Libraries customize their CONTENTdm collections with Drupal and WordPress

In online sessions, staff from two institutions talked about how they customized the interface for their CONTENTdm collections: The W.A.C. Bennett Library of Simon Fraser University used Drupul and the Archives of Michigan used WordPress.

Simon Fraser University and Drupal

Mark Jordan, Division Head of Systems, at the W.A.C. Bennett Library, shared how he created a Drupal interface for his library’s CONTENTdm collections.  The W.A.C. Bennett library team chose Drupal because of its flexibility and its robust tools for integrating with other products and systems. [Drupal is a popular open source content management system that is used by many libraries.]

Mark provides an in-depth look at how his team integrated this system with CONTENTdm by developing a set of Drupal modules that would allow users to search, browse and view CONTENTdm 6.x collections from within the Drupal website. The team broke out different functionalities so that in the future they could swap out the modules for customized, newer versions.  The framework was also setup so that it would be easy to add new features to the website without touching the existing code.

The Archives of Michigan and WordPress

Jill Arnold, Archivist, at the Archives of Michigan spoke about integrating the WordPress interface into CONTENTdm for a seamless user experience between the two sites.  WordPress is a open source content management system that is used by over 60 million people.  The combined interface for the Archives of Michigan was created largely by having a consistent style across web pages and editing CONTENTdm to match the appearance of the Archives’ WordPress site.  The features in CONTENTdm 6 also helped Jill and her team with this integration.  

CONTENTdm’s advance search is the key to forming the connection between CONTENTdm and the WordPress site so that the user can travel between the two without interruption.  The advance search is in the header of each of the WordPress pages for the Archives of Michigan.  When the user clicks the search button, they are taken from Wordspress to CONTENTdm, and they are not able to tell that they are on another site.  Jill goes into great detail about the architecture of the combined interface, and she shares the html and JavaScript codes that were used to create the changes.

Check out these two recordings to learn how you can use Drupal or WordPress to customize your institution’s CONTENTdm interface.