The King’s Fund – Using Hyku to protect the heritage of the NHS

The Challenge

The King’s Fund is an independent charity working to research and raise awareness of the health and social care policy issues in the UK since it was established in 1897. This is done by undertaking research and analysis of current healthcare issues and building expertise that will shape policy and practice. The content produced by The King’s Fund has created a rich archive of the UK’s healthcare heritage, which, as a living collection, is continually growing. It is the job of library team to support the management, discovery and access to this content for the many audiences who use The King’s Fund as a trusted research institution.

The library team are not only adding new digital content, they are also working on diversifying the range of media they carry and using digital content to engage with a wider audience. Their previous repository system served them well, but they had identified a need for a more flexible and responsive system. They wanted a repository that would support their collections and grow with them over time. Growth for the team is not just about the content, but about having ideas for new ways to manage and share content. They needed a system that was adaptable enough to support their vision.

They were looking for a repository that could give them options for managing many more types of content easily, as their collections expand to include sound and moving image and other formats as the way content is created and presented changes over time.

They also wanted to explore new ways of sharing content, such as online exhibitions, and have options for digital preservation. Finally, they wanted a system that would be able to develop the as yet un-identified new initiatives they knew they would want to support in this fast-moving field.

As part of a suite of open source software developed and supported by the Samvera community, Hyku benefits from the input of many different institutions and individuals who are members of the community.

The community also provides a robust model for software sustainability, as it is community-owned, which avoids the fear of a commercial company being bought out or ceasing trading. With our own Research Technologies team members having a long-standing relationship as part of the Samvera community, we were able to introduce The King’s Fund library team into the community.

Our approach to being the technical partner for a customer within the Samvera community means that our customers can develop their own relationship having as little or as much involvement as they want, knowing we have their technical requirements covered

The Solution

As a trusted institution for researchers, The King’s Fund library team needed to ensure that their online services kept on running so that their content was available to researchers at all times. The migration of data needed to be planned and executed so that access to their digital collections was never compromised.

Having worked with us over a number of years as we developed and supported their EPrints repository, the team felt confident that they could work with us to set up their new system and trust us to give them a smooth migration of content.

Using Hyku, we were able to provide test instances and work with the team to test and perfect the migration processes. This meant that a smooth transition from their existing EPrints repository to the new system was achieved, with their old system remaining live until everything was ready for the ‘switch on’ of their new Hyku system.

Our close collaboration with the library team meant that we were all able to work on test instances for the data migration ahead of doing the final work, giving them confidence in our ability to handle the process for them. They also took the opportunity to attend a workshop we designed and ran for them to review the metadata used in their original repo and decide on any changes they wanted to make to the metadata going into the new system.

More control over their content has meant that the library team has been able to better support the work of their organisation with online exhibitions and highlighting content relating to specific events and themes.

They are also enjoying the benefits of being early adopters, and running one of the first Hyku repositories in the UK. Their understanding the flexibility and potential of Hyku can now inform their future ideas, aspirations and plans, letting us support them as they continue to pioneer new technologies and services to support their organisation and their audiences.

Hong-Ang Nguyen, Library Service Manager at The King’s Fund said of the rollout:

“We are very happy with our project and I would not hesitate to recommend CoSector and their Hyku digital archive solution.” “It was clear that they understood our requirements and that this is a modern, flexible solution which matches our needs.”

Hong-Anh continued “They have conveyed the excitement of being early adopters of a new platform and technology while managing the project in a calm and efficient way, making suggestions and improvements to our data structures and work processes along the way so that we are moving not just to a better system but to better ways of working and a better representation of our collection.”

Rory McNicholl, Research Technology lead at CoSector says:

“Working with King’s Fund has been a fantastic opportunity for us. We’ve been able to develop our Samvera services with a long-standing customer, including the tools to migrate from EPrints to Samvera. King’s Fund are very supportive of open source and that has enabled us to contribute back to the community during the development of their Hyku service. We are delighted to have the digital archive as our first Samvera repository of many.”

About CoSector – University of London

CoSector – University of London is a leading provider of digital services and solutions to educational institutions in their digital ambitions and enabling learners to have the best possible experience. With over 50 years’ experience, our team have the expertise, resilience, capability and flexibility to work with our customers as their trusted digital partner.

The Research Technologies team have the deep knowledge necessary to host and maintain software platforms, helping various institutions manage their research outputs and data. With a collective 20 years of experience in digital information, repositories, libraries, archives, metadata and software development, our team of specialists are ready for any research technology challenge.

Further Information

The King’s Fund archive can be viewed here:

More information on CoSector’s research technologies services can be found here:

Information on Samvera Hyku: