Resources for Contributors

New York Heritage is administered regionally by the participating Empire State Library Network councils. For eligibility information and instructions about how to join the New York Heritage project, please refer to your local council. A staff member from your library council will serve as your local administrator.





Metadata Dictionary & Digitization Guidelines

Metadata is data about data. New York Heritage has established a template and best practices guide with dictionary for our contributors to follow. Having consistent, accurate metadata will allow users to effectively search and browse the collections.  (Note: the New York Heritage Digital Collections documentation may make some references to the NY3Rs Association, Inc., the previous name of the Empire State Library Network. As we work to update our documentation, references to the NY3Rs will be replaced with ESLN.)

NYH Metadata Dictionary

CDLC members may receive enhanced information from: Appendix F for the NYH Metadata Dictionary




Installation and User Support Center

Contact your local administrator for instructions and assistance with downloading and installing the CONTENTdm Project Client software.

The User Support Center (USC) is CONTENTdm's official help site. Go here to access help files for the Project Client and view community forums for CONTENTdm users. To access the USC, you must sign up for a user account. Contact your local administrator to obtain your Organization ID (required to create an account).



See RRLC's excellent guide to using CONTENTdm as part of New York Heritage Digital Collections here:

  • CONTENTdm Help: Working with Projects
  • The first step in creating a project in CONTENTdm is to name the collection and select the correct metadata template. Once the metadata template is set up, continue to use the Project Client -- first to describe digital files and then to upload them to the web server. Use the Metadata Template for entering persistent metadata fields and their contents. Use Metadata Properties to automatically capture certain property about a file that you want to add to a field.
  • CONTENTdm Help: Metadata Templates
  • Set up Excel spreadsheets for single or compound item metadata (PDF)
  • Use templates in the Project Client to automate repeating metadata (PDF)
  • How to set Image Rights for a Set of Digital Objects (Collection). Image rights can include banding, branding, or watermarking on each image.
    CONTENTdm Help: Image rights
    Exercise: Setting Image rights
  • How to Add a single or multiple items:
    Use the Add Items feature to upload digital files, and Item Editing or Spreadsheet to enter descriptive information.
    CONTENTdm Help: Add an Item
    CONTENTdm Help: Adding Multiple Item
  • How to upload a postcard (compound object):
    Compound Objects are constructed from individual digital files that are assembled together so as to be retrieved as a single object by end-users. Two-sided documents can be postcards, baseball cards, flyers, tickets, etc.
    CONTENTdm Help: Compound Objects
  • Using OCR (Optical Character Recognition):
    Document Compound Objects consist of the digital image files of scanned text pages that are matched one-on-one to each of their searchable transcript files. Please contact your Administrator or NY 3Rs Council to obtain the OCR license to use this feature.
  • Working with PDF files:
    Automatically convert PDF files into compound objects, create thumbnails from PDF files, and use full text extraction.
    CONTENTdm Help: About Working With PDF Files
    CONTENTdm Help: PDF Conversion
  • How to upload a document with transcript files:
    Document Compound Objects consist of the digital image files of scanned text pages that are matched one-on-one to each of their searchable transcript files.
    CONTENTdm Help: Transcript Files
  • Using the Compound Object Wizard to create Hierarchy (such as Table of Contents in a book):
    How to reflect the structure of the monograph
    CONTENTdm Help: Object List
  • Uploading Digital objects into CONTENTdm for Collection approval and Indexing:
    Once data is entered into the metadata template in the Project Client, upload the items to the Pending Queue. Use the CONTENTdm Administration page to review, edit and approve uploaded items prior to publishing them.
    CONTENTdm Help: Uploading Items to a Collection
    CONTENTdm Help: Approving Items


Legal Issues and Resources for Digitization

  • Whenever possible, the holding institution or repository provides all known information about copyright owners and other restrictions in the information, or metadata, associated with digital items. The holding institution provides this information to assist users in determining the copyright status of an item. New York Heritage also provides a general copyright information statement on its website for users.
  • The nature of historical, archival and manuscript collections often make it difficult to determine the exact copyright status of an item. There are many issues related to copyright. There are several resources on the Internet that can help you to determine the copyright status of the materials in your collections:
  • focuses on legal issues of interest to libraries, such as copyright, privacy and the First Amendment.
  • United States Copyright Office
  • Copyright and Fair Use emphasizes copyright issues especially relevant to the education and library community, including examples of fair use and policies. Useful copyright charts and tools are continually added to help users evaluate copyright status and best practices.
  • Cornell University Copyright Information Center has a tutorial section with high-quality online training materials.
  • Columbia University Copyright Advisory Office has information on the copyright issues facing libraries.
  • DPLA has published a white paper offering Recommendations for Standardized International Rights Statements

Using Copyright to Your Advantage!, October 10, 2011 (SCRLC CE materials)


Copyright Resources:


Data Storage & Preservation

Although NYH regularly backs-up its data, we also recommend that for preservations purposes, each participating institution should back-up its own data individually. Best practices for preservation dictate three locations for data, at least one of which would be in a different geographic location.