Islandora 8 Learning Series

Islandora lobster

Islandora 8 Learning Series

Since the PALS Islandora team is learning so much about Islandora 8, we decided to share our new knowledge in this blog series. We’ll introduce you to Islandora 8 and cover everything from Drupal nodes and taxonomies to Fedora architecture. Our goal is to highlight key aspects and features of Islandora 8 and the differences between Islandora 7 and 8. Throughout this series, we will be drawing heavily on the documentation from the Islandora GitHub repository and the main Islandora web site for inspiration.

Upcoming topics:

  • Islandora- more than software: Learn about the active and diverse community that implements and contributes to the project.
  • Drupal: Drupal plays an expanded role in Islandora 8, so we’ll cover how different aspects of the platform are used within Islandora, including modules, entities, nodes, themes, views, blocks, users, roles, and taxonomies.
  • Metadata: In Islandora 8 metadata is now stored in Drupal. This allows users to interact with metadata almost entirely using standard Drupal processes.
  • Linked Data: We’ll dig into some basics of linked data and how they work within Islandora 8.
  • Fedora: Fedora is a powerful backend repository that stores Islandora content.
  • Microservices: These are small, specialized services that Islandora communicates with to provide services outside of Drupal. Microservices are used for such things as generating technical metadata, generating video and audio, and generating OCR (Optical Character Recognition).
  • Solr: Solr is the search and discovery layer of Islandora, used for its speedy response time.
  • Matomo: Matomo is a web analytics application that provides usage statistics and a rich dashboard for Islandora 8.

We know it sounds like a lot! Our goal is to break it all down into manageable, bite-sized chunks of information so by the time we migrate to Islandora 8 we’ll all be able to hit the ground running.

Fun Fact: Islandora was originally developed by the University of Prince Edward Island’s Robertson Library. Islandora is a portmanteau word made by combining Island + Fedora.



  • Alex is the Digital Initiatives Librarian for PALS and has worked with Islandora since 2013.

  • Rod is a System and Networking Administrator at PALS and the Technical Lead for Islandora.