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Colenda Digital Repository

About Colenda

Colenda is a digital repository for digitized and born-digital material of enduring value to University and global scholarly communities, serving teaching and research needs. It provides direct access and long-term stewardship for these important resources.

Much of Colenda’s content consists of materials owned and digitized by the Penn Libraries, including significant collections that have been donated to the library. Colenda also includes some public-domain digital objects that were created from assets owned by other institutions in the course of a joint project with the Penn Libraries.

Descriptions of the collections and exhibits presenting them can be found on the main library website. Not all objects are members of a collection.

Statement of responsibility

This resource contains some materials that are prejudiced, offensive, and/or stereotyping. They are presented here for the purposes of academic study. Materials in this resource do not reflect the values or opinions of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries.

Rights statements

Penn Libraries intends to provide access to objects in Colenda as broadly as possible, for as long as possible.

When designating rights statements for copyright status and re-use of cultural heritage objects in Colenda, we have embraced the options. When designating rights statements for re-use of items created by individuals in the Penn community, we encourage the use of Creative Commons licenses.

For material that we digitize that is in the public domain, we require the use of a maximally open license from either or Creative Commons.

In the spirit of University of Pennsylvania Libraries Open Metadata Policy, we require that all publicly exposed metadata related to an item be licensed under the Creative Commons license CC0 unless otherwise necessary, regardless of the license on the asset itself.

Software components

Colenda is repository software designed for long-term preservation of digital assets and metadata. It is Open Source, built on the Samvera framework, utilizing Hydra::Works and the Portland Common Data Model for describing and structuring objects. Additional functionality is provided through a customized application written in Ruby on Rails. The application uses the storage platform Ceph for asset storage, selected for high availability, high replication, performance, and fault-tolerance. Colenda also uses git and git-annex to track changes to objects over time. More information about each of these components can be found in the links below.

Colenda also complies with International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) standards, which ensures high-quality images, interoperability with other image viewers, and the ability to download digital materials.

Publications and code