Related product Digital Collections (CONTENTdm)


CARLI Digital Collections is a repository for digital content created by member libraries, or purchased by CARLI for use by its members. CARLI Digital collections provides access to myriad special collections, containing over 2.6 TB of metadata including images, printed and manuscript materials, sound recordings, and the Saskia Art Image and Sanborn Maps of Illinois collections.

By combining digital collections from many CARLI member institutions into a seamless environment, faculty, staff, students, and the public are able to search across institutions and collections, integrating previously disparate and possibly remote special collections.

What is CONTENTdm?

CONTENTdm is the software that CARLI uses to store and provide access to digital versions of primary source materials. CONTENTdm provides a means of making a wide variety of media types including images, journals, books, audio and video files, maps, and newspapers accessible for search and display on a typical personal computer with an Internet connection and a web browser. CARLI licenses CONTENTdm from OCLC.

Using Images Found in CARLI Digital Collections

Visitors may view, search, or use materials purchased by CARLI and collections created by other CARLI libraries through the CARLI Digital Collections interface. The items in the Saskia Art Images collections and the Sanborn Maps of Illinois, 1867-1970, are available only to CARLI member institutions. All other collections may be viewed by anyone with an Internet connection and web browser.

Visitors who are interested in permission to reproduce images found within the collections should contact the collection's sponsor directly. CARLI is not able to grant, waive, or extend intellectual property rights for any of the materials found in CARLI Digital Collections.

Contributing Content to CARLI Digital Collections

Any CARLI Governing Member library may contribute content to the CARLI Digital Collections. CARLI maintains the CONTENTdm server and software, stores the content, and backs up the data. CARLI will provide the CONTENTdm Project Client software to upload your library’s digital content. Libraries interested in implementing CONTENTdm should . Participating libraries will also need to complete the CARLI Digital Collections Image License Terms and Conditions Agreement

CARLI Governing Member libraries that want to manage their own digital library server may purchase the software under the pricing terms of the agreement between CARLI and OCLC, and install CONTENTdm on their own server.  

For more detailed product information, consult Frequently Asked Questions About Using CONTENTdm.


Any CARLI governing member library may receive one complimentary copy of the CONTENTdm Project Client software that can be installed on one PC. At this time, there is no annual maintenance or hosting fee for CARLI Governing member libraries.


CARLI staff conduct basic training sessions that introduce CONTENTdm to participating libraries, as well as other educational programming related to digital projects. Information about upcoming training sessions and events is available from the CARLI calendar, and from the Digital Collections interest group email list.  

Technical Assistance

is the first point of contact for technical assistance. CARLI staff are most knowledgeable about our specific installation of the CONTENTdm software and our server environment.

Additional support, training and documentation is available from the OCLC web site. To access OCLC's CONTENTdm User Support Center, CARLI libraries will need to set up an account using CARLI's Organization ID. Please for more information.

CARLI "Other Collections"

If you have digital collections that are not part of CARLI Digital Collections and would like greater exposure for them, consider including them in the CARLI Other Collections collection. CARLI maintains a collection of digital project portal pages from CARLI libraries that do not use CARLI's installation of CONTENTdm. A link to this collection can be found on the CARLI Digital Collections home page. Portal pages are your library's main page of digital collections. Please fill out and submit the following form to be included in our CARLI "Other Collections":