The underlying tools and technology used in the development and operation of this site can be divided into several categories:
Digitization of the collection: The database content on this site came from numerous sources and was digitized by different organizations, therefore a number of techniques and tools were used for scanning. Please see digitizing the collection.
Creation of metadata (descriptions of database elements): The University of Washington Libraries using a graphic data dictionary, which they developed for this project, created metadata for the database objects. Detailed information about this process and a link to the actual data dictionary are available in this intellectual access document.
Database and search technology: The American Indians of the Northwest database utilizes OCLC's CONTENTdm Software Suite, which was developed at the University of Washington by the Center for Information Systems Optimization. The CONTENTdm software program provides:
- Tools to acquire, annotate, and upload multimedia data. The Server stores all database information and makes it available to CONTENTdm Clients over the network. All CONTENTdm Server administration can be performed using a Web interface. The collection librarian can define the metadata for image and document indexing and then CONTENTdm provides a flexible template for customization.
- Search Client that queries the CONTENTdm Server to search and retrieve information. Queries can be done across multiple collections (as they are in this case for the separate image and document databases). The Client works via the Web using standard http protocols.
CONTENTdm is currently being used by numerous organizations (libraries, museums, and companies) for a broad range of multimedia management applications.