ group.

Just another Day of DH 2014 site

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