CONTENTdm

(23)
4.0 out of 5 stars

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
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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 <span>Angel S.</span>
Angel S.
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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?

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CONTENTdm review by <span>Geoffrey S.</span>
Geoffrey S.
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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 <span>Jennifer L.</span>
Jennifer L.
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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 <span>Samantha N.</span>
Samantha N.
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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 <span>Adrian B.</span>
Adrian B.
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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.

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