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DiMeMa has announced that CONTENTdm 4.3 will be released in October. There are a couple of really great new features available in the new release that I'm really excited about: expanded support for PDF files and the ability to share controlled vocabularies between fields in a collection and across different collections.
In the past, PDF files were displayed in a CONTENTdm collection as a link that opened the PDF in a new browser window. One way to work around this is by saving each page of the PDF as a JPEG and then importing the page images into one CONTENTdm document as a compound object. This is the approach we took with the American Century Project. This workaround is effective but somewhat time-consuming and not ideal because each page image counts against the total number of items allowed on our CONTENTdm server. CONTENTdm 4.3 has integrated the features of the PDF (such as search term highlighting, full-text searchability, and printing all or part of the PDF document) into the CONTENTdm compound object display interface. This is a much more user-friendly and aesthetically appealing way to manage PDF documents in CONTENTdm. Additionally, each PDF document, no matter how many pages long it is, will only count as one item against the total number of items we're allowed to store in our CONTENTdm server. Effective, efficient, and innovative.
The other feature of 4.3 that I'm excited about is the ability to more easily share controlled vocabularies between fields in a collection or across different collections. Controlled vocabularies are predefined lists of approved terms that can appear in metadata fields within a CONTENTdm collection. For example, the Subject field can be pre-filled with Library of Congress Subject Headings. Catalogers can select from this list or submit new terms for approval in CONTENTdm's data entry module called the Acquisition Station. Until now controlled vocabularies had to manually be copied from field to field within a collection or across different collections.
These are just a couple of the new features of CONTENTdm 4.3. DiMeMa will be hosting some upcoming web sessions to talk about the rest of the features in more detail. I'm really excited to see that DiMeMa is continuing to develop CONTENTdm with the needs of its users in mind. This is the second organization I've worked at where I've gotten to implement the use of CONTENTdm. It's a solid product and it has been integral to our success over the past couple of years.