Time: 09:30 – 17:00 (full day, lunch 12:30 – 14:00)
Room: SB3-L113
Chairs: Peter Sefton (University of Queensland), Kim Shepherd (The Library Code GmbH), John Salter (University of Leeds)

Inspired by Prof Hussein Suleman’s closing keynote at OR2023 “Designing Repositories in Poor Countries” this workshop will explore practical implementations of Suleman’s principles and goals. We will encourage developers, metadata specialists and managers to embrace, simple and sustainable approaches to making data safe and available using well established static web publishing techniques with on-demand indexes and discovery interfaces – contrasting with the complexity of current repository stacks which have grown into bloated enterprise software where setup and data migration are very expensive and hosting requirements are substantial.

We will explore a range of technologies including those mentioned in the keynote and encourage people to join teams that take them away from the large, complex vertically integrated systems that many of us work in day to day. We aim to have participants work (in a sustainable way) on their ideas and present them in a special developer stream on the final day, and for us all to report back on what we learned at the closing keynote and to talk about possibilities for progressing the ideas we explored during the workshop and OR 2024.

Core values and aims

  • We will encourage participants to learn new skills and to work with new collaborators and create teams with a diverse range of background and levels of experience
  • Produce demonstrable code/techniques for creating, managing and disseminating simple static repositories / archives with real data (where possible) that can immediately be used in low resource environments
  • Create an inclusive hands-on networking environment for repository workers including developers, repository administrators and metadata specialists that cuts across global and product boundaries


The core audience for this session is repository developers and those with some scripting/data manipulation experience, BUT we also need metadata specialists and repository administrators who can contribute design and documentation and user-testing as work proceeds. Participants are encouraged to bring along their own datasets and challenges.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this workshop participants will have had the opportunity to broaden their professional network, learn about some technologies and standards outside of their usual area and most importantly, contribute to the pool of open source tools that are available for use in low resource environments.

Expectations of attendees

  • Developers will be expected to bring a laptop on which they can install software – others may choose to attend.
  • We encourage participants to bring datasets that might be good to use as examples such as catalogues or archives from local museums, departmental publications repositories, photo collections, digital humanities (DH collections)…

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