Milwaukee, WIASIS&T 2007 Annual Meeting
Joining Research and Practice:
Social Computing and Information Science

October 19-24, 2007  Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Making D Space Your Own

Half Day Seminar, Friday, Oct. 19, 2007, 8:30am-12:30pm (separate fee)

Starting an institutional or digital repository using DSpace software? Get control over its look and feel! Learn to modify and customize DSpace to reflect your institution's branding, and improve usability for both submitters and users. Learn some of the basics to making your DSpace installation unique with customized code or functionality. While you’re at it, learn about the DSpace developer community and how you can give back.

This introductory tutorial assumes no knowledge of DSpace or Java. Familiarity with basic Unix commands, FTP, HTML, and XML recommended, though not required.

Course Outline: 

Target audience: Librarians and staff planning or running DSpace installations who want more control over the technology. Introductory to intermediate-level. Basic Unix, FTP, HTML and XML familiarity useful, though not required. No Java, JSP, or CSS knowledge assumed. 

Learning objectives: 

- Understand and justify spending effort on DSpace customization 
- Protect against breaking DSpace during customization 
- Understand which parts of DSpace are easily changed and which aren't 
- Know where to go to modify specific aspects of a DSpace installation 
- Know how to make changes live on the server
- Understand why the DSpace community is important, and how to give back
- Learn where to go for more information or help when customizing DSpace
- Learn the basic structure of JSPs in DSpace
- Learn the benefits and functionality provided by the new Manakin (XML-based) interface for DSpace, and why it has been chosen to replace JSPs.


Tim Donohue is a Research Programmer at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), where he works on IDEALS (, the UIUC institutional repository built on DSpace software. Tim has a background in Java programming and received his MLS from UIUC in May 2005. He is a DSpace Committer and taught a similar DSpace Customization tutorial at JCDL 2006 with Dorothea Salo, then of George Mason University.

Dorothea Salo is Digital Repository Librarian for the University of Wisconsin System’s MINDS@UW DSpace repository ( She holds two MAs (Spanish and Library and Information Studies) from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, and began her career in librarianship at George Mason University, where she ran the DSpace-based Mason Archival Repository Service (


Members $165, non-members $190, before Sept. 14
Members $190, non-members $215, after Sept. 14