Related product Digital Collections (CONTENTdm)

Using the WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway in CONTENTdm

CARLI Digital Collections users can utilize the Digital Collection Gateway (DCG) feature through CONTENTdm to create WorldCat MARC records for the digital items in their collections. This page outlines the major steps of the process for libraries using CARLI Digital Collections, but it is not meant to be a comprehensive guide. Please also consult the official documentation cited in step 1b below.

  1. To begin, review the following information and documentation:

    a. It is strongly recommended that you review the "Resources for WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway" page on the OCLC website and view the pre-recorded orientation web session listed under the "Learn More" section of that page before starting this process.

    b. Examine the Digital Collection Gateway documentation, specifically the CONTENTdm Using the WorldCat Digital Collection Gateway Tutorial.

    c. Read and consider comments from one CARLI library on their experiences with the Digital Collection Gateway

  2. Notify CARLI that you would like to have a collection enabled for WorldCat Sync and the Digital Collection Gateway by filling out the online form.

    The information collected on this form will be used by the DCG to create the collection-level record in WorldCat and is required to start the process. You are essentially performing original cataloging; fill out whichever Dublin Core fields you believe are appropriate to describe your collection as a whole. You must fill out the form once for each collection you want to enable. (If you want to edit the collection-level record information, you can do so any time by resubmitting this form to CARLI.) Remember that this information represents the entire collection and will be subject to the Dublin Core to MARC mapping that you set up for all items in step 5 below.

  3. CARLI staff will notify you when this collection is ready for use in the Digital Collection Gateway and will work with you to create an individual login for your institution in the DCG. If you have an existing user account, the DCG login will associate itself to that account automatically if you use the same email address.
  4. Once your DCG login has been established, the first time you log into the DCG, be sure to assign the correct OCLC symbol for your library to your collection(s). This is very important to ensure that the MARC records created are correctly associated with your library!
  5. The metadata mapping process in the DCG is the library’s responsibility. Using the documentation referenced above in step 1 to guide you, you will map your Dublin Core metadata into MARC to create the WorldCat records. Any questions or problems experienced while using the Digital Collection Gateway should be directed to , not CARLI.
  6. Once metadata mapping is completed and the MARC records have been created in WorldCat, you may notify CARLI that OCLC numbers are ready to be synced back into CONTENTdm. This will cause the resultant OCLC numbers to be automatically added to the corresponding CONTENTdm metadata records for each digital item. This process takes place in the server tab of CONTENTdm Web Administration that only CARLI staff have permission to access.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Digital Collection Gateway?

From OCLC: "The Digital Collection Gateway enables you to upload metadata from your collection into WorldCat. You can use the Digital Collection Gateway to create profiles for your collection metadata to be regularly harvested using Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting [OAI-PMH]), uploaded, and converted to WorldCat format. After harvesting, WorldCat returns a list of OCLC numbers that can be added to your collection’s metadata to support future synchronizations. After collections are uploaded via the Digital Collection Gateway, they are available for end-users to search and discover from WorldCat. End-users can click through to view and use your collection."

Please see the Information for Metadata Contributors page on the OCLC website for more information.

Does each CARLI library have its own login to the Digital Collection Gateway?

Yes, but when you are logged into the DCG, you may be able to access other collections. You should work only within your own library’s collections and records. Please respect other libraries’ work within the DCG, do not edit collections that are not yours, and do not edit the collection assignments in the "Manage Account" section.

How can I access the Server tab in CONTENTdm Web Administration to complete some of the steps found in the documentation?

Libraries do not have access to the Server tab in CONTENTdm Web Administration. CARLI Staff must perform all work required on that tab to enable WorldCat Sync for each collection, add/edit the Collection Description and other metadata for the collection-level record, and sync OCLC numbers.

For I-Share members, once MARC records have been created in WorldCat, can they be loaded into my library’s Voyager catalog?

Technically, loading the records into a local Voyager catalog should be possible, but no I-Share library has yet undertaken this kind of project. Please contact the CARLI Office to discuss what options are available.

The I-Share Cataloging and Authority Control Team (ICAT) offers the following advice (as of Nov. 2011):

The decision to load records into I-Share and the library’s local catalog is one that can be made individually by the library and may even vary by collection. If loaded, all records will be available from a single source—the catalog. Users can search for books and digital objects with the same search box, and other I-Share library users may discover additional resources they would not otherwise have known about.

The records created by the Digital Collection Gateway all have unique OCLC numbers, so they will not pose an overlay risk to other records within I-Share; however, the quality of the records will likely not meet the recommendations put forth in the Standards for Bibliographic Records in I-Share. The records will not necessarily be cataloged following AACR2 standards or use MARC in an optimal way. Even if the records as originally input into CONTENTdm tried to follow AACR2, the process of mapping from a less granular format (Dublin Core) to a more granular format (MARC) means that information will be lost. Subdivisions will not be properly formatted, indicators may be wrong, information may be missing, and fixed fields will be skeletal. This does not preclude their being loaded, but there are some issues to consider:

How distinctive is the content of each record?

Libraries should consider how distinct the data is in the individual record. Would users be able to find specific images using information in the record for the digital item, or would the search results be overwhelmed with a large number of very similar or near-identical items? If the latter, libraries may be best served by providing collection-level records within Voyager instead. Libraries should also consider how best to allow users to distinguish these objects as digital items. Because the fixed field information of the MARC records cannot be customized in the Digital Collection Gateway, that information will not be available to VuFind to identify additional facets, although VuFind will be able identify the images as electronic resources through the use of the General Material Designation, “[electronic resource]”. Libraries may also wish to create a special location for digital/CONTENTdm records. That way, users could select or limit only to those items.

How easily can the collection metadata be mapped?

Collections where the metadata is relatively homogeneous can be more easily mapped into MARC and can more closely follow AACR2. If the metadata varies considerably from record to record, performing the optimal mapping for each object may not be possible. For example, subject headings can be mapped to the 653, but the 653 (Index Term—Uncontrolled) will not appear in the VuFind subject index (though it is indexed during a keyword search). Subject heading data using a controlled vocabulary like Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) could be mapped to the 650, but it will likely not be formatted properly, i.e., subfields will not be broken out and coded correctly. If a collection uses a combination of LCSH and local keywords for subject access, all terms must be mapped to the same MARC field, and cannot be split between the 650 and 653.

Does your library use a discovery interface?

If using a third-party discovery tool, you may be able to include data from the catalog and data from CONTENTdm independently, and not have to add the records into the catalog. However, having all of the records loaded into a single database may make it easier and cheaper to transfer that data into a discovery interface.

What kind of maintenance do you have planned?

The MARC records created by the Digital Collection Gateway can be further cleaned up and improved individually within OCLC Connexion, Voyager, or worked on in batch using a tool like MarcEdit. You can perform authority work on the records in your local catalog, but names from digital collections may not have any associated authority records, as they may be local, obscure, or lacking literary warrant. Additionally, the names may not be in appropriate MARC format because of the lack of mapping granularity, and you could find that the records clog up your authority reports and disrupt authority browsing. If the metadata within CONTENTdm is still changing and the collection is growing, you may wish to resync the collection in the future, and then you will then need to reload the records into Voyager and any local modifications would likely be overwritten.

If you have any questions, please .

CARLI Office Created: 4/28/2011
CARLI Office Revised: 3/25/2019