DUBLIN, Ohio, USA,15 August 2006—OCLC Online Computer Library Center has acquired DiMeMa (Digital Media Management), the organization that developed and supports CONTENTdm, the leading digital management software for libraries distributed by OCLC.
CONTENTdm software offers a complete set of tools to store, manage and deliver digital collections such as historical documents, photos, newspapers, audio and video on the Web. OCLC has been the exclusive distributor of CONTENTdm software to libraries, cultural heritage organizations and other nonprofit organizations since 2002.
"CONTENTdm is the industry leader in digital management software for libraries," said Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO. "CONTENTdm makes it possible for libraries to easily manage their own, unique digital collections. As part of OCLC, the DiMeMa team will be better positioned to explore new ways to help libraries and other cultural heritage organizations manage their digital collections and make them accessible worldwide."
Greg Zick, founder of DiMeMa and former Professor at the University of Washington, will be Vice President of OCLC Digital Services, and will report to Phyllis B. Spies, Vice President, OCLC Collection Management Services. The DiMeMa staff of 11 will maintain its office in Seattle, Washington.
CONTENTdm was developed while Dr. Zick and a team of programmers were conducting research into optimal digital image database technologies in the Center for Information Systems Optimization (CISO) at the University of Washington. At the time, special collections of the University of Washington Libraries were stored in a variety of forms and formats, and demand was building to provide flexible online access to these resources. The Libraries began to use the CISO Lab software for fast, full-featured access and management of the collections.
After extensive field testing, the products resulting from these research and development activities were made available to organizations outside the University. DiMeMa Inc. was formed in 2001 to support the growing CONTENTdm user community and to focus on accelerated research and product development.
"This acquisition positions a company, originally a startup based on technology from the University of Washington, to make an even greater impact in the field of digital management software," said Jim Severson, Vice Provost of UW TechTransfer, which facilitates the commercialization of innovations arising from UW research. "The fact that their office and staff will remain in Seattle is also a plus, so this is a big win for everyone involved."
"DiMeMa and OCLC have worked very closely together for the past four years and we have enjoyed tremendous success in moving libraries into the digital age," said Dr. Zick. "Together we will be able to reach more libraries and other organizations interested in managing and exposing their unique content to the worldwide information community."
"OCLC currently has several important initiatives under way to help libraries manage their digital collections, including the Content Cooperative pilot project, the Digital Archive with newly released Web Archives Workbench, participation in LOCKSS and CLOCKSS and the OCLC/DLF Registry of Digital Masters," said Ms. Spies. "OCLC and its member libraries will benefit with the addition of the talented DiMeMa staff, and the integration of CONTENTdm solutions with other projects."
The addition of DiMeMa staff will also help the RLG-Programs division and OCLC Research in their efforts to explore the applications of digitization in the library and museum communities.
The newly-organized Digital Services Division will integrate both OCLC and RLG digital services into the OCLC portfolio. Digital Services staff, including the DiMeMa staff, will collaborate closely with RLG-Programs staff on shared issues of curation, preservation and presentation of digital resources. "RLG has a long tradition of moving community-initiated activities into production," said Jim Michalko, Vice President, RLG-Programs Development. "We think the DiMeMa capabilities will create opportunities for the collective creation of important digital collections for scholars and students. Along with our Research colleagues, we are pleased to have this strong collaborative context available to us as we develop our agenda."
CONTENTdm has evolved into a powerful digital collection management solution that offers scalable tools for archiving collections of any size. Today more than 300 libraries and other cultural heritage organizations license CONTENTdm software to manage more than 2,500 digital collections.
Metadata for these digital collections can be added to WorldCat, the world's largest database of items held in libraries. Once in WorldCat, these collection items can be found by searching the database, or searching the Web. Items in WorldCat can now be discovered through WorldCat.org, a new search site that also offers a downloadable search box, and through popular search engines like Google and Yahoo! as part of the OCLC Open WorldCat program.