The Samvera Community

The Samvera Community was conceived and executed as a collaborative, open source effort from its very beginning as the Hydra Project in 2008. The concept of a supportive community of adopters around the software has always been a primary aim and we adopted the African proverb that says “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Initially our work was a joint development project between Stanford University, the University of Virginia and the University of Hull in close collaboration with Fedora (now part of DuraSpace).  This core group was later expanded to include MediaShelf LLC, a company since wound down but from which evolved Data Curation Experts.

As Samvera has grown it has attracted many adopters, and many of these have become formal Partners in the Community. Partners share the aims of the original group, who now constitute the core of a steering group within the Partners, and commit to furthering the development of the Community. The structure of the Samvera Community is more fully described on our Governance page.

The Samvera Community provides not only ongoing research and development of the Samvera software but also arranges meetings and training sessions which help provide face-to-face peer support of the software’s deployment and use.  It supports a number of mailing lists and other communication channels that are used on a daily basis by adopters and potential adopters around the world.

Attendees at the Connect 2016 conference in Boston, MA.

Some of the 300 or so attendees, “managers” and developers, Partners, adopters and new folks, who got together in Boston, MA in October 2016 for Connect – our worldwide annual face-to-face get-together. This is but a representative group of the many people now working on and with Samvera. (Photo courtesy of the Boston Public Library.)

Samvera itself is not (and has never been) grant funded.  It is distributed, robust and open.  Any single developer could walk away.  Any single institution could walk away.  People have asked “what is your sustainability plan?”  We say we’ve already passed the first hurdle—many years of self-funded productivity, and a growing code, contributor and user base, not dependent on a transition plan.  Samvera has come a long way since it was conceived as the Hydra Project in 2008 and the Community actively works to ensure its long-term viability.  All that being said, we gratefully acknowledge grant contributions from the US Institute for Museum and Library Services, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Jisc in the UK, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and others, who have funded projects which have used our framework as part of their technology stack.