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How to create and add to a Collection

This how-to demonstrates creating a collection and adding items to it in the Islandora Starter Site. For more about collections, see Concept: Collection.


In the Islandora Starter Site, nodes that have "Collection" in their Model field will show a view of their member ("child") objects. A member is any object that is "Member of" that object, and can be added via the "Children" tab. This is the mechanism in the Islandora Starter Site, and your individual instances may vary.

Collections and Deleting

Collections and their members are independent of each other, and removing something from a collection does not delete it. Similarly, deleting a collection does not delete its members.

Creating a Collection

When logged in, click Manage > Content on the admin toolbar. Then, click on Add content.

Click on + add content

Then click on 'Repository Item' to give your collection the default metadata profile for Islandora.

Click on Repository Item

Fill out the form.

At the top of the form, select "Collection" from the Model dropdown list.

Near end of form, under System, select collection

When done filling out the form, click Save.

The collection page confirming creation.

The collection has been created. Now let's add some members to this collection.

Add Existing Items to a Collection

To populate a collection with existing items, return to any existing content and click on its Edit tab. This brings up the form for this item.

An existing item with its Edit tab highlighted.

Scroll down to the bottom of the form to find the System section. In the Member of field, start typing in the name of the collection this item should belong to. Select the name of the collection you want from the autocomplete. It is important that you select it from the dropdown, not just type in the correct title, because selecting it causes the node id to appear beside the title and allows Drupal to create a relationship.

Selecting a collection from the Member Of autocomplete.

The correct collection is now selected. Click Save when ready.

Snowfall (6) shows in field Member of.

To confirm, return to the collection and verify the new item appears in the collection's list of members.

The collection page showing a view of members, including the one we added.

Add a New Item as a Member of a Collection

To create an item and add it as a member to a collection in one step, visit a collection and click on its Children tab. From the Children tab, you can manage the members of a collection and perform actions on them.

The "Children" tab in our Snowfall collection

Click on the +Add Child button, and then select Repository Item as your new item's Content Type. Only content types that have the field_member_of field will be available from this list.

Selecting "Repository Item" after clicking "Add Child".

You are taken to the creation form for a Repository Item, but if you scroll down to the "System" section, you should see the widget for "Member Of" is already filled out for you with the appropriate collection.

You should see the widget for 'Member Of' is already filled out for you with the appropriate collection.

Click 'Save' at the end of the form to create the new item and add it as a member of the collection.

Islandora Quick Lessons

Learn more with this video on Making a Collection.

Last update: May 17, 2024