Thursday, December 07, 2006


Yay! I get CONTENTdm for Christmas! Well not just me, but St. Olaf has finally agreed to buy this database program that would consolidate the various fiefdoms that each department has for images and metadata. Even within departments no one can access anyone else's imagery. So enter DM. It can handle piles of meta data and do searches and cross references with ease. It will still be 100% local to our network so only people inside the campus and with a login/password can access it.

Washington State Universityhas an example of a password free page that is simple and nice. You can search, or you can just choose a predefined search to get a slected category. Once you get the image, you get along with it a fantastic flood of meta-data that is all cross referenced. He took it in 1911? Well click on that and see what else he took in 1911. Subject? Type? Location? As much as you can throw at it.

Now this is really nothing new. Carleton already uses it, and has used it for years i'm sure. Its the standard for this kind of stuff. But there has been an internal debate for years now, and DM finally won and I am very excited. I feel like this is the big reason I was hired - to transition this department from our old slide library system, and our dysfunctional online database (it uses Microsoft access!) to DM. And who knows? Perhaps this will vault this position to a campus wide position. That was Heather's notion of it when she left. To combine this position in the art department with library hours to create a 1.0 position, vs. the .25 it is right now.

Who knows. For now I am just going to focus on moving our collection over and seeing what the possibilities are for us now. Lots of balls in the air. Between ARTstor and CONTENTdm we should eventually have killer campus wide imagery access. Fun fun!

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