OMKEA, CONTENTdm and WordPress

Pyrounakis and Nikolaidou’s article gives a good comparison of several collection management systems and discusses some important features in each one. But it do not contain some CMS, like OMEKA, CONTENTdm and WordPress. Kucsma Reiss and Sidman’s article has described a good practice of OMEKA. And I have some experiences working with CONTENTdm in the practicum this semester. From the “Usage of content management systems for websites”, we can find that WordPress is heavily used now. So I want to compare some features in those three collection management systems.

The features of WordPress including changing of themes and the rich plugins. It is also a famous blogging tools. By now, I am comfortable about using WordPress. I think it is a very good and easy-to-learn blogging tool. All the functions are quite straightforward. I like that users can make tags and save drafts on WordPress. Although those functions maybe common in other blogging tools, I think WordPress have done that better. And I am interested in how WordPress works as a CMS.

Then, like it said by CHNM Director Dan Cohen, OMEKA is “WordPress for your exhibitions and collections.” I think it is a good definition of OMEKA, because it is also easy for users to customize their websites. According to Kucsma Reiss and Sidman’s article, WordPress is not good for building collections. So they choose to use OMKEA which is a good tool for librarians with less funding and small collections. So I am curious about how it works with large collections.

For CONTENTdm, the Recollection Wisconsin project in WiLS uses that to collect and share Wisconsin’s historical resources online. It is usually be used by many large libraries to manage their digital collections. The metadata of the large amount of resources can be entered into the spreadsheets, and then be imported into CONTENTdm. So it is useful for some big collections. It is also helpful when there are many staffs working on the same collection.

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6 responses to “OMKEA, CONTENTdm and WordPress

  1. Thanks for providing another helpful comparison of three collection management systems.

    Kucsma, Reiss and Sidman found that Omeka had some shortcomings for those working with larger collections. They point out that, on the administrative end of things, Omeka does not supply any sort of “templating system or other mechanism for populating related records with common data.” The authors found that making global edits to records in Omeka was very clumsy and time-consuming. They also found Omeka’s item creation templates were awkward to use to the point of losing data when windows got accidentally closed. These problems remind me a lot of a frustrating class management system called JackRabbit that my music school uses. The inability to easily populate related records with common data or make global changes can become a glaring impediment as the size of the collection of records increases!

    I have no experience at all with CONTENTdm but, from how you describe it, it sounds like it can work similarly to how the METRO librarians ended up using Omeka–by entering metadata into spreadsheets and uploading from there to the collection management system. Is that the only way CONTENTdm works? Do you think it beneficial to work with spreadsheets and to upload from there?

    • Thanks for the explanation of OMEKA.
      I am working on the tutorial for cataloging digital images in Recollection Wisconsin in my practicum now. So I am not sure what the librarians prefer to do to upload the metadata. But I am curious about that, too. So I will ask my supervisor this week, and answer your question. For the spreadsheets, I remembered that they thought it was very helpful, since some volunteers with no cataloging background can easily start with the spreadsheets.

    • I discussed OMKEA and CONTENTdm with my site supervisor yesterday. Here are some conclusions of our discussion. 🙂
      So OMEKA is doing a good job on small collections. But it does not support browsing of multi-pages. For CONTENTdm, it is not very easy to upload the spreadsheet into it. But it save the time of training on CONTENTdm, because people always feel comfortable with the spreadsheets. Since CONTENTdm can fill some fields with the same information in a group of images, librarians who know how to use CONTENTdm will just upload the digital images directly into it.

  2. This is a great thread, and I appreciate the on-the-ground experiences. I’m also glad to hear that you have gained a strong comfort level with WordPress – I hope you will be able to say the same regarding Omeka before our class is out!

  3. I think yiwenw brings up a great point concerning what student workers are comfortable using. I think for most academic digital libraries the bulk of the data entry is going to be preformed by grad and undergraduates. So a CMS should also be evaluated on how it first into a particular library’s workflow and employment base.

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