About Fedora

Fedora is a robust, modular, open source repository system for the management and dissemination of digital content. It is especially suited for digital libraries and archives, both for access and preservation. It is also used to provide specialized access to very large and complex digital collections of historic and cultural materials as well as scientific data. Fedora has a worldwide installed user base that includes academic and cultural heritage organizations, universities, research institutions, university libraries, national libraries, and government agencies.

The Fedora project is led by the Fedora Leadership Group and is under the stewardship of the DuraSpace not-for-profit organization providing leadership and innovation for open source technology projects and solutions that focus on durable, persistent access to digital data. 

In partnership with stakeholder community members DuraSpace has put together global, strategic collaborations to sustain Fedora which is used by more than three hundred institutions. The Fedora project is directly supported with financial and in-kind contributions of development resources through the DuraSpace community membership program. Learn more about DuraSpace support for open source technology projects and solutions here.

History

Date Event
1997 Sandy Payette and Carl Lagoze created the original Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture (Fedora) at Cornell University
1998 Fedora reference implementation developed and made available to researchers and the public
1998 Original Fedora article published by Payette and Lagoze
2000 Thornton Staples and Rosser Wayland, at the University of Virginia Library created prototype digital library system using the Fedora architecture
2001 Fedora Project Phase I: Cornell University and University of Virginia received grant from Mellon Foundation to build open source Fedora
2002 Beta release of Fedora open source software
2003 First public release of Fedora open source software (Fedora 1.0)
2004 Fedora Project Phase II: Cornell University and University of Virginia received second grant from Mellon Foundation to continue development
2005 Fedora 2.0 released
2006 Significant growth of Fedora user community
2007 Start-up of Fedora Commons not-for-profit organization with grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
2008 Fedora 3.0 released
2009 Fedora Commons joined with the DSpace Foundation and began operating under the new name DuraSpace in July 2009
2011 Fedora 3.5 released
2012 Fedora Futures community initiative established to refresh the Fedora repository platform for the next 5-10 years and reinvigorate the community
2013 Fedora 4.0 Alpha 2 released
2013 Fedora 3.7.0 and 3.7.1 released to ensure that Fedora 3 users continue to have access to stable repository functionality
2013 First issue of the Fedora Quarterly Report published
2014 Fedora 4.0.0 released into production
2015 The success of Fedora 4 continues with regular updated releases

Name History

In 1997 a research project at Cornell University was named the Flexibile Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture (Fedora). In 1998 the Fedora name was used in article published by Payette and Lagoze and in research software that was released to the public under the Fedora name.

In 2005 Red Hat, Inc. filed a trademark request for the name "Fedora" to be associated with their Linux operating system project. Cornell and UVA formally disputed the request and, as a final settlement, all parties settled on a co-existence agreement that stated that the Cornell-UVA project could use the name when clearly associated with open source software for digital object repository systems and that Red Hat could use the name when it was clearly associated with open source computer operating systems. The transferable agreement stipulated that each project must display the following text on their web site:

Cornell University and the University of Virginia offer an open source digital object repository software under the mark FEDORA Project. Red Hat's FEDORA Project is not affiliated, connected, or associated with the FEDORA Project of Cornell University and the University of Virginia. Cornell University and the University of Virginia do not sponsor, approve of, or endorse Red Hat's FEDORA Project.

Red Hat, Inc. offers open source computer software for operating computer systems under the mark FEDORA Project. The FEDORA Project of Cornell University and the University of Virginia is not affiliated, connected, or associated with the FEDORA Project of Red Hat, Inc. Red Hat, Inc. does not sponsor, approve of, or endorse the FEDORA Project of Cornell University and the University of Virginia.

Interesting Facts

  1. FEDORA is an acronym that means Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture.
  2. The logo was intended to represents a network or graph of interconnected digital objects. However, the red nodes have been affectionately referred to by many as the "meatballs" or the "red meatballs".
  3. The original research that led the first Fedora prototype at Cornell University was conducted in the Digital Library Research Group in the Computer Science Department at Cornell University. The research was funded by DARPA and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
  4. To learn more about the original Fedora research, check out the old web site courtesy of Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.