CONTENTdm User Guide


Overview Definitions Navigation Project Settings Adding & Uploading Metadata Administration

What is CONTENTdm?

CONTENTdm is a digital collection management software by OCLC that allows users to store and organize digital items, add metadata, and upload their collections to the Web.


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Project Client: the desktop software in which items and metadata are entered and edited prior to upload to the online collection
Item: a file and the metadata associated with in
Object: an item (or group of items) that makes up a single work
Compound Object: multiple files that are displayed to the user as a single-work (ex: a book)
Project: a temporary group of items that is being edited. It only exists inside the Project Client
Metadata Template: a template created to assign consistent metadata to a project
Digital Collection: The overall group of items, usually representative of a single theme or source. Many already exist as a physical collection.

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Project Settings

Click on an image to enlarge

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Settings-7 Settings-8

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Adding & Uploading

Adding Multiple Items Adding Compound Objects Uploading


Multiple Items


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Adding Compound Objects


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NOTE: Items will not appear in the collection until they have been approved. Approvals are done through the Administration Web Client (See Administration)

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Metadata Definitions Adding Metadata Controlled Vocabulary

It is important that the metadata you use for each of your objects is as accurate and descriptive as possible–after all, this is how users will find items in your collection. Make sure to carefully follow the metadata guidelines laid out in the New York Heritage Metadata Dictionary and Best Practices Guide.

Metadata Definitions
Metadata “Data about data”–the attributes or descriptors of an item
Metadata Template a template that assigns consistent metadata to a project
Field a unit of information that describes an aspect of an item
Controlled Vocabulary a standardized set of terms

Adding Metadata

To set default metadata values before you start adding items to the project:


To add metadata after you have added an item to the project:


Tab Delimited Files:

Metadata can be added for multiple items ahead of time using an Excel spreadsheet. After creating a column for each of the fields in Excel, fill in the metadata for each item and save the file type as “Text (Tab delimited)”.



Controlled Vocabulary
Usage Links to Suggested Controlled Vocabularies
Required Fields

  • Title
  • Collection ID
  • File Name

Fields Requiring Controlled Vocabulary

  • NY Heritage Topic
  • Physical Format
  • Collection ID
  • Holding Institution
  • Digital Collection
  • Library Council

Fields with Recommended Controlled Vocabulary

  • Creator
  • Subject
  • Location
  • Contributors
  • Publisher of Original
  • Hidden Date
  • Type
  • Language
  • Format of Digital

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To access the Administration client, you will be leaving the Project Client and using your web browser.


This will open the Administration webpage in your browser. You MUST be connected to the Internet. You will also have to use log in to access the page.

Approving Items


After you have approved and indexed your items, they will be visible on the NY Heritage website.

Viewing Your Collection

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Editing Published Items

In order to edit collection items that have already been published, you must go through the Administration client.







When you’ve finished all of your edits, click “Save Changes.” In order to update the NYHertage website, you MUST index the collection again.

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