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CONTENTdm

4.0
(23)

CONTENTdm is a service used by many different types of libraries, historical societies and museums that gives you the tools to build, showcase and preserve your digital collections. With CONTENTdm, you increase the visibility of your digital collections with a website customized for your community that includes search engine optimization and the capability to share your metadata in WorldCat and other repositories where people search for information.

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CONTENTdm review by Administrator in Higher Education
Administrator in Higher Education
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"CONTENTdm meets needs of academic department within large university"

What do you like best?

We have been using CONTENTdm since 2002 (pre-OCLC) when the Libraries first started building access to digital collections. Because of its longevity in our institution, we have stayed with it. Impressions of it are generally positive. It has allowed my small academic unit to have a fully functional and searchable teaching collection of images that is accessible to the entire university, including our many branch campuses. In that respect, it meets our needs nicely.

What do you dislike?

CONTENTdm is not an intuitive product to use, and requires a bit of in-depth training. The uploading process is not reliable, and the user will often receive error notices that are not easily understood.

The product is also quite expensive. If my department was not collaborating with the larger Library infrastructure, not only would we not be able to afford it, but we also would not be able to support it technically.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Works well for an image collection, but I would recommend it only to those institutions that have funding and technical support for the product. It is not an out-of-the-box application, but definitely requires infrastructure and systems knowledge.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

CONTENTdm has enabled us to make our image collection accessible to our university community, which is something we could not do before.

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CONTENTdm review by Angel S.
Angel S.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"CONTENTdm is seamless and user friendly "

What do you like best?

As a Librarian with a concentration in digital libraries and specialization in metadata, CONTENTdm is the perfect software for your collection needs; no matter, the size of the collection. The entry fields are very helpful and make training easier for those entering the position for the first time. Tag fields allow you to create your own taxonomy within your collection to help users have a better experience in the information retrieval process.

What do you dislike?

Picture Upload functionality, if I have multiple images, I would like dual or multi-level picture features so that users for example can see front and back of the image all in 1 multi window view or be able to flip item over in 1 click and see the back of images when necessary (this would be very useful for post cards).

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

My responsibility is to ensure myself and colleagues are able to digitize print items; as well as, identify, index and properly include taxonomies for electronically born images to enhance the experience of users in a digital environment. I look at end user capability; in addition to, end user features that would enhance the quality of digitized items in an ever evolving digital collection.

What Digital Asset Management solution do you use?

Thanks for letting us know!
CONTENTdm review by Geoffrey S.
Geoffrey S.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Sonoma County Library's experience with CONTENTdm mostly good"

What do you like best?

* CONTENTdm allows us to display the Library's digitized historical materials on a single platform. The public interface is fairly easy to use and allows visitors to view digital objects, download web-quality copies, share them on social media and comment (providing us with crowd-sourced corrections and additional information. On the administrative side, uploading new objects is relatively easy through the CONTENTdm client, which also allows corrections (including batch corrections). Minor corrections can also be made through the web administrative interface.

* CONTENTdm's controlled vocabulary makes it possible to standardize search terms across multiple collections.

* OCLC offers both hosted and self-hosted options. We took advantage of hosting to free up our IT staff

What do you dislike?

* The product is marketed as being usable out of the box, but we found that extensive configuration and customization was necessary to achieve the look and functionality we wanted. One of our goals was to present different types of materials or thematically related materials such as our wine-related photographs or Sonoma County Fair-related materials as branded collections; CONTENTdm allows any number of separate collections, but at the cost of having to manage each collection separately. While some institutions have created virtual branded collections, we don't currently have the in-house expertise to do the coding required and as a result, managing materials split up across multiple collections has become problematic.

* Because we make use of controlled vocabularies, making corrections via the web administrative interface when there are multiple unrecognized terms in a record is difficult.

* Ongoing costs are a big consideration for us. We are currently at the mid-level for both number of objects and for storage size. Although we have not added new objects as rapidly as expected, we will need to evaluate our continued use of CONTENTdm when we get closer to the higher license level because our costs will double at that point.

* We have not made use of the included streaming audio and video capabilities because we haven't been able to make them work to our satisfaction. We have instead used scripts to stream those media from external sources.

* The hosted option doesn't allow direct management of uploaded design and functional assets such as website images, scripts and custom pages, so old assets cannot be deleted (this doesn't affect the use of newly uploaded assets)

Recommendations to others considering the product

Look carefully over your needs and talk to other institutions using CONTENTdm in addition to doing a trial.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

The library has an extensive historical photograph collection (40K+ images), as well as other digitized historical materials such as books, video and audio that we wanted to bring together on a single, attractive and easy to use platform. Many -- though not all -- of the images were available through the library's catalog, but only as thumbnails displayed through some non-standard coding and mixed in with records from the library's books, DVDs, audiobooks, etc. Migrating them to CONTENTdm in 2012 allowed us to focus on the digitized materials (branded as the Sonoma Heritage Collections -- http://heritage.sonomalibrary.org/cdm/) and also expose them to search engines. The web exposure -- along with more visibility due to the library's new website that highlights the Heritage Collections -- has resulted in a significant rise in visitors viewing our digitized materials. Another benefit is that we've been able to collaborate with local historical societies and other organizations to host their materials on the site. This benefits all parties by creating a bigger pool of related materials that can add context to individual items and by enabling the small organizations a web presence and professional management of their digital objects.

CONTENTdm review by Jennifer L.
Jennifer L.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"ContentDM provides fully functional DAM for starters and intermediate users. "

What do you like best?

ContentDM is strong in allowing flexibility of data. Field mapping, import, export and harvesting functions are all very good and provide a good platform with which to create opportunities to build great web apps. It also provides a relatively decent web interface for smaller institutions who do not have the staff, money or time to develop their own.

What do you dislike?

ContentDM can be a little clunky in it's uploading process. It throws errors which often have no definition leaving the user to wonder about the many variables that could have caused the error. It also has a bit of an archaic infrastructure on the back end which has lead to several glitches and problems along the way.

Recommendations to others considering the product

There are no recommendations aside from understanding that you will run into glitches that will require troubleshooting time. While having no experience with the hosted solution (we host ours on-prem), I have heard that hosted solutions are difficult when upgrades occur and issues have not been fully realized or resolved. I also understand that the hosted solutions are more costly over time than by managing in-house.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We are hosting our local history digital collections through ContentDM and this product has helped us to do this in a more efficient, cost-effective way.

CONTENTdm review by Samantha N.
Samantha N.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Utilized CONTENTdm as metadata tech in a large university library, and studied it in library school."

What do you like best?

The interface is very pleasant to work with, which is important when you spend hours at a time on record creation and metadata entry. The consistency of public interfaces between repositories with CONTENTdm instances for their digital collections is also very helpful when interacting with the program as a researcher.

The ability to pre-populate certain metadata fields at the collection level is very time-saving. I can also attest to the fact that it is fairly easy to train student workers to work successfully with the program to complete a wide variety of tasks.

What do you dislike?

I have heard from various sources that once a CONTENTdm instance becomes particularly full of many digital object records, the system tends to slow down. So while in theory a repository could have an "unlimited" instance of the program, they may actually need to consider having two instances to keep functionality high enough for there to be a good experience for both front-end and back-end users.

While the price point of CONTENTdm was feasible for my former employer, the cost of this program is not something that I could implement in my current role, even though I am very happy with the features and functionality of the DAM system.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Consider CONTENTdm as an investment. Evaluate the anticipated growth of your collection(s), because the use fees are determined based on collection size. Will the annual fee be sustainable for you if your collection(s) grows past your current use level?

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

My former employer needed a dynamic way to create digital object records and to then make those digital surrogates available online in a way that would be easy for researchers to navigate. These needs have been fully realized by implementing CONTENTdm.

CONTENTdm review by Adrian B.
Adrian B.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Content DM Review"

What do you like best?

ContentDM is an user friendly interface that easily adds content to your document management system. I was using COntentDM for description of a video collection on an university digital archive. The tagging was effortless and the content was easily integrated into the archive. It also has a small learning curve, so it no time to learn and understand how to use ContentDM.

What do you dislike?

For all its great benefits, ContentDM is very expensive. If you are a smaller historical institution or university, you may not have the budget to purchase the product.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I was not position to make business decision regarding use of the product; however, ContentDM does create an fully automated digital repositiory without having to build the system.

CONTENTdm review by Velu O.
Velu O.
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Review CONTENTdm"

What do you like best?

the program has a big library and several tools to use. it is easy to learn but you need to dedicate at least a month to be at least 80% familiar with the program. It is a good option if you do not know how to code or if you don't have the staff qualified for a more advance program.

What do you dislike?

It can be slow and confusing at first but once you know how it works it is easy. again you have to dedicate time to learn and understand the program. When i used this program i was only doing that in my job

Recommendations to others considering the product

I don;t have any

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

i was creating an archive catalog for the University of Maryland.

CONTENTdm review by Patrick O.
Patrick O.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"CONTENTDM allowed rapid deployment of digital collections for web access."

What do you like best?

CONTENTdm allowed you to have custom metadata for individual collections based on Dublin Core while maintaining the ability to search across all collections using Dublin Core as well. CONTENTdm allowed you to index certain metadata fields and make them browsable, however, with the addition of the browsable facet-style feature, this functionality was lost. CONTENTdm allowed you set up splash pages for each digital collection if necessary. Integration with Acrobat PDF was excellent, including indexing and integration of Adobe Acrobat search highlighting. Originally, metadata was harvested by WorldCat which was then harvested by Google but this has since changed. Collections must now be promoted manually.

What do you dislike?

During the import and conversion, an additional copy was written to another location. This feature was intended to aid in the processing workflow but added the headache of having another local copy. As clearly stated by CONTENTdm, this product was intended for access and display and no promises were made regarding security and integrity of collections. For example, if the collections were lost because of data issues, you were expected to maintain your own copy and you might have to restore it in the worst case. Customers should be aware that this is not a digital asset management system and must develop strategies for protecting their digital archival collections.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Please make sure you have a digital archival strategy in place. Please be aware that this software is for access and display not preservation. Please note that even if you have the original, you need to protect the investment in digitizing as the contract does not guarantee complete protection of you assets. This is in fact reasonable since this is not a complete digital repository software package. CONTENTdm may now offer additional services to provide the digital archive. This software is easy to use and provides greater functionality than some other packages being sold by library vendors. These include excellent indexing design options, full-text indexing, multimedia coverage, and proper integration with Adobe Acrobat.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

CONTENTdm provided a COTS (Commercial Off-the-shelf) solution to developing and maintaining digital collections of archival material for access by internal as well as external customers. It required minimal training and provide features for look-and-feel, metadata schemes, and integration with many multimedia types and PDF. Previously, some of the digital collections were added to the Library Catalog system but they were not easily accessed and had little visibility.

CONTENTdm review by User in Religious Institutions
User in Religious Institutions
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"Often used, but not a fan"

What do you like best?

(Note: This product was used for a pilot study for a digitization project.)

It uses Dublin Core metadata, not some proprietary schema.

It allows RSS, so your users can "subscribe" to your digital library and see new items as they are added.

It's a product used by a large portion of the digilib community, so it's worth learning.

What do you dislike?

The cost is pretty substantial for a small-scale repository, so it may simply be better to go with another option unless you are "piggy-backing" off of another institution's setup.

When we used it, we had little control over features and formatting of the collection website, which was immensely frustrating.

We also found it difficult to "group" items by collections which felt antithetical to the traditional archival model: I missed my box/folder/item levels of organization. (Plus, it makes things difficult to browse.)

I also found that the search feature could be improved upon by adding the option to refine the results from a query.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Make friends with the IT department! Also, pass on this if you have a small collection.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

This product is used to make digital collections available to the user. This increases access, which is important, but has yet to solve many of the problems the community has identified with organizing and making available digital collections.

CONTENTdm review by Amanda Marie Y.
Amanda Marie Y.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"CONTENTdm for Research"

What do you like best?

I used CONTENTdm while I was a student in Library School for a Digital Library class. I really enjoy how the digital collection management software was user friendly and allowed for easy searching. Overall it is a great finding aid.

What do you dislike?

Finding and creating tags for CONTENTdm that are relevant to your topic in order to make the most out of the software can be challenging just like with any collection management software, you have to have a basic understanding of tags and users needs.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I am a huge proponent in promoting concise cataloging and user end result that meets their needs in regards to allowing a user to find exactly what they are looking or searching for. The benefits of CONTENTdm are that it provides for easy searching and browsing of topics in a user friendly formate. I have not used CONTENTdm in some time, but I highly recommend it for use in a library or museum setting for users to be able to get resources and information.

CONTENTdm review by Administrator in Higher Education
Administrator in Higher Education
Validated Reviewer
Verified Current User
Review Source

"ContentDM is a valuable tool for building archival collections"

What do you like best?

I love how simple it is to begin working with ContentDM. I have minimal experience with content management software and dealing with digital collections, and the interface is extremely user-friendly and easy to learn. Additionally, their support team is incredibly responsive.

What do you dislike?

I'm not sure I dislike anything at the moment. I'm dealing with a very small collection on ContentDM, but from what I've seen with other collections of theirs, it's scalable and supports uploading metadata templates instead of filling out fields individually, for example.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Make sure to go through all of the training modules that ContentDM has made available online. I don't know what I would have done without going through all of those trainings and having some follow-up questions for the CDM support staff.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I needed to create a digital archive for my work, and it's really allowed for a lot more engagement with the archive in general. I didn't quite realize how effective having an easy-to-view online presence would be. Now, people who would never otherwise interact with our collections now have a window into them.

CONTENTdm review by Gordon P.
Gordon P.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"An Archivist Essential"

What do you like best?

I was simply wowed by the power of the management software. Volunteers from our university would scan historical photos and media. I was the front-end developer and found it very easy to customize.

What do you dislike?

I really didn't have any dislikes. I would only make sure it is future proof as the latest html5 and css3 techniques come around.

Recommendations to others considering the product

This product is vital if you have an archive or lots of information you want consolidated and searchable.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

We have been able to convert our collection into the database to make it searchable. There is no question that without Content DM none of our endeavor would have to fruition. What I liked is that I created the front end and the back end was already set up. My development time for the back end was very small, and I was able to focus on the front end. It is a perpetual project. As I set up the system a few years ago, it is seeing more and more use and content addition.

CONTENTdm review by Kirsten R.
Kirsten R.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"ContentDM Review"

What do you like best?

I think ContentDM is fairly straightforward; it gets the job done. It's no-frills, which is nice. There are 3 tabs, Server, Collections, and Items. I am an admin on my account, but only have access to Collections and Items, so I can only speak to those two. Mostly, I use the Items tab, which is where the work of uploading images to a collection is done. From a librarian's point of view, I think the range of fields is good (e.g., Copyright, Format, Digital Processing Notes, etc.).

What do you dislike?

This is regarding Add Item. If you enter information in a field incorrectly, and click on Add, you will not be able to add the item, and rather than being able to go back and fix the one incorrect entry, you must enter all information in all fields again. So you must be diligent about your entries' correctness.

Recommendations to others considering the product

If you need software for image management, I think you could do much worse.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I've used this in conjunction with a project; this software is available at no cost to my organization. It's been very useful in that I'm able to easily and seamlessly add digital images with descriptors to an online collection.

CONTENTdm review by Winnie T.
Winnie T.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"A good comprehensive DAM "

What do you like best?

I enjoyed the ability to upload and describe digital objects with extensive and multifaceted metadata--it seemed like there were infinite options for many types of material, but CONTENTdm offered a streamlined, effective display for our needs.

What do you dislike?

Not every command, function, option, etc. was intuitive; there seemed to be more training necessary with CONTENTdm than with other digital asset management systems I've used (Archivists' Toolkit, Re:Discovery Proficio).

Recommendations to others considering the product

Take the time to learn it, and take advantage of customer support if you have any questions.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

When using CONTENTdm, the problems that needed to be solved were largely to do with uploading and making available complex digital objects and files comprised of multiple objects. CONTENTdm allowed us to do that and to include necessary metadata for retrieval by end users.

CONTENTdm review by Timothy M.
Timothy M.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Good platform for standard digital collections"

What do you like best?

CONTENTdm works very well for digital collections that fit within clear and consistent boundaries, especially image-based collections, and do not need a lot of specialization of the interface.

What do you dislike?

CONTENTdm has historically had difficulty with large scale collections.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Think about your scale - if your scale is very large, consider alternatives. If you have some, or a lot of, smaller collections, then CONTENTdm will work very well for you. Try to stay within the boundaries of the web service framework for the interface for your technical implementation. The more customization you want to do, the harder your upgrades will be from one version to the next.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

For discrete clear digital collections, CONTENTdm stores, describes, indexes, and provides access well.

CONTENTdm review by Rochelle L.
Rochelle L.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"CONTENTdm Review for Special Collections and Archival Libraries"

What do you like best?

User Functionality. Very easy to work with- add photos and add relevant metadata.

What do you dislike?

Some advanced functionality would often go unused in the more vast projects, because such acute level of detail was not needed.

Recommendations to others considering the product

Take the time to train your staff and volunteers on how to use CONTENTdm prior to starting a project. While troubleshooting along the way is definitely a strategy, this product has some excellent tutorials that allow for complete comprehension and a better approach to coherency within the project.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

A way to archive large photographic collections that are required to be at a certain level of quality and coded with metadata that is retrievable and tag-able for the Library of Congress

CONTENTdm review by User in Oil & Energy
User in Oil & Energy
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Producing Geospatial Images To Be Served By CONTENTdm"

What do you like best?

CONTENTdm was an easy system to implement and was used to catalog thousands of georeferenced images and their metadata. Importing the imagery and metadata was relatively seamless. It was able to handle this particular collection of data along with other collections. The ability to hyperlink some of the metadata was helpful.

What do you dislike?

Formatting the data to be processed by CONTENTdm has to be perfect, otherwise the data will not import properly. This sometime resulted in multiple import attempts until these issues were worked out.

Recommendations to others considering the product

It definitely delivers and performs as advertised. It should be given serious consideration for others wanting to implement a content delivery system for their business, school, etc.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

This system was the foundation to serve large amounts of data from a university library to the students and public. Once configured and populated with data, it has served its purpose.

CONTENTdm review by Michael S.
Michael S.
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"Excelleting soft ware"

What do you like best?

Its user friendly and simplifies organization techniques to make better use of data

What do you dislike?

Nothing, its a really really good program.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

All types of problems. I've realized that organization and note taking is the key to success

CONTENTdm review by User in Consumer Electronics
User in Consumer Electronics
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"ContentDM Makes it Easy to Create Descriptive Digital Collections"

What do you like best?

I worked with ContentDM in a Digital Libraries course in graduate school along with two other competitive tools. ContentDM was my favorite of the three. I created a collection with audio and images and descriptive metadata. It was easy to navigate, build, organize, and customize.

What do you dislike?

Honestly, I don't think there was anything I was frustrated with when using this tool.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

I used ContentDM in a classroom setting.

CONTENTdm review by Administrator in Libraries
Administrator in Libraries
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"CONTENTdm review"

What do you like best?

CONTENTdm is very easy to use for managing digitization projects. Inputting metadata, managing digital files, and linking documents are straight forward processes with this software.

What do you dislike?

I do not have any dislikes about the software at this time

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

CONTENTdm was used in managing a digitization project, the benefits include a streamline system of document management - tracking, storing, and updating files was very simple.

CONTENTdm review by Administrator in Libraries
Administrator in Libraries
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"CONTENTdm isn't Perfect But Best Option Out There"

What do you like best?

Easy out of the box.I am not aware of a better alternative. It handles single items and compound objects. Allows for large batch uploading an editing.

What do you dislike?

Visual display is poor though getting better. I really dislike the small thumbnails in tw browse section

Recommendations to others considering the product

Worth the cost if you have no heavy programming staff to pull the heavy code work needed otherwise.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

N/A

CONTENTdm review by Administrator in Higher Education
Administrator in Higher Education
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"ContentDM Review"

What do you like best?

I like how it puts digital publishing into student, faculty and a library hands.

What do you dislike?

It's buggy in some of the cataloging sections but tolerable.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

For 2 libraries I've worked it resolved our digital archiving challenges and also supplies our users with an intuitive platform for publishing, submitting work and researching the digital collections.

CONTENTdm review by Administrator in Higher Education
Administrator in Higher Education
Validated Reviewer
Review Source

"CONTENTdm review"

What do you like best?

flexibility. access to php files give technical personnel a lot of flexibility

What do you dislike?

search behavior and search index seems to be very clunky.

What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?

collection management, workflow management are the strength of CONTENTdm. The community is also great. I wish the community can be made open in stackoverflow

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