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OCLC releases new CONTENTdm version that supports Unicode

Press Release: OCLC [January 15, 2009]

Copyright (c) 2009 OCLC

Abstract: OCLC has released CONTENTdm 5, a new version of the popular CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management software that fully supports Unicode, the industry standard used to recognize text in most of the world’s non-Western languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Greek and Hebrew, among others.

DUBLIN, Ohio, January 15, 2009. OCLC has released CONTENTdm 5, a new version of the popular CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management software that fully supports Unicode, the industry standard used to recognize text in most of the world’s non-Western languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Greek and Hebrew, among others.

"We are excited about this milestone in CONTENTdm’s development," said Greg Zick, OCLC Vice President, Digital Collection Services. "Enhanced with integrated Unicode support, CONTENTdm 5 is a great example of OCLC’s ongoing commitment to furthering access to the world’s information—no matter the language of origin. When libraries add their CONTENTdm collection metadata to WorldCat, their digital items benefit from unparalleled visibility and access worldwide via the Web."

In direct response to input provided by more than 1,000 CONTENTdm users, OCLC development staff designed new features and improved existing features as part of CONTENTdm 5. The new release includes fundamental changes for both end users and libraries.

For end users, CONTENTdm 5 provides a new experience with powerful search improvements, including the integration of Find—the search engine behind OCLC’s Offering capabilities beyond full Unicode searching, CONTENTdm 5 also features faceted browsing to help refine search results, as well as relevancy ranking similar to what end users experience when searching and other popular search engines. These improvements ensure a library achieves its ultimate goal for its digital collection—to help end users find, get and use the digital items they need.

For libraries, the new CONTENTdm includes a totally redesigned Project Client, offering more streamlined collection-building workflows that will reduce the time needed to create a digital collection, reducing project costs and maximizing results.

Other CONTENTdm 5 enhancements include a new reports module designed to better track and assess collection usage; nine integrated thesauri, which will improve efficiency by providing controlled vocabularies; and increased capacity that supports more collections, items and metadata fields as well as larger volumes for batch processing.

CONTENTdm 5 offers improvements for handling EAD (Encoded Archival Description) files, including how finding aids are imported, displayed and searched.

"The new EAD functionality provides archivists with expanded options for integrating finding aids with digital collections," said Jackie Dooley, Consulting Archivist, OCLC Programs and Research. "Making finding aids fully searchable from within CONTENTdm digital collections, in concert with the item-level metadata that can be derived from them, will help information seekers both improve their search results and become aware of these unique and distinctive materials, many of which have yet to be digitized."

Early beta testing of CONTENTdm 5 began with a grant from Canada’s Department of Heritage Partnership Fund for a Multicultural Canada digitization initiative at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada, in October 2007.

"CONTENTdm 5 can handle pretty much any type of content that a library would like to make available to its users," said Mark Jordan, Head of Library Systems at the W.C.A. Bennett Library at SFU. "The new Unicode capabilities of CONTENTdm 5 also ‘future proof’ CONTENTdm so it will be able to handle new content types as they become available."

The opportunity to curate digital collections is of great value to libraries and is a rapidly growing field. With millions of digital assets managed via CONTENTdm and hundreds of thousands of digital assets available through WorldCat, OCLC will continue to enhance CONTENTdm and its related products and services to support the library community in these important efforts, said Dr. Zick.

To see how some libraries are using CONTENTdm, visit More information about CONTENTdm can be found at

CONTENTdm users will meet to learn more about these software updates from OCLC staff at the American Library Association Midwinter Conference in Denver, Colorado, January 23-28. OCLC-supported user groups also meet annually to discuss digital collection management and how to best utilize CONTENTdm. To attend a user group meeting or for more information, contact OCLC at

About Simon Fraser University

Named after explorer Simon Fraser, SFU opened on September 9, 1965. Taking only 30 months to grow from the idea stage into an almost-completed campus with 2,500 students, SFU was dubbed the "Instant University." Just over 42 years later SFU has over 30,000 students and 100,000 alumni, more than 700 tenure-track faculty and 1,600 staff. The original campus has grown into three vibrant campuses in Burnaby, Vancouver and Surrey, and SFU’s reputation has grown into one of innovative teaching, research and community outreach.

About OCLC

Founded in 1967 and headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, OCLC is a nonprofit library service and research organization that has provided computer-based cataloging, reference, resource sharing, eContent, preservation, library management and Web services to 69,000 libraries in 112 countries and territories. OCLC and its member libraries worldwide have created and maintain WorldCat, the world’s richest online resource for finding library materials. For more information, visit

View Citation
Publication Year:2009
Type of Material:Press Release
Language English
Issue:January 15, 2009
Company: OCLC
Products: CONTENTdm
Subject: Product announcements
Record Number:13753
Last Update:2012-12-29 14:06:47
Date Created:2009-01-16 07:13:03