Related product Digital Collections (CONTENTdm)


CONTENTdm is a digital asset management software package that is used by individual libraries and library consortia, such as CARLI, to 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.

CONTENTdm is a product of OCLC. CARLI purchased a license for CONTENTdm in 2005.

Only CARLI Governing Members may use CARLI's implementation of CONTENTdm. Please if your library is interested in using CARLI's CONTENTdm.

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What options are available for using CONTENTdm in our library?

If you simply want to view materials purchased by the CARLI consortium or view collections created by other CARLI libraries, you can search the CARLI Digital Collections website. CARLI governing member libraries that want to contribute content and have CARLI host their content on CARLI's OCLC-managed CONTENTdm server can opt to add collections to the CARLI Digital Collections.

How does CARLI “run” CONTENTdm for our library?

As of March 20, 2019, OCLC maintains the server and software, stores the content, and back up the data for CARLI's instance of CONTENTdm. The CARLI Office will provide you with the CONTENTdm Project Client software to upload your library’s digital content.

Do we need to have any CONTENTdm software installed at our library if we just want to view the CARLI Digital Collections?

No. All you need is an Internet-connected computer with a web browser to access CARLI Digital Collections. Some of these collections include licensed material that must be restricted to people with current affiliations to CARLI libraries. The ability to access licensed collections from off-campus will depend upon the individual institution’s authentication services such as proxy servers.

Are there any restrictions we need to be aware of before we begin adding items to CARLI Digital Collections site or can we put any collection on the CARLI server?

Please refer to the CARLI Digital Collections Collection Development Policy for guidelines on adding items to CARLI Digital Collections. This policy contains the mission and guiding principles of the CARLI Digital Collections, collection development criteria, information about standards and quality control, as well as a removal policy for items.

CARLI required all libraries interested in using CARLI's instance of CONTENTdm to also fill out and submit the CARLI Digital Collections Image License Terms and Conditions Agreement. Additional information on this form is available by .

What type of equipment will our library need to digitize images?

At a minimum, you will need a computer, a scanner, and scanning software to digitize images. You will also need image manipulation software to edit and customize the scanned images. If you are digitizing special types of materials such as audio or video, additional equipment will be necessary.

Is training available for our library staff?

Yes. CARLI staff conduct basic training sessions that introduce CONTENTdm to participating libraries. These materials are also online under the "CARLI CONTENTdm Training" section of the following page:

How much work is involved for our library to use CONTENTdm?

You will need to send one to two of your staff to a one-day CONTENTdm training session provided by CARLI. If no training sessions are scheduled and you would still like to use CONTENTdm, please . At the in-person training sessions, you will receive information you need to start creating new collections in the CARLI CONTENTdm server space. In addition to these start up tasks, you will also be responsible for the ongoing maintenance of your collection(s) including scanning or creating digital objects, creating metadata (descriptive information) for these objects, and storing the digital master files.

Will our library’s staff be able to create new collections in CONTENTdm?

CARLI Office staff perform the first steps of the process of creating a new CONTENTdm collection. Libraries are informed about how to request a new collection as part of their training.

Who will provide technical support? Do we have a support contract with the vendor or will CARLI be handling these issues?

First . The CARLI staff are most knowledgeable about our specific installation of the CONTENTdm software and our server environment. If additional assistance is needed, CARLI staff will contact OCLC’s CONTENTdm support on your behalf.

Is there a CARLI service fee (annual assessment) to cover CARLI’s costs in hosting and supporting CONTENTdm?

Not at this time.

If we choose to use the CONTENTdm installation PROVIDED BY CARLI, how much will it cost our library?

Any CARLI governing member library may receive the CONTENTdm Project Client software at no charge.

What is the CONTENTdm Project Client, and how many do we need?

The Project Client is a client software application that that runs on a Microsoft Windows PC. It allows you to associate metadata to digital objects (files), group the objects and metadata into a collection, and upload the collection to the CARLI server. You will need at least one Project Client. Please note that the Project Client does not scan or create the digital objects, nor does it store the digital master files. The Project Client does not need to be installed on the computer where objects are scanned.

What is the CONTENTdm OCR extension, and do we need it?

The CONTENTdm OCR extension provides the ability for users to integrate optical character recognition (OCR) with digitized text collection building. The feature uses ABBYY FineReader® OCR software to capture text for addition to searchable metadata fields within CONTENTdm collections. When viewed, items prepared with this feature will display highlighted search terms in the image. Many OCR applications are on the market, so it is possible that your existing or preferred OCR software already meets your needs. In this case, you would create the OCR file and only use the Project Client to associate metadata with the file and upload it to the central server. Note: The OCR Extension license is sold separately and requires an annual maintenance fee.

How much does the OCR extension cost?

The CARLI office will work directly with OCLC to complete the order for any OCR Extension. An annual fee will be assed per each OCR Extension purchased. For a price quote on OCR extensions .

What happens to the signed agreement our library has with OCLC for CONTENTdm?

Licenses for CONTENTdm previously executed by individual institutions will remain in effect until the end of their respective annual terms. At the end of such annual terms, the institution may choose to renew its CONTENTdm license (and its order for maintenance and support services) under the previously executed license or the CARLI/OCLC Agreement. In either case, the individual institution will be entitled to the then-current discount for maintenance and support under the CARLI/OCLC Agreement.

What if our library is already running a different digital object management system software but wants to migrate to the CARLI central server?

You are responsible for the costs and efforts to export your collections, objects, and metadata into a format that can be imported into CONTENTdm.  For further information on what is needed to move collections to the CARLI CONTENTdm server, please .

How much will it cost to migrate our digital objects to CARLI’s central server?

The individual library is responsible for any data migration costs, and must contact OCLC directly for a price quote on any associated costs.

Is there a limit to the amount of CARLI server space our library can use?

There are currently no restrictions on the amount of CARLI disk space that may be used to store your library’s digital content.  Note that the CARLI CONTENTdm server space is used for access images only and CARLI will not store your digital master files for you.  Storage of digital master files is the responsibility of each individual institution.

What level of administrative control will be granted to each institution?

Your institution will have working space on the CONTENTdm server where your staff can work with your collections. A staff person from your institution must be designated as the local administrator of CONTENTdm and will be given full administrative control over your institution's collections. CARLI staff must create the infrastructure for each of your collections before you can add content.

Will a local administrator have full control over its institution’s collections?

For most aspects of the CONTENTdm software, you have full control over your collections. However, there are some aspects of the software that require direct manipulation of the operating system file structure and permissions.  These features will be handled by either CARLI or OCLC staff.

Can users be created locally? Will the local administrator be able to grant different levels of access to different users?

The CONTENTdm software does have built-in access levels that allow administrators to grant different levels of access to different users. The software does not, however, have the ability to create accounts. New accounts can be created on the OCLC website. Once created there, the institution should send only the user names (do not send passwords) and the collections those user names may access to CARLI Support via the CONTENTdm New User Names Form.

  • CONTENTdm user names must not contain the ampersand (&) or percent (%) characters.
  • If you already have an existing username, you may use it with hosted CONTENTdm if you wish.
  • For students or temporary staff, a library may create a generic account with a library-managed email address.

Will each institution be able to design custom interfaces to their collections and where will these custom interfaces be hosted?

Yes. CARLI staff has a web-based interface that allows you to submit modifications to the design elements in a collection. An institution's CONTENTdm primary contact should use the CONTENTdm Customization Form to request changes to the banners, color schemes, and text in your collections. Collection home pages within the CONTENTdm system are hosted on the CARLI CONTENTdm server, but libraries can also create external web pages hosted on their own websites that link into CARLI Digital Collections.

We have licensed access to third-party image databases that are hosted by other vendors. What can we do to integrate multiple collections from various sources into a single interface?

If you are using a federated search application, you can make all of these sources targets in your federated search interface.