Instructions for Customizing CONTENTdm Metadata Template

Note: This tutorial is also available as a video or PDF file.

CONTENTdm software provides a default metadata template that consists of 15 basic Dublin Core elements. The fields in the metadata template can be customized to reflect unique characteristics of a collection and/or to address the needs of the intended audience. A collection administrator can add new fields, delete fields that are not relevant to a specific collection, and use natural language for field labels. It is important, however, to map new and reconfigured fields to Dublin Core elements to ensure cross-collection searching and metadata harvesting.

I. To access and view metadata template

  1. Open CONTENTdm Administration module in your Web browser
  2. Click the Collections Tab
  3. Click Fields. The Field Properties page opens.

Figure 1 Default Dublin Core metadata template in CONTENTdm


II. To edit a field property

  1. In the Field Properties page, determine which field you wish to change
  2. Click Edit in that field row. The Edit Field page opens.
  3. If desired, make changes to:
  • Field Name – you can use natural language for field labels
  • DC map – mapping to Dublin Core metadata standard
  • Data Type – most fields remain as text; full-text searching is necessary for text documents with full-text searching capabilities provided by OCR software
  • Large – determines how a field is displayed; default display is one line of text; you can change to large for description field if you have multiple lines of text
  • Search – determines whether a field is searchable
  • Hide – defines whether a field is displayed to all users; you can hide fields that contain administrative metadata
  • Requireddetermines if the field is required of all items
  • Vocabdetermines whether a field has a controlled vocabulary
    • Use LC Thesaurus for Graphic Materials, Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names, or other controlled vocabulary tools provided by the software
    • Create your own vocabulary using natural language or other controlled vocabulary lists, such as LC Subject Headings
    • Use a controlled vocabulary form other collections on the server

4. Click Save Changes

III. To add a new field

  1. From the Field Properties page, click Add Field. The Add Field screen opens.

2. Enter a field name and change the field properties to reflect how the field will be used. You can use natural language for field name, e.g. Photographer, Author, City, etc.

3. Map the new field to an appropriate Dublin Core element

4. Determine whether the new field is searchable

5. Determine if the new field is required

6. Determine whether the new field uses controlled vocabulary or select “Use the existing contents of the field” option

7. Click Save Changes. The field is added to the Field Properties list.

IV. To move a field

  1. Determine which field you wish to move
  2. Use the drop-down list to choose the position of the field. The field is immediately moved to the new position.

V. To delete a field

  1. Determine which field you wish to delete.
  2. Click Delete. A confirmation window opens, asking whether you want to delete the field.
  3. Click OK. The field is removed from the Field Properties list.


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