Little vs Big

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Discussion Description

The key phrase for this break-out session was "Little vs. Big". In context, we discussed Collections vs. collections (little collections versus big collections). Here we defined big collections as those generally stored in special purpose software such as Fedora or DSpace. These collections would have great permanency with significant thought put into metadata. Little collections were defined as those that may not have a significantly long shelf-life and where metadata may not be a primary area of focus, or at least where less thought is directed toward metadata schemas or saturation of values.


  1. Are there systems that can be used for "light-weight" collection applications?
    • Wordpress
    • Omeka
    • CMIS (forgotten what this stands for)
  2. Are there systems that are both easy to implement and use while still being flexible?

Priorities of a "light-weight" system

  1. Ease of implementation
  2. Ease of navigation
  3. Ease of customization
    • Ability to use domain-specific metadata
    • Templating system
    • Pre-built Themes
  4. Interoperability of data (mainly export abilities)
    • OAI-ORE
    • SWORD
    • A.k.a. - Portability
  5. Appropriate Architecture
    • Record Oriented Structure
    • Plug-in Architecture
    • Access Control
      • Multi-site capability
      • Some extent of user permission controls


  1. Omeka is likely to be releasing a new version soon that may have multi-site ability, resolving some issues.
  2. Wordpress is not appropriate as a small "c" solution due to lack of record oriented structure, access control, portability of data, etc. (some of this can/could be resolved to an extent through plugins)