Skip to Main Content

OCLC to UF Digital Collections: Questions and Answers

For any questions regarding this guide or workflow, please contact Andrea Stich.

Metadata Q&A

Why do we use electronic bibliographic records?

  • Since we solely work with digital items in the Metadata Unit, we only use electronic records, which better describes our items.

What would a print record be used for and what would an electronic record be used for?

  • A print record would describe a physical material such as a book or map. If a physical map was scanned and we now have a digital image of it, we would use an electronic record, which describes the image of the map.

Do print records and electronic records technically describe the same thing?

  • For the most part, yes; they are very similar. However, they are cataloged differently. For example, an electronic record typically doesn’t have the item’s dimensions since that is a physical description. The main differences are in the technical cataloging information.

Why do we use records from OCLC?

  • OCLC is a large catalog that holds millions of records. When we have an item that doesn’t exist in UFDC, we search OCLC to find the item’s record. We can import the same record to Alma and UFDC for ease and consistency. Typically, OCLC will have the records we’re looking for. If not, we have the opportunity to contribute to OCLC by originally cataloging the item, which allows users worldwide to access the record.
  • We also have the opportunity to add our holdings to already existing OCLC records so that other users know we hold the item in our collection. 
  • If we were to take OCLC out of our workflow, our items would be less discoverable, and we wouldn’t be able to utilize and contribute to a widely used catalog.

Why do we import records to Alma and UFDC?

  • We import records to Alma because anything we add to Alma will be displayed in Primo, our front-end library catalog.
  • We import records to UFDC so that we can add and use the record in our digital collections.
  • We want our item description to be consistent and accurate in both Alma and UFDC. Having the same record across all three platforms allows us to do this.

Can users access digital images in Primo?

  • If the item has accessible digital images in UFDC, the Primo record will link users to UFDC, where all digital images are held.

Can users access digital images in OCLC?

  • No. Both Alma and OCLC are catalog databases. They simply hold and manage resource records. If OCLC has a UFDC item link in the record, users can click the URL, which will direct them to the digital images in UFDC.
University of Florida Home Page

This page uses Google Analytics - (Google Privacy Policy)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.