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Field properties

CONTENTdm Administrators can view, define, and fully configure the list of collection metadata fields. These fields can be added, deleted, and reordered. You& can also view and edit a set of administrative fields (some of them are system-defined and cannot be edited).

You can have a maximum of 125 fields per collection, in addition to the administrative fields.

When editing collection metadata field properties, you can designate a full text field to activate the transcript functionality and enable text extraction from PDF and EAD files. You can also use a controlled vocabulary for a field, which restricts the terms that are entered in a specific field. You can choose to share a controlled vocabulary with other fields or collections.

After editing collection metadata field properties, index the collection to update changes, based on the following table of indexing requirements. Projects in the Project Client must always be closed and reopened to reveal changes made to properties or fields.

Field types

Collections have two sets of metadata fields: collection fields and administrative fields.

Collection Fields
Property Description Building text index after editing
Field Name The names of the metadata fields. These fields can be changed to more closely reflect the contents of a collection. The maximum length of a field name is 60 characters. Not required
DC Map

Shown as Dublin Core Mapping in the Edit Field page. Determines which field in the Dublin Core element set that this field maps to. This is particularly important when searching across multiple collections. Fields mapped to the same Dublin Core element can be queried in searches across collections.

The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set and Element Refinements recommended by the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative are available from the Edit Field page. Fields mapped to a simple (unqualified) Dublin Core element (for example, "Relation") will be searched in queries on a qualified version of that element (for example, "Relation-Is Part Of"). Queries on a simple (unqualified) Dublin Core element will search fields mapped to all qualified versions of that element.

Data Type The type of data. Currently supported data types are Text, Date, and Full Text Search. See Change data types Required
Show Large Field

Shown as Show Large Field in the Edit Field page. Determines how a field is displayed within CONTENTdm Administration and the Project Client. This field setting does not change the amount of text that you can enter. It only changes your view of the text box so that you may more easily enter a large amount of text. The single-byte character limit is 128,000 for each field. The double-byte character limit is 64,000 for each field. The drop-down list provides two choices as to how the field will be displayed in the Web editing functions and the Project Client.

  • Choosing No displays the field as a single-line text box.
  • Choosing Yes displays the field as a multiple-line text box.
Not required
Searchable Shown as Searchable in the Edit Field page. Defines whether or not the field is indexed for search queries. If so, this field will appear in the search screen drop-down lists and can be used to perform text queries to identify and retrieve items from the collection. If a field is not searchable, the field will not appear on the query screen but will be displayed when the metadata for an item is retrieved. Required
Hidden Shown as Hidden in the Edit Field page. Defines whether or not the field is shown to all users. Fields marked as hidden will not appear in the public Web interface but will be visible to administrators and catalogers through the Project Client and CONTENTdm Administration. Not required

Defines whether the field is required for all items in the collection. Fields designated as required are indicated in item editing interfaces, including CONTENTdm Administration and the Project Client. Items missing metadata in required fields cannot be added to the pending queue, and they cannot be approved using the detailed approval queue actions. (Items that do not have metadata in required fields are approved automatically if you use the full approval queue actions, including scheduled approvals.) You can define which fields are required. The Title field is required by default and cannot be changed.

 Note: The Required property is ignored when using Connexion digital import.

Not required
Controlled Vocabulary Shown as Controlled Vocabulary in the Edit Field page. Indicates whether or not a vocabulary has been defined for a field and whether that vocabulary is shared across fields and collections. Controlled vocabulary is a way to limit the terms entered into a field to only those in the vocabulary list. Required
Administrative Fields

The administrative fields are system-defined. You can edit some properties of these fields, but you cannot move or delete them. All administrative fields can be searched and mapped to Dublin Core (DC map), if you edit the default properties. All administrative fields are hidden by default.

The large field designation does not apply to any of the administrative fields, and you cannot edit them by using the Find and Replace function.

Field Description
Archival file Contains volume and file name information about the archival file associated with the item. The display of the field is determined by the Hidden field property setting, which can be viewed and configured on the Metadata Fields page in CONTENTdm Administration under the Collections tab.
OCLC number Contains the OCLC number. CONTENTdm items that have been harvested by WorldCat are assigned an OCLC number, which you can then enter in this field. The OCLC number is a unique identifier within WorldCat.
Date created Indicates the date the item was first added to the collection and indexed.
Date modified Indicates the last date the item was edited and indexed.
CONTENTdm number Contains the item pointer that identifies the item in CONTENTdm.
CONTENTdm file name Contains the name of the digital file stored in CONTENTdm.

Viewing and managing fields

After you have viewed the collection fields, you can make changes to the field properties. Then index the collection to update changes (see first table above for information about indexing requirements). Project Client users must close and reopen their projects in order to access changes to the fields.

Viewing Fields

You can access Metadata Fields if you have rights to configure settings and field properties.

Access and view metadata field properties

  1. Open CONTENTdm Administration.
  2. Click the Collections tab.
  3. Click Fields. The Metadata Fields page opens.

Adding, deleting, and reordering fields

You can add, delete, and reorder fields by using the Metadata Fields page. You can have a maximum of 125 fields per collection, in addition to the administrative fields (these fields cannot be deleted or reordered). After you have added, changed, or deleted fields, you must index the collection to update changes.

Add a field

  1. Open CONTENTdm Administration.
  2. Click the Collections tab.
  3. Click Fields. The Metadata Fields page opens.
  4. Click Add Field. The Add Field page opens.
  5. Enter a field name (maximum length of 60 characters) and change the field properties to reflect how the field will be used. 

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

Delete a field

  1. Open CONTENTdm Administration.
  2. Click the Collections tab.
  3. Click Fields. The Field Properties page opens.
  4. Determine which field you wish to delete.
  5. Click Delete. A confirmation window opens, confirming that you want to delete the field.
  6. Click OK. The field is removed from the Collection Field Properties list.

Move a field

  1. Open CONTENTdm Administration.
  2. Click the Collections tab.
  3. Click Fields. The Field Properties page opens.
  4. Determine which field you wish to move.
  5. Use the drop-down list to choose the position of the field. The field is immediately moved to the new position

Editing field properties

Editing a field property could make profound changes to the collection and increase the functionality of the collection.

Two sections that have special functionality are changing data types and controlled vocabulary.

Changing data types

Changing a data type means using the drop-down list to change the field's Data Type to Text, Date, or Full Text Search.

Text is the most common data type and has no rules for implementation.

Date is used when you want to enter a date and keep the integrity of the date format to support accurate sorting and date range searching. A Search by Date option is available on the Advanced Search pane, if one or more collections contain a searchable field with the data type set to Date. Using the Date type requires the Project Client user to understand formatting rules for entering dates.

Full Text Search has special properties that distinguish it from a text field. Only one full text search field is allowed per collection.

A full text field is required if you need to activate the transcript functionality within CONTENTdm. This data type allows transcripts to be used with the Metadata Templates or when creating compound objects. See About working with Full Text. If you do not have a field with full text searching enabled, the Transcripts section of the wizards will be inactive.

Having a full text field enables you to automatically extract text from PDFs. The full text search field must be empty when you import the PDF. For more information, see Work with PDF files.

If you import an Encoded Archival Description (EAD) file and want the data in the EAD to be extracted and added to the metadata record, you must have a full text field. See Add finding aids for more information.

If an item has a Full Text Search field, end users can search the text while viewing the item.

A full text field also enables special features for viewing and searching compound objects. When you view a compound object in a collection that has a Full Text Search field, a search tab displays in the viewer. Clicking the search box allows you to search the full text contained in the compound object. You also have the ability to see the page and text view in a separate tab in the viewer.

When using spell check in the Project Client, Full Text Search fields are not checked. You can choose to check full text fields by changing a setting in the Project Client. See Check for spelling errors for more information.

Controlled Vocabulary

A controlled vocabulary defines a list of valid terms that can appear in metadata fields within CONTENTdm. A controlled vocabulary enables an administrator to restrict metadata in selected fields to specific words or phrases. An administrator establishes which fields will have a controlled vocabulary. Controlled vocabularies can be shared between fields and collections, which means they can be edited by other collection administrators. For information on enabling a controlled vocabulary and best practices for sharing, see Using Controlled Vocabulary.

Edit a field property

  1. In the Field Properties page, determine which field you need to change.
  2. Click Edit in that field row. The Edit Field page opens.
  3. If desired, make changes to Field Name. Use drop-down lists to make changes to Dublin Core Mapping, Data Type, Show Large Field, whether the field is searchable, whether the field is hidden or required, and whether it has controlled vocabulary.
  4. Click Save Changes.