Islandora Enterprise (ISLE) is a project that utilizes Docker containerization to address one of the most significant pain-points in Islandora: installation and maintenance.
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ISLE: Islandora Enterprise

ISLE Documents

How to Join


  • ISLE Phase I: $90,000 contributed to fund Phase I ($66,000 from 17 academic institutions; $24,000 in-kind labor from Born-Digital), which exceeded our goal of $84,000.
  • ISLE Phase II: TBD
  • ISLE Phase III: TBD


  • 08/2016 - [Completed] ISLE Phase I conceived with the ICG and Common Media/Born-Digital
  • 09/2016 - [Completed] ISLE presented at ICG Hack/Doc @ Wesleyan University
  • 05/2017 - [Completed] ISLE presented at Islandoracon 2017 annual conference (Hamilton, Ontario)
  • 09/2017 - [Completed] Fundraising, green-lighted ISLE MVP, opened 3-week Public Comment Period
  • 12/2017 - [Completed] Public prototype demonstration: view 5-minute video
  • 12/2017 - [Completed] Alpha Test #1: Grinnell College (lead: Mark McFate)
  • 04/2018 - [Completed] Alpha Test #2: Williams College (lead: David Keiser-Clark)
  • 03/2018 - [Completed] Alpha Test #3: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (lead: Andrea Byrne)
  • 03/2018 - [In Process] Community Alpha Test #1: University of Pittsburgh (lead: Clinton Graham)
  • 03/2018 - [Completed] Community Alpha Test #2: Hamilton College (lead: Steve Young)
  • 03/2018 - [Completed] Community Alpha Test #3: Barnard College (lead: Ben Rosner)
  • 05/2018 - [In Process] Born-Digital handoff of ISLE (Islandora 7x) and documentation to ISLE Steering Committee
  • 06/2018 - [Completed] ISLE release 1.0 available as open-source for public use
  • 08/2018 - [In Process] ISLE release 1.1 available as open-source for public use
  • 10/2018 - [Future] ISLE Phase II begins

What is ISLE?

ISLE is a new project in development -- funded by 17 institutions of higher-education and Born-Digital -- that will address one of the most significant pain-points in Islandora: installation and maintenance. ISLE separates an institution’s customizations from core code, and moves that core code into Docker containers that are easily updated, simplifying and largely automating the process of installation and updates/maintenance of Islandora. ISLE also bundles together the best shared modules into a common, production-ready and security-hardened platform.

Why is it needed?

Islandora is a powerful digital repository comprised of over 80 different, best-of-breed open-source software libraries. Islandora’s strength is that it integrates these packages into one easy to manage system. However, this ecosystem has traditionally been complex enough as to require staff with technical expertise to install and maintain.

ISLE lowers the barrier to entry for new institutions or organizations because it reduces the complexity and expense to the point where non-technical staff can maintain an Islandora stack in just a few hours per quarter. This in turn allows institutions to reallocate funds towards development or ingestion instead of maintenance. As an additional bonus, an ISLE maintained Islandora stack is secure enough to run on both development and production servers.

Staff and setup

  • ISLE is designed to completely remove any technical barriers to setting up an Islandora stack. With a little reading ANYONE can do it without requiring expensive vendor support.
  • First-time Islandora installations can use ISLE to install Islandora and ISLE updates for maintenance
  • Pre-existing Islandora installations must, prior to installing ISLE, prepare their installation using provided documentation to store their current customizations and settings for ISLE (or, ask a vendor do that work), after which they may use ISLE updates for maintenance

How can you help?

  • Discuss ISLE’s ease of use and cost savings with your CIO and/or Library Director
  • Pledge funding to refactor ISLE for Islandora CLAW (Phase II)
  • Spread the word about ISLE at conferences
  • Want to use ISLE? Add your institution's name to the ISLE Supporters list

ISLE Steering Committee

  • Sarah Goldstein, Mount Holyoke College
  • David Keiser-Clark (Chair), Williams College
  • Francesca Livermore, Wesleyan University
  • Mark McFate, Grinnell College
  • Carolyn Moritz, Vassar College
  • Ben Rosner, Barnard College
  • Steve Young, Hamilton College

ISLE Funding Institutions

  • Amherst College
  • Barnard College
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Colgate University
  • Grinnell College
  • Hamilton College
  • Hampshire College
  • Mount Holyoke College
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Smith College
  • St. Lawrence University
  • Tulane University
  • University of Manitoba Libraries
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • Vassar College
  • Wesleyan University
  • Williams College
  • Born-Digital
  • Islandora Foundation (Board supports ISLE; not a funder)