Delivering special collections to the Web with OCLC’s CONTENTdm
Impressive Spanish map collection visible worldwide
More about CONTENTdm
CONTENTdm—available through OCLC, the world’s largest library cooperative— is a single software solution that handles the storage, management and delivery of digital collections to the Web. It seamlessly grows with projects, eliminating the need to purchase and support multiple software packages for different digital collections. It also offers full support of Unicode, enabling libraries to provide access to collections in any language. Institutions of all types—from smaller cultural institutions to larger universities—have found CONTENTdm easy to implement and use.
CONTENTdm offers flexible workflow options and a variety of productivity tools. To support multiple workflows and collection building, digital items can be added from anywhere using the CONTENTdm Project Client, a powerful desktop client, or through a Web browser using a simple Web form. Once item acquisition and metadata entry are complete within a project, the items are uploaded to a centralized pending queue for final review or editing by a collection administrator before being added to the collection.
CONTENTdm also streamlines workflows. Tools such as batch processes, wizards, controlled vocabularies, templates and spreadsheets assist in building collections quickly. Items can be added singly or in batches. Batch processes and tools make it easy to add and process thousands of items at once. Templates help to speed and standardize the entry and extraction of descriptive, technical and administrative metadata. Built-in editing tools and controlled vocabularies aid in cataloging, and allow users to make global changes to metadata within live collections.
Once in CONTENTdm, digital collections can be searched via the Web using standard Web browsers by any number of end users, unless libraries choose to restrict access. Offering item- and collection-level security, CONTENTdm can ensure digital resources are available only to specified users or IP addresses.
Used by more than 2,000 institutions worldwide, CONTENTdm is helping to bring digital collections to the Web and into WorldCat® via the Digital Collection Gateway.
About the WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway
Through CONTENTdm, libraries may add their collection metadata to OCLC’s WorldCat, the world’s most comprehensive bibliographic database with more than 180 million records. Then, through WorldCat.org, WorldCat’s online catalog records and holdings information are discoverable by Web users globally.
The Gateway provides a self-service tool for uploading the metadata of unique digital content to WorldCat. It offers a Web-based interface that allows library staff to choose when to upload metadata and how records will appear in WorldCat.org. A preview of the metadata in a WorldCat.org display enables libraries to select the right content and appearance for their digital collections. Previously available only to CONTENTdm users, the Gateway will soon make it possible for any library with OAI-compliant digital collections to upload metadata to WorldCat.
Once you have enabled the Gateway/WorldCat synchronization, end users can search, discover and retrieve digital items through WorldCat.org and on the Web, and then view your actual digital items. Your records also retain their local identity while maximizing the global visibility of your digital collections.
Institutions widen access to their unique collections
The following three institutions, The University of Warwick, Catalan Institut del Teatre and the University of Oxford, use CONTENTdm software to manage their digital collections and share them on the Web.
The University of Warwick’s Marandet collection of late 18th and early 19th century French plays is a unique resource and one of the most significant collections of its kind. The University decided that this unique material needed to be digitized in order to preserve, improve usability and widen access to create a truly international collection.
The library also has added the collection’s metadata to WorldCat through CONTENTdm. Through WorldCat.org, Warwick University is able to make their collections even more visible on the Web.
So far, over 20,000 objects are on display on the MAE’s Web site. The MAE will continue adding objects to the existing digital collections and also open up new collections like photos, audiovisual materials and programs to students, researchers and a worldwide public.
After assessing various solutions available, the University chose and implemented CONTENTdm because of its flexibility as a system for the delivery of digital collections to the Web. "We chose CONTENTdm as it best suited our requirements for customization and the many ways in which data can be exported" explained Michael Loizou, Oxford University's Technical Lead.
Today, institutions all across Europe use CONTENTdm software for their special collections in order to improve their visibility and to widen access via the Web. To search or browse a sampling of the thousands of collections created by the CONTENTdm community, visit www.oclc.org/contentdm/collections/
Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. More than 72,000 libraries in 171 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world’s largest online database for discovery of library resources. For more information, visit the OCLC Web site.
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