WARNING: This content has been deprecated! Hydrangea is out of date software, and not recommended as a starting point for any new Hydra-based development activity.

Please browse or search the main wiki for more up-to-date content.

Hydrangea will be an installable package that bundles the complete Hydra stack together, presented in one Ruby on Rails application. The application will eventually support ingesting and building objects through a UI, editing object metadata, permissions management, searching / browsing collections, and object delivery through a rich set of applications.

This application will be publicly distributed and serve as a reference application for the Hydra framework, a locally installable application that can experimented with by interested parties and the starting point for extending a working app to customized needs and local environments.

The Hydra partners have released a beta 1 of Hydrangea and version 1.0 should not be far behind.  Note that the beta does not properly implement the Hydra guidelines; we have taken one or two shortcuts to get the code out into the community quickly.  It is hoped that 1.0 will be fully compliant.

Hydrangea Beta 1

Hydrangea Beta 1 was produced over an eight week development cycle in summer of 2010. This page includes Hydrangea Beta1 Scoping Notes and Development Plan for that effort.

The code, for download, evaluation and enhancement, is on the Hydra github site:


Create a user name and password (or use archivist1/archivist1) to view a demo instance of the latest code at:


Please pay particular attention to the RELEASE NOTES, in that “We strongly encourage treating any content created in the Beta release as disposable. Your optimal upgrade path from Beta to Release Candidate and 1.0 will be to delete all of the content from your Beta repository and start over with a fresh copy of Fedora.”

We will be using the Hydra project space in Duraspace’s JIRA to track bugs and manage enhancements going forward:


(You may note that we weren't using this JIRA site during much of the Hydrangea development and so there is a huge gap in dates. We are now reverting to JIRA so that the content is widely accessible.)

NB - Beta 1 is intended to be used in a Firefox browser.  Full, cross-browser testing has not yet taken place and we know that there are various issues in IE, Chrome and especially Safari.

NB2 - You will notice that (especially) the browse views on objects that you create look odd.  This is because in this beta we are using 'dumb' versions of the edit view for this purpose.  The next (?) version will have properly constructed browse views.

NB3 - The 'dataset object' side of this beta is more an alpha!  Its design and some of the functionality is not yet as developed as the 'OA object' side; it has been provided for contrast.

About Hydrangea (from release notes)

This release of Hydrangea is meant to provide a first look at the reference implementation for the Hydra Framework. The work on this code is ongoing. You are welcome to pull updates from github at your leisure and post any questions or suggestions to the hydra-tech mailing list.  (Hydra-tech is a moderated list to prevent spam; your first posting may take a little while to appear until your e-mail address is approved.) If you find bugs or wish to submit feature requests, please post them to the Hydra Jira

Hydrangea is meant to serve as an example of what you can build with the Hydra framework. It is not meant to function as a freestanding, out-of-the-box solution. A number of complete, configurable Hydra “heads” are currently under development. These heads will serve as the out-of-the-box solutions for content types such as

  • Electronic Theses & Dissertations
  • Journal Pre-prints
  • Scientific Datasets
  • Scanned Archival Manuscripts

If you are interested in collaborating on one of these heads, or if you are interested in creating your own Hydra head for a different domain, please let us know . We have a strong community of institutions and vendors actively engaged in this open development process.