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111 people attended the 2nd Upper Midwest Digital Collections Conference and CONTENTdm Users Group meeting that took place August 9-11, St.


111 people attended the 2nd Upper Midwest Digital Collections Conference and CONTENTdm Users Group meeting that took place August 9-11, St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa (Quad Cities). Minitex, WiLS, and RAILS were the primary organizers of the conference. Along with hosting the conference, several Digital Initiatives & Metadata Education staff presented. Carla Urban participated on a panel called "Building Collections, Building Community: Collaborative Community Digitization Projects" and Greta Bahnemann co-presented "Deep Dive Into Digital Content: Minnesota Reflections Primary Source Sets." 

In addition to 20 breakout session topics, we had 3 keynote sessions over three days. Trevor Owens, IMLS presented the keynote on the first day on the topic of the National Digital Platform. The National Digital Platform is two things: A way of thinking about all the digital tools, services, infrastructure, and skills that libraries and librarians utilize to meet the needs of users, and it is also a portfolio of projects funded through the IMLS grant programs focused on expanding the digital capability and capacity of libraries across the country.

This year we introduced half-day workshops that were well attended, with about half of the attendees participating. Workshops included the following:

  • Tools for Managing Born-Digital Content 
  • Copyright & Related Issues in Digital Collections
  • Implementing an Oral History Metadata Synchronizer

The second half of the conference included the CONTENTdm Users Group meeting, sponsored by OCLC and organized by our collaborative partners and planning committee. At the users group meeting, OCLC Research staff and Paul Hedges from the Wisconsin Historical Society gave an update on the OCLC Linked Data Refinery Pilot Project. This is a project to test out the feasibility of using linked data transformation tools to make CONTENTdm collections (and any digital content) more accessible and usable on the web. Product Manager Shane Huddleston presented the OCLC CONTENTdm Update. OCLC is working on a full redesign of the CONTENTdm website, and will start rolling out incremental enhancements as early as fall 2016. You can view these and other presenter slides and handouts on the conference program website here

As this is an every-other-year conference, the next one will take place in 2018, in an "upper midwest" location yet to be determined. 

Cover image courtesy Stephanie Kom, North Dakota State Library and UMDCC planning committee member

Written by

Sara Ring
Continuing Education Librarian
Digital Initiatives & Metadata.

Education and support for staff who build, manage, and preserve digital and physical collections