Developing BePress Digital Commons module--any BePress users?

In order to make Omeka S more interoperable with other digital collection systems, we’ve been looking at developing a module to import records into Omeka S from BePress’ Digital Commons software, in a similar way to the existing DSpace, Fedora and Data Repository connectors.

Like those connectors, it makes the most sense to hook in to the Digital Commons API to retrieve records and (optionally) any associated files. However, in order to develop and test this module, we need both access to a DC instance API and an API token generated for that specific instance in order to gain access.

BePress doesn’t currently have a test Digital Commons API, so I’m reaching out to the Omeka S community to ask two questions:

  1. If you or someone at your institution uses Digital Commons, and what sort of functionality you’d like to see in a Digital Commons->Omeka connector?

  2. Would you be willing for Omeka S development purposes to give access to your Digital Commons’ instance API by sharing or generating an API token? This again would be strictly for development and testing–we absolutely would never add, remove, change or edit on your DC instance, only test accessing records and files for download/Omeka S import.

If anyone would be willing to temporarily share access to their BePress Digital Commons API, it would be a great help in developing a module to allow other DC users to share and enrich their content via Omeka S.


We have a BEPress presence and are preparing a to spin up a live Omeka S for our Rarebooks at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. Could you send me a little more information since we are new to Omeka S but I like the idea of connecting the two resources together since the Rarebooks will appear in both.

Hi cslcds,

Thanks for sharing your interest! I’ll give a little more context, do let me know if you have more and/or follow-up questions.

The potential Digital Commons Connector would ideally work like the above-mentioned existing connectors–that is, you would be able to import/sync records and files FROM BePress/Digital Commons TO Omeka S. So in your case, you could use it to 1) easily import the Rarebooks collection records into Omeka S and 2) Keep the the Omeka S Rarebooks up to date with the BePress version by re-syncing when the BePress collection changes.

In order to get this connector set up, I would need temporary access to your BePress instance’s API to map out and test the BePress DC->Omeka S connection. If you’ve not yet used the Digital Commons API, there’s a page explaining what it is and how it works here: Digital Commons API: Getting Started - bepress

From that page, it appears you would not have to do any technical work on your end beyond reaching out to BePress Consulting Services to obtain a security token for accessing your specific instance’s API. If you could then share the token with me via email or private message, I could get to work on setting up the Connector. I anticipate it would only take a few months before I’d have the BePress->Omeka S Connector set up and ready for your use. After the connector is developed, tested and released, you would even be able to revoke the security token I used if desired to ensure your BePress API is fully secure.

Does this sound like something you’d be interested in? It would help not only your organization but any future BePress DC users who want to import/sync their collections with Omeka S. Thanks again and let me know if I can clarify anything!

I am interested but do you know of any Omeka S sites that are using one of the other Data Collectors so I can see what the result is after the data is transferred?

We are going to be doing rare books(1500’s-1600’s) to start with and some of them are large so I am curious how they will display in an Omeka S page.
If you would have any tips about displaying these books in Omeka S I would be interested in that also.


I’ve found a few examples of public DSpace->Omeka S imported collections for you:

For both of these collections, if you click through to an object, then copy/paste the dspace relation/URL value from the object-level metadata, you should be able to compare/contrast the DSpace to the Omeka-s and see which metadata was imported over (note that the importers will pull in as much metadata as possible by default).

Though I wasn’t able to find a Rare Book collection imported from DSpace, the Buffalo Jazz Report Collection will show what a scanned, multi-page object looks like. There’s also this collection of Shakespeare Folios that may be more similar to the material you have in mind (though this particular collection was not imported from DSpace, it’s still a representative Omeka S collection):

Hope these help, let me know if you have more questions!

Hi @cslcds , just checking in to see if these example sites were helpful and if you’d still be interested in helping us develop/test the Digital Commons API connector. Let me know if you have any other questions, thanks!

I just got back in the office and I need to run the Security token request past our IT to get there blessing. I am not usre how quick they will be about it but I will let you know.

Great, thanks for the update!