Australia and New Zealand

  • English

The University of Groningen publishes special collections with CONTENTdm

Located in the Netherlands, the University of Groningen library has digitized a number of its older and special collections and then published them online using OCLC’s CONTENTdm Digital Collection Management Software.

By putting the digital collections online, the library provides the university’s approximately 28,000 students, and other interested parties worldwide, with web access to its more than 50,000 scanned pages, handwritten letters and photographs.

"We wanted a system that would be fairly maintenance free, with flexibility when it comes to metadata and design, and that can run on our own server," says Alie Bijker, digitization project manager at the university library, about choosing CONTENTdm. "And OCLC provides good support and documentation and regular updates."

Available through CONTENTdm, the university provides online access to the following digital collections:

•  Manuscripts by the seventeenth-century mathematician Frans van Schooten,
•  Letters written by Dutch philosopher Frans Hemsterhuis (18th century),
•  Collections of the Biography Institute, and
•  One of the library’s rare collections, 127 fragments of Greek papyri.

Fragment of Greek Papyri. This rare collection of papyri is stored in a safe, but is now visible to everyone via the web without risk of damage or wear and tear, nor is its viewing dependent the library's hours and staff availability. [Image: Fragment of Greek papyri. Letter of Isaios. AD 200-400.]

"We started our project with a pilot, to see what working with CONTENTdm was like. We really had to get used to it in the beginning but now we have experience with all kinds of ways to upload collections and make them visible," says Bijker on their CONTENTdm implementation. "Additionally, one of the projects we have planned is the presentation of some medical study collections from the University Museum. It is intended for these items to be rotatable."

The University of Groningen's digital collections are available at: