Calisphere is based on a harvest model, where we pull in metadata that points to content hosted on your own digital collections system. 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).

Here's how it works.

1. Establishing a Process

The first step to contribute to Calisphere is to simply let us know you're interested in having your collection(s) harvested! Contact us if you're ready to start. Please let us know who will be the key contact(s) at your institution, and who is primarily responsible for managing or coordinating processes on your digital collections system. We'll also need to obtain a Terms of Service Agreement from your institution, if you haven't already submitted one to us.

We'll set up a time to talk about your digital content and systems, and to map out the best method for harvesting data.

2. Defining Collections

Calisphere's harvest works on a collection-by-collection basis. By "collection," we mean a group digital objects which are hosted in the same source, which can be harvested according to the same protocol, and which you’d like to appear together as a set within the Calisphere interface. Some institutions have a single collection, and some have many.

We'll work with you to confirm which collection(s) you'd like to publish in Calisphere, and establish entries for them in our Collection Registry.

This includes basic information about the collection that will be used on Calisphere (such as title and description).

3. Metadata Mapping

Once we've determined the collections you'd like us to harvest, we'll review the source metadata to confirm required metadata is present, and that it is mapped correctly to our metadata scheme.

Some key bits of metadata are required -- but if it's not already in your records, no problem! We can globally "inject" the metadata into every object in the collection at the time it is harvested. We'll just need to confer with you on what information should be added.

4. Harvest to Test Calisphere Environment, QA, and Publication

Each time we run a harvest of your collections, we'll first put the records in a test Calisphere environment where you can preview and perform quality assurance (QA) on them.

If everything looks OK in the testing environment, we'll ask for your approval to publish the records in Calisphere.

That's it! Your collections will immediately be available on Calisphere, and they'll appear on the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) soon thereafter (DPLA harvests from Calisphere on a bimonthly schedule).