New DRS Project Updates

Development of new DRS system functionality is largely complete and now in production. A metadata migration is the final step in the move to the new DRS. Visit this page for information about the status of the migration and how it will affect you as a DRS user. The DRS2 project team will provide regular updates on the status of the migration via email messages to current DRS users and announcements on HLComms.

If you have any questions or comments about migration to the new DRS, please contact the DRS Migration Team.

Migration timeline
New functionality
News & Events
Migration FAQ

Migration timeline

The major steps of the migration process are outlined below.

Completed: 2013 February New hardware in production
  2013 June DRS content migrated to new hardware
  2013 June DRS Advisory Group convened (ongoing)
  2013 September New DRS software in production
  2013 December First object deposited to the new DRS
  2014 January First migration dry runs (text and PDFs)
  2013 December - 2014 February Migration planning and implementation meetings
  2014 January-March Descriptive metadata working group meetings
  2014 June-August Tier 0 migration (color profiles, text methodologies)
In progress: 2014 August-September Tier 1 migration (target images and PDFs)
Upcoming: *Tier 2 migration PDS documents and images
  All users depositing to the new DRS  
  Tier 3 migration Audio and playlists
  Tier 4 migration Web harvests and opaque containers
  Tier 5 migration Biomedical images and Google books

* A DRS project team member will contact a representative from each repository having DRS content prior to that repository's Tier 2 migration to outline any necessary preparatory steps.

New functionality

The bulk of new DRS functionality is available now in production or soon will be. A list of functional highlights appears below. See the DRS2 Enhancements page for a more detailed list.

  • Improved search: Retrieve deposited content using powerful and advanced searching on more than 200 metadata fields.
  • Improved metadata editing: import descriptive metadata; add rights metadata; organize content with administrative categories.
  • Integration with Wordshack - a new central vocabulary registry.
  • Drag-and-drop structure editor for page-turned objects.
  • Custom image captions: Add default or custom captions on a per-object basis.
  • More formats: opaque objects; streaming delivery or download of MP3, MP4 audio files and new web-based audio player.
  • Bulk processing: bulk download, deletion, and recovery of objects and files.

News & Events

Upcoming meetings will be announced on HLCOMMS and will include an open meeting on the migration in February, a brown-bag luncheon on the technical challenges of migration in March and an introduction to digital preservation and the DRS (this summer). Once they are announced, they will also appear in the "News" section of this web site.

Project updates are included in Harvard Library Updates on the Harvard Library portal:

November 2014 Project Update
August 2014 Project Update
May 2014 Project Update
April 2014 Project Update
March 2014 Project Update
February 2014 Project Update
January 2014 Project Update
November 2013 Project Update
October 2013 Project Update

Migration FAQ

Q: Who can I contact with a question about the migration?
A: Send any questions you have about the migration to

Q: Will we still be able to deposit tier 1 files (PDF, text methodologies, ESRI World Files, target images and color profiles) into old DRS after files of this type have been migrated to the new DRS in Spring 2014?
A: Yes you'll still be able to deposit those formats to old DRS up until your unit officially switches to new DRS in Fall/Winter 2014. The general idea is that units will be switched over one-by-one during the tier 2 migration and once switched, staff in that unit will deposit and manage content entirely in the new DRS.

Q: If a tier 1 file (e.g. a 300 dpi target) has been migrated to new DRS, are we still able to deposit into the old DRS files which are related to that tier 1 file?
A: Yes you will be able to create relationships between old DRS images and target image files that have already been migrated to the DRS (for units not already switched over to using new DRS). Files that we migrate from old DRS to new DRS will keep their old DRS file IDs. Just create the relationship as you usually do by adding the DRS ID of the target image file to your old DRS still image batch. When we migrate old DRS still image files, we will see these relationships (even those made after the target migrated to new DRS) and transform them into a new DRS HAS_TARGET relationship.

Q: Do we need to wait until after the audio already in the old DRS is migrated (in tier 3, Spring 2015) before we start to deposit audio to the new DRS?
A: No. Once your unit switches over to using the new DRS, you can start depositing audio along with other content.

Q: What is the migration sequence for tier 2 files -- who will be migrated first, second, etc.?
A: The plan is to migrate content in tier 2 (PDS documents, still images) by owner code, but the migration sequence (who goes first, etc.) is still to be determined.