The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), Stanford University and DuraSpace partnered to extend the existing Samvera community (formerly "Hydra project") codebase and its vibrant and growing community to build, bundle, and promote a feature-rich, robust, flexible digital repository that is easy to install, configure, and maintain.

Initially developed under the “Hydra-in-a-Box” label, the product of this collaborative effort is Hyku, a next-generation repository solution. Hyku works for institutions large and small, incorporating the capabilities and affordances to support networked resources and services in a shared, sustainable, national platform. The overall intent is to develop a digital collections platform that is not just "on the web," but "of the web."

With funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the collaborative project kicked off in 2015. In 2017, Hyku entered beta, and in February 2019, it was promoted out of Samvera Labs. Ongoing development of Hyku is guided by the Samvera community via the Hyku Interest Group and associated partners.