Jon W. Dunn
Assistant Director for Technology
Digital Library Program
Robert H. McDonald
Associate Dean for Library Technologies
Director, William and Gayle Cook Music Library
Director, Music Information Technology Services
The Variations digital music library system offers online access for Indiana University (IU) students and faculty to sound recordings and scores digitized from the collection of IU’s Cook Music Library. Originally developed in 1996 in partnership with IBM, the system was re-architected in 2005 to support a new metadata and discovery system tailored to music and to add desktop-based tools for annotation and pedagogical use of music content, as part of a five-year, $3 million National Science Foundation/National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Libraries Initiative grant. Under a current grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), IU is working with four other institutions as Variations test sites to explore means of sustaining the ongoing development and enhancement of Variations and extending its use beyond IU. As part of this grant, Variations was recently released as open source software under a Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD)-style license and options for providing fee-based support or offering Variations under a partially- or fully-hosted software as a service (SaaS) model are being explored. Also under consideration are partnerships with content providers to make their content available through the Variations platform; migration of the system to a Web services-based architecture is currently underway.
During this presentation, the audience will be engaged in a discussion of the current models for open-source software project sustainability, and lessons learned within the Variations program will be demonstrated. Larger issues involved in this discussion are the implications for the sustainability of discipline-specific digital library and instructional technology software systems.