Calisphere is the CDL's service for aggregating digital collections from libraries, archives, and museums in California. Calisphere can help promote and extend the usage of your digitized (or born-digital) images, documents, audio recordings, video files, and datasets!

Contributing through harvest

Calisphere is based on a harvest model, where we pull in item records (metadata and associated thumbnails) from your digital collections platform. These harvested item records point users to the content published through your own digital collections platform. 

Setting up the harvesting process requires some initial setup at the beginning, so that we can establish a connection with your digital collections platform. Most contributors have found the harvest process to be quick and easy. Although it requires some set-up at the beginning, once the process is in place, we can easily grab new collections (and pick up changes and additions to existing collections). The other articles in this section explain the ins and outs of harvesting.

Basic requirements

In order to contribute digital collections to Calisphere through the harvest, you must have digital content files and associated metadata; they must be hosted on some kind of platform or site; and they must be open and publicly available (we do not support content with access restrictions at this time). Read more about supported harvest methods and platforms. If you're not sure whether you meet these requirements, ask us! We've been able to get data out of a lot of different platforms, from OPACs to homegrown digital collections sites.

What about METS?

We are no longer supporting the METS workflow for new contributors, in favor of the new harvest workflow. However, we will accept METS from current contributors with an established profile and process; contact us if you represent one of these institutions and require assistance with the METS submission process.

It's a twofer!

We send all data in Calisphere up to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)—meaning you'll contribute to both the statewide and the national aggregations at the same time. You also have the option to share your collections further with Wikimedia Commons, via our DPLA connection.

We're here to help

We are standing by every first Wednesday at 1:00pm to chat with anyone who wants to get to know us. We’ll provide overviews of Calisphere and OAC, share resources available to contributors, and info on how to get started. This overview session welcomes prospective contributing organizations interested in participating in OAC and Calisphere. New staff, interns, volunteers, and student assistants from current partner organizations are also welcome to attend. Learn more about our upcoming overview sessions.

Feel free to also contact us directly if you have any questions.