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Digital Thinking:
Applying Studies in the Field

Sarah Gillis
Assistant Registrar, Image Management
Worcester Art Museum, ...
What do I exactly do?
• Responsibilities:
– Organizing and Maintaining the
Photographic Archive (physical and digital)
– D...
Worcester Art Museum
• Collection: ~36,000 objects
• Encyclopedic Collection

• Almost 2/3 of collection digitized
• Produ...
Digital Image Preservation
Initiatives at the Worcester Art
Museum
• Organization/Workflow
• Access/Restrictions
• Discove...
Digital Access : Pre-Organization
• Three (3) servers: two relatively new,
one really old.
• JPEGs, TIFFs and DNGs accessi...
Digital Access : Post-Organization
• One (1) central image server that houses
the TIFFs and DNGs
• JPEGs remain stored and...
Digital Images - Reorganization
• TIFFs
– Year Accessioned
• Loans within year Loan began

• Installation Shots
– Year of ...
Digital Access : Post-Organization
• One (1) central image server that houses
the TIFFs and DNGs
• JPEGs remain stored and...
Digital Access : Post-Organization
• LOCKSS
• More cost efficient to invest in a RAID
external hard drive than back
up/arc...
The T.A.R.D.I.S

Spreadsheets are backed up onto cloud storage
through Wuala (program came with hard drive)
Now that we can locate the images…
• How do you differentiate between
them based on file name?
• Old Method:
ObjectNumber_...
DCC Curation Lifecycle Model
DCC Curation Lifecycle Model
• Full Lifecycle Actions
–
–
–
–

Description
Community Watch
Preservation Planning
Curate/Pr...
DCC Curation Lifecycle Model
Functional Requirements of
Bibliographic Reference (FRBR)
• Acknowledges that materials (physical
and digital) can be rela...
Breaking down FRBR…
Person
Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d…
WORK:
The
Thought…

I say, my good man, I believe I
shall make a painting of a
woman carrying ...
Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d…
Person
Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d…

Physical
Painting:
(Expression)

Winslow Homer (American, 1863-1910), The
Gale, 1883-1893, oi...
Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d…

Physical
Painting:
(Expression)

Winslow Homer (American, 1863-1910), The
Gale, 1883-1893, oi...
Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d…
Person
Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d…
DP1578

Photographic Winslow Homer (American, 1863-1910), The
Gale, 1883-1893, oil on canvas, ...
Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d…
Physical Photo-Documentation

BWP123

Photographic Winslow Homer (American, 1863-1910), The
Ga...
Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d…
Digitized Photo-Documentation
(from parent physical)

D-BWP123

Photographic
Renderings:
(Item...
Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d…
Person

D-BWP123.tif
D-BWP123.jpg
Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d…
All of these hierarchies supports the original expression as
conceptualized by Winslow Homer.
...
Filename Organization
• Thinking in FRBR terms…
– Each visual instance of this one work of
art requires its own unique ide...
Filename Organization
Prefix

What is represents

DP

Digital Photograph

DNG

Digital Negative

SL

Slide

BWP

Black & W...
Filename Organization
FRBR
and TMS
Object Record
FRBR
and TMS
Media Module
FRBR
and TMS
Media Record
FRBR
and TMS
Media Record
FRBR
and TMS
Media Record
FRBR
and TMS
Media Record
FRBR
and TMS
Media Record
Embedded Metadata
• Visual Resources Association
– VRA Metadata Panel (beta)
– VRA Import/Export Plug-in (Adobe
Bridge)
– ...
Embedded Metadata: What to Embed?
Object Data Fields from TMS for Embedded Metadata (EM)
Classification

Title

Approximat...
Embedded Metadata: What to Embed?

Gallery Location Only
Embedded Metadata: How to Embed
• Select a folder created by staff
photographer, which contains day’s
work
• Create an Obj...
Embedded Metadata: How to Embed
• Export pre-existing metadata into
spreadsheet (VRA Import/Export Tool)
• Export TMS meta...
Embedded Metadata: How to Embed
• Once all metadata is entered, save
excel spreadsheet as a tab delineated
text file
• Imp...
Embedded Metadata
Now that was just Embedded Metadata…
• Aside from EM, also keep
spreadsheets of archived batches
• Let me show you…
Effects of Reorganization
• Work is still not done
• Not trying to promote a culture of ‘no’
but a culture of preservation...
External Discovery: eMuseum
External Discovery: eMuseum
External Discovery: eMuseum
Digital Thinking…

That’s all folks…

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Digital Thinking: Applying Studies in the Field

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This was a guest lecture presented to the Graduate Students of the Information School at the University of Missouri at Columbia.

The theme of the lecture was showing how emerging professionals are applying their studies into their field of practice.

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  • Thank you Kristen, and thanks to ASSIST and the University of Missouri at Columbia for inviting me out here with this fabulous opportunity. It’s not easy for new professionals in the field to really get to vocalize most of the challenges they face in a presentation format such as this. I’m excited to hopefully hold you captivated for about an hour, and I’m going to make your brains hurt by the end of this. But in the end hopefully you'll feel excited about your future and can apply similar tactics in your place of work. You’re welcome in advance.
  • Before I get into the application of studies into the field, I figured I'd give you a bit more information about what sorts of hats I wear at the Worcester Art Museum. I'm the Assistant Registrar for Image Management. What does that mean? Well, my first and foremost job is maintaining the physical and digital collection of images, which document the objects in the Museum's permanent collection. In addition to that, I am also the database administrator, specifically responsible for maintenance of the media (image) module and controlling data input/standards. But why would that be all? I also handle all incoming Rights and Reproduction requests for items in the collection. Related to that I'm the go-to about copyright concerns. I do not have a JD so I cannot give legal advice, but it's my responsibility to smell out what is fair use or not and provide suggestive guidance from there. Finally, related to all of these areas, I am responsible for maintaining a sense of quality control with colour management for the digital renderings, ensuring consistent quality of images used in publications and other printed material.Needless to say, I am never bored.
  • Now let me tell you a little bit about the institution I work for. We are an encyclopedic collection (meaning that we our holdings span from pre-history through contemporary). Currently our collection totals up to about 36K objects. Through the funding of an IMLS Grant (Museums for America), we have a side crew digitizing all (or as many of the) paintings in the permanent collection as possible. This is overseen by a grant funded photographer and registrar. We also have one part-time staff photographer who is going through the corpus of works on paper, digitizing as much as he can. Through both of these efforts, lots of digital media is being produced. Presently about 2/3 of the collection has been digitized. Keep in mind that it's not one image per object, nearly triple the number of images will be produced by the end of the project. We also have an extensive photographic archive that is historic just like the collection itself. Digitization efforts are underway for these as well.
  • Now that you know a little bit about me and my institution, let's get into the meat of it all. Here’s a basic breakdown of what I will be covering during this talk: Organization and Workflow: I'll discuss what I walked into as the pre-existing workflow and organization of digital material, and how it operates now since my tenure began.Access/Restriction: I’ll then touch upon access of the digital materials and restrictions. Again, we'll look at what access and restrictions was like before I started and how it appears now. Discovery: I will talk about how internal staff used to discover images, and how they have to now. It's important to note that Discovery and Access are two separate actions in the presentation and life of the digital object. They go hand-in-hand in many ways. I’ll also address external users and the discovery tool that has been launched since I started working at the museum, eMuseum, and where it’s at and hopefully where it’ll be going in the years to come. Finally, re-accessing the digital material, specifically Archival materials.
  • Before I came on board, this is what the organization of the digital images was structured. Essentially no restrictions existed to certain areas of staff nor any acknowledgement of the DNGs as being archival materials. It is not unheard of that organizations would store digital images in multiple servers either. In most cases, it took a digitization project to be implemented for these situations to be evaluated. It took my employment to bring awareness of the issue. Because with this scattered server use, it's hard to know how much space the images are taking up if they are mingling in sub-folders with word documents and other computer programming. I would also like to note the massive backlog of images that were not yet input into the database. Essentially my position was left vacant for many years, and my predecessor who was responsible for this was too taxed to continually address these images. Let's just say that this kept me busy for many months when I first started at WAM. People would complain to me that none of the records in the database had images. It's not that they weren't there, it's that time of staff wasn't invested to ensure that they could be discovered. Needless to say a negative culture began to revolve around the database and our digitization efforts...
  • I should backup at this point, and articulate what my role was I first began at the Worcester Art Museum. I started off part-time as a registration assistant (really bottom of the ladder) only handling rights and reproductions and the media module. This was the period in time where I had to invest all of my energy to clear up the backlog. Aside from my responsibilities, by boss suggested that when I had time to research and draft a data management plan proposal. When my position was coming up to end (as it was temporary covering someone's maternity leave) and the predecessor decided not to come back, I got to stay. Once I became full time, and 30+ pages later, this plan was approved by my superior and was put into action. Part of this plan was the centralization of the images onto one dedicated server and organize them into appropriate sub-folders.
  • This slide shows the breakdown of how I proposed images to be stored and organized. It took close to four months of slow and careful transfer, but now all of the TIFF and DNGs are centralized onto one server, organized in the same manner. Before I started this centralization process, there would be one massive folder of all of the TIFFs, all in numerical order by accession number. This search process required a fair larger amount of time and scrolling. There was a spaced problem at one point so there were two different TIFF folders based on the IMLS digitization project. Confusion? Yes. So what you see here is a folder dedicated to TIFFs, but with subfolders based on their accession year. There would be a subfolder within those accession years if there was photography of loans as they received a unique identifier based on the year that the loan began. This same organization process was also implemented to the DNGs and Exhibition photography (referred to as Installation Shots).
  • Another part of my proposed procedural changes was implementing internal access restrictions to the higher (intellectual) value items, TIFFs and DNGs.The server that our JPEGs are stored is old, but still running. These are the lowest value files and easily replaceable from the TIFFs. An action plan in currently being developed for when the server needs to be replaced.
  • Another area that I focused on in my data management plan, was how to properly back up and archive the digital image files. Before I began to implement this process, no backup system strictly for images was in place. The staff were relying solely on IT to back up onto tape as they do for the entire network. A backup of the images needed to be in place, not because there was doubt on the IT process, but for mental reassurance. Lots of copies Keeps Stuff Safe after all. While interning at the MFA, I learned one method of archiving onto BLU RAY discs. This is an extremely expensive manner of data preservation, with no guarantee of their survival. Cheaper but still risky, was to have a backup hard drive. I did research and suggested that we use IMLS grant funding that was available, to invest in an 8TB LaCie external hard drive with RAID. The RAID component was essential because it will be more robust and reliable than your traditional external hard drive. The lacie program also came with some great added features that enhanced our backup and archiving process. One program allowed you to program and specify what on your computer you wanted backed up. We decided that the entire server which now houses the TIFFs and DNGs should be backed up using this program. It was set to a mirror backup, where it literally mirrored the server as it looked at pre-set time of backup. So any files that were deleted were also deleted from the hard drive to ensure that all valued space was being used accordingly.
  • Another neat program/service that the lacie came with was Wuala, cloud storage. We automatically received 2 GB of cloud storage space. This wasn't enough to perform further backups of the images, but this was an added benefit, where our archival spreadsheets were selected for backup. I'll got into more detail about the spreadsheet later on...So the TARDIS (as I've affectionately named it), has two folders in it, a password protected restore access point to the image server backup, and the visual archive, where sub-folders of archived batches can be located.
  • Finally, the largest task that I wanted to implement was renaming the files. The pre-existing method was not necessarily a bad one, but it would get confusing when you start taking multiple renditions of one object. I wanted to put in place a more simplified, distinctive file naming system.
  • Here's why: What you are looking at the the Digital Curation Centre's Curation Lifecycle Model. This is an organization in the UK who are forerunners in digital preservation actions. The UK and Australia actually. Why the UK? Well because they have a centralized government, they receive funding for their digital assets as it is the peoples' and the government's responsibility to protect our digital future. What this model/diagram represents is the entire, cyclical process of the creation, ingestion and maintenance of digital assets. Now, it looks like it's a lot, and it is. While I was studying digital preservation, it was amazing how easily you can break down all of the segments of this lifecycle and apply it to traditional information organization, be it in a library or an archive or even standard collection management in an art museum. We all curate to some capacity or other when we create digital assets. I'm going to try and simplify this model for you, but it's always encouraged to refer to this model later, study it and see how it applies to your areas of application. So all of these rings represent different levels/phases of a digital object's lifecycle. Let's start from the inside and work our way out. The Data (Digital Object) is the item of focus throughout the entire process, which is why its centered right at the heart of the cycle. Description/Representation Information is the metadata about the digital object. Be it descriptive, technical, preservation or administrative metadata, it all directly related to the digital object because it supports what the digital object is. The next ring is Preservation Planning. I hope that this ring speaks for itself, but if it doesn't, that's alright. Essentially this acknowledges the preservation plans that were put in place to address and care for the digital object if necessary. In my case, that would be my Data Management Plan.Community watch is essentially staying current with trends/concerns with preservation standards. Staying active on list-servs, scholarly publications and networking.Curate and Preserve are the halves of the next ring. These roles work hand in hand. Once you curate the digital objects you aim to keep, you need to preserve them. In order to preserve you need to curate what to preserve. The next and final ring are the actual sequential steps taken to preserve and maintain the digital object. This ring should be the most relatable as it describes actions that most collection and information professionals exercise in the field. Notice at the action called "Preservation Action," that there are two arrows which shoot off into two different directions. One arrow takes you back to Reappraise the item and possibly dispose of it. The other arrow takes you to Migrate the digital object through the transformation process. What this signifies that not everything is worth keeping after a selected amount of time. Through your DMP, you need to determine what an appropriate time frame for reappraisal, and what to do with out moded technology. The truth about digital curation, YOU DON'T HAVE TO KEEP EVERYTHING.The DCC breaks down the respected rings into a series of actions that relate to the digital object. Source: http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/curation-lifecycle-model
  • This doesn't pertain to just the digital objects created in a born-digital environment or digitized items, but also the database that they're stored in. You can put that in the center of the model and see the need for digital preservation to that as well.
  • Now, that was sort of a segway to my explanation of how we should re-name the files. I hope that I haven't lost anybody yet...The reason why I presented the DCC lifecycle model, was because it acknowledged that instances of a digital object will change, and that proper file naming is important to acknowledge this change. Let's take it one step back though and remember that I'm talking about art museum digital objects, so they for the most part have a physical, tangible source. These physical objects have received their own unique identifiers (accession number), and need to stand on their own. The file names for their digital components also have to be unique and stand alone, but be related to the tangible object. Heave a headache yet? Source: http://www.dcc.ac.uk/resources/curation-lifecycle-model
  • A good organizational model to follow is FRBR, the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic reference. Each instance needs its own unique identifier because it is related to, but not a standalone representation of the object itself. This instance relies on the existence of the object in order to have value. Every time that instance is changed/modified, a new instance needs to be created to reflect this change. Likewise, when a new instance related to the object is created, it also needs its own standalone representation while sharing a relation to the original object. A good way to think about FRBR and how it applies to libraries in general would be the Wizard of Oz books, the originals. Then the movies that have come out, in order, and then the spin off books, and the spin off movies, and now the broadway musical Wicked. All of these are related to the original work that is the Wizard of Oz, but are unique in their own way as well. They are all catalogued in a related manner though. Let's apply this to a painting:
  • I’m going to introduce to you the most basic FRBR organization display, Group 1 – which relates to visual representations of art. Fits, right?Within this Group, there are five entities that share relations to each other. The fifth entity, Person, can exist in all other entities creations. For the purpose of this explanation, we’ll stick Person at the top of the relational tree—keep in mind that all entities rely on a Person, so s/he is interwoven throughout the entire relational process. Let’s begin: a Work, is not an actual physical entity, but rather the thought/idea. This is why a Work cannot exist without the mental capacity of a Person to think it up. http://archive.ifla.org/VII/s13/frbr/frbr_current3.htm
  • So here we have our good old American classic, Winslow Homer. FRBR begins when his artistic thought process kicks into gear. Now we have this thought of what he would like to create…. Homer Image: http://whitemountainart.com/biographies/bio_wh.htm
  • So he needs to create an expression.As the graph explains, a Work is realized through an Expression. The result of the Work’s realization is the physical painting which the Museum holds in its permanent collection. This Expression is referred to as “The Gale” http://archive.ifla.org/VII/s13/frbr/frbr_current3.htm
  • Here she is in all of her stormy glory. Let’s pretend that we’re looking at the actual oil panting, how has the Museum acknowledged that she is a unique Expression created by Winslow Homer?
  • Her Object Number is her key identifier within the database. She was the 48th object in 1916 to be accessioned into the collection. Now keep in mind, this isn’t the only Expression of the work. I’m sure it’s safe to assume that there are sketches and preparatory drawings, as well as prints (for Harper’s Weekly) for this master work. **Do we have one??** Other museums will have these, and will provide them their own unique identifiers for them. If we were to create a solid FRBR record for “The Gale” it would include the oil painting that we retain, and the sketches as the Expressions.
  • Now, ever since the painting came into the Museum’s collection back in 1916, a plethora of photographs were created, attempting to best represent the work in another medium. These can be considered Manifestations of the Expression (oil painting). http://archive.ifla.org/VII/s13/frbr/frbr_current3.htm
  • So now we’re finally looking at THE Manifestation of “The Gale” and it’s DP1578! This is the unique identifier assigned to this particular born-digital image. Now it gets even more fun…
  • Let’s pretend that we’re looking at the physical black and white print for “The Gale.” It has been assigned the unique identifier of BWP123 (no, seriously). This is also a unique Manifestation of the Expression. But what are we looking at on screen?
  • The digital rendition of BWP123, D-BWP123. So there are definitely parent-child relationships within this organization schema.
  • The digital rendition or retained file of BWP123 is considered the item. http://archive.ifla.org/VII/s13/frbr/frbr_current3.htm
  • All of these hierarchies support the original expression as conceptualized as a work by Winslow Homer. The Gale: Image(s) © Worcester Art Museum, All Rights Reserved.
  • So now that you are FRBR scholars, let's look at how we can apply FRBR organizational standards to our digital objects. It is important to note that I'm implementing FRBR as an organizational standard, not a cataloguing standard. It is not as easy to catalogue in FRBR in relation to the database. For cataloguing the image, I catalogue the images following VRA CORE 4.0; the records in TMS are catalogued following the Getty Vocabularies and Cataloguing Cultural Objects (CCO). Anyhow, back to file naming...A simple prefix is key, and a numerical suffix is sufficient to make each digital instance unique.
  • Now I need to point out that this is a trend being incorporated by several of the major museums such as the Met and the MFA, Boston. It was at my internship at the MFA, Boston, where I first put the FRBR and TMS connection together and wrote about it for my Master’s Thesis (unpublished)You'll see that there are a lot of prefixes, and this is only some of them. This is OK because we have such an abundant visual archive that these are critical to keep all analog types sorted and identifiable.
  • Now creating these sequential numbers is easy, but tedious. It's important to maintain a spreadsheet that has all of the created file names. What you see is a screen capture of the spreadsheet. Please excuse the empty cell next to Chromes. I was working in that cell at the time of screen capture so it didn't take. But rest assured, there is tracked data for that file type. Essentially, whenever the next sequential number is used, it is updated in the spreadsheet, along with the date and the initials of the individual who made the changes. Right now it's just myself and the Associate Registrar who is working on the digitization grant working in this spreadsheet. Ideally, the fewer contributors, the better for quality control.
  • Now that we have established the rhyme and reason for the file naming system, let's take a look at how this thought process is reflected and supported by our database, The Museum System (TMS), a product of Gallery Systems. Here we see what is referred to as the 'front card' of an object's record. This is the default display for records in TMS, where it presents all of the basic metadata related to the physical object. There is a clear unique identifier for the object (1916.48) as well as indication as to where the physical item can be located. It's in storage so the exact location is not displayed for security reasons. There's one thing you have to understand about TMS, the database is divided into a series of Modules, that allow for certain areas to be expanded upon, but remain linked to its related object. For instance the Bibliography Module (lower right) links all book sources containing either a reproduction of the object or references of the object. How an institution customizes it use is up to them. Presently this module is only used for books that contain reproductions of the object. Needless to say, the linking facilitates faster searching for potential resources.
  • The Media Module is the module that I work most heavily in. What can be located in here is anything and everything visual depicting the object. “The Gale” is an early acquisition that the Museum made, so it’s no surprise that it has a well developed physical photograph collection. To my surprise I also discovered negatives of X-Rays within the collection as well. As you can see through the Rendition Number, each instance has a unique identifier as discussed earlier, following FRBR.
  • Going further into the Media Module, we can double-click and open up a specific Media Record to read what metadata is available about that particular rendition. This is where we can really see the benefits of FRBR thinking and organizing within the Media Record.The tree structure that is developed from a record that acknowledges a physical image, is FRBR at its best. What you are looking at the Media Record for GNG107 (Glass Plate Negative 107), the physical item. What is represented in the metadata is the information that was discovered with the negative.
  • We also have the ability to click through and look at the metadata for the digitized rendition of the physical rendition. Once the physical image is digitized, a new branch in the FRBR tree is created and a new Media Record comes available for metadata entry specific to that instance, the digitized negative (hence the D- because you can't have duplicate rendition numbers). So in one Media Record there are two instances of image history being captured from the negative’s creation back in 1954, the negative’s digitization in 2013. What is great about my analog photographic archive is that many of the prints/negatives survive with their original photo sheet, where the staff photographer wrote down everything that they did from the date of capture, to how it was captured (number of lights used, what kind, how far away from the object were they, etc.) Since these are on acidic paper, I photocopy the original, and then discard it, keeping the non-acidic copy with the print.
  • The Media Module in TMS goes one step further in the FRBR organization by allowing further metadata entry to the actual JPEG file is in the database.
  • One key area is the Archival Storage tab, which is where I enter in all of the archival metadata that I can.
  • There are two areas of data entry that overarch across the different branches of the organization tree: the Text Entry field, which is where I document the location of the physical item, and the Copyright section, where the copyright information of the image is maintained across all instances.
  • Now, let's change gears and talk about metadata for a bit. Part of my reasoning to transition the filename structure to a sequentially assigned pattern, was because I knew of the potential that Embedded Metadata can play in enhancing the life and relation of the digital file, away from the database that represents it. The Visual Resources Association Embedded Metadata Working Group has developed and launched (still in beta form) a metadata panel, that embeds information into the image file itself. After releasing the metadata panel, the same Working Group also released a snazzy plug-in for Adobe Bridge called the Import/Export Tool, which facilitates workflow by allowing you to batch embed metadata to larger group sets of images. This tool enables me to export basic cataloguing information from TMS, carefully put it into the pre-formatted VRA CORE 4.0 spreadsheet for the import process, and import it into the selected files that I wish to embed. In order to better do this, I changed my photographer's workflow so that he would create a folder of his day's work. This helped me to space out my workflow to focus on a daily completion basis.
  • So, knowing that I can easily pull straight from TMS to import metadata into the image file, I had to make some decisions about what was the standard data for import. What you see here are the fields as they are presented in TMS, naturally, do to different cataloguing schemas, they are catalogued differently in the VRA panel. This is why you have to carefully cut and paste the fields into their VRA CORE 4.0 appropriate counterparts. So really, there weren't too many fields that I needed to export, essentially just the basic tombstone information and then some.
  • This is a visualization of what those fields look like based on their TMS record.
  • **The next three slides explain the workflow that I have in place to embed metadata. No pre-written lecture notes to refer to. I felt they were self-explanatory enough. I can elaborate further if needed.**
  • Here is what the actual panel looks like, displaying the same information for The Gale, that has received embedded metadata. It's hard to get a screen capture of all of the different fields, so the top art of the panel is cut off. That section just has the logo and buttons to customize your display. What is great about the panel is that it breaks up the fields of entry essentially into the different levels of metadata: Work is descriptive, Image is technical, Administration is Administrative AND you can create custom fields! Another cool thing is that it'll create tags for you based on subject terms applied and other areas. It'll also auto-fill a caption line as well.
  • So now we'll transition into how I actually archive and prepare preservation fields for the metadata that has been embedded into the images as well as additional fields that should be saved. Now here's a copy of a spreadsheet that I made....**You'll refer to the spreadsheet for the rest of this discussion...**Open up spreadsheet to provide explanation
  • Main point, it's a reminder for myself that I need to be patient and expect lots of repetition to occur before new procedures sink in. Change isn't easy, and some might say that it's not necessary. But in this case, it definitely is.
  • I'm going to wrap up this talk by showing you the end product of the digitization project that was funded through IMLS and the Fletcher Foundation (which is a local foundation in central massachusetts). Before I came on board, it was decided upon to invest in eMuseum, a product/service offered by Gallery systems. The result is a discovery tool that is directly linked to the database, which extracts and presents approved information and images to the general public. This is internet accessible, through the Museum's website. We have groups of object records presented as collections, as well as through an indexed search module.
  • You can do an advanced search of a basic search query. The result is a record that displays as such. This is the Gale again. You can enlarge the image since it's in the public domain and add it to your own PowerPoint, etc. The images aren't of a quality for publication, so you still have to talk with me :) It's job security.
  • What this screen capture shows is a record that doesn't have new photography, but rather digitized prints from the image archive. So all efforts are in place to ensure that an object record has an photographic representation. The digitization of the prints didn't occur until I came on board. In terms of internal discovery of images, many staff have transitioned to relying more on eMuseum, as its interface is more user friendly and similar to web browsing. Keep in mind that not all of our records have been approved to share through eMuseum, as their metadata has some gaps or discrepancies. That's normal with an institution as old as WAM. If they cannot locate an image using eMuseum, then they will either email me in panic, or resort to accessing the real database. I try and encourage them to access the database as much as possible, sort of cutting the cord to rely on me all of the time.
  • So yes, that is essentially everything that I'm doing directly related to the digitization project at the Worcester Art Museum. It's exciting applying what I recently studied at Simmons College as an Information Science Professional. The scenarios in your class are real, and should not be take lightly. You will not walk into a perfectly organized environment, especially with digital assets. It's our jobs to move cultural institutions into the 22nd century by wrangling in and maintaining the digital assets now, in order to ensure their reaccessibility in the future (like 50 years down the road). I cannot thank the University of Missouri enough for inviting me out to share my experiences with you all.
  • Transcript of "Digital Thinking: Applying Studies in the Field"

    1. 1. Digital Thinking: Applying Studies in the Field Sarah Gillis Assistant Registrar, Image Management Worcester Art Museum, MA
    2. 2. What do I exactly do? • Responsibilities: – Organizing and Maintaining the Photographic Archive (physical and digital) – Database Administrator: Media and Data Standards – Rights and Reproductions (External Requests) – Copyright (obtaining Non-Exclusive License) – Colour Management/Proofing for publications
    3. 3. Worcester Art Museum • Collection: ~36,000 objects • Encyclopedic Collection • Almost 2/3 of collection digitized • Produce nearly triple the amount of images in comparison to collection size
    4. 4. Digital Image Preservation Initiatives at the Worcester Art Museum • Organization/Workflow • Access/Restrictions • Discovery • Re-Access
    5. 5. Digital Access : Pre-Organization • Three (3) servers: two relatively new, one really old. • JPEGs, TIFFs and DNGs accessible to entire staff • Backlog of over 7,000 images due to a under-staffed department • Scattered organization presented threatening space issues in multiple servers
    6. 6. Digital Access : Post-Organization • One (1) central image server that houses the TIFFs and DNGs • JPEGs remain stored and mapped to the old server for now – Action plan in development for when server needs to be replaced • Access Restrictions then followed – Only two (2) other departments have readonly TIFF access – NO ONE but the Image Manager and Head Registrar have access to the DNGs
    7. 7. Digital Images - Reorganization • TIFFs – Year Accessioned • Loans within year Loan began • Installation Shots – Year of Exhibition (overlap years start with earliest) • Name of Exhibition
    8. 8. Digital Access : Post-Organization • One (1) central image server that houses the TIFFs and DNGs • JPEGs remain stored and mapped to the old server for now – Action plan in development for when server needs to be replaced • Access Restrictions then followed – Only two (2) other departments have readonly TIFF access – NO ONE but the Image Manager and Head Registrar have access to the DNGs
    9. 9. Digital Access : Post-Organization • LOCKSS • More cost efficient to invest in a RAID external hard drive than back up/archive onto discs • Now have an 8TB RAID LaCie external Hard Drive (IMLS grant funding) • Hard drive came with program to back up image server • Houses image archive
    10. 10. The T.A.R.D.I.S Spreadsheets are backed up onto cloud storage through Wuala (program came with hard drive)
    11. 11. Now that we can locate the images… • How do you differentiate between them based on file name? • Old Method: ObjectNumber_anythingelse.jpg • Not a bad file naming system, but can get muddled once multiple digital images are produced. • Need to implement a more simple, yet distinctive organizational system.
    12. 12. DCC Curation Lifecycle Model
    13. 13. DCC Curation Lifecycle Model • Full Lifecycle Actions – – – – Description Community Watch Preservation Planning Curate/Preserve • Sequential Actions – Essentially the outer ring and arrow off shoots • Occasional Actions – Dispose – Reappraise – Migrate
    14. 14. DCC Curation Lifecycle Model
    15. 15. Functional Requirements of Bibliographic Reference (FRBR) • Acknowledges that materials (physical and digital) can be related to each other through various entities • An art object located in a museum has been assigned its own unique identifier, i.e. the object number – Level of organization and description goes beyond just the physical object • Throughout the years multiple instances of photography of the object has occurred.
    16. 16. Breaking down FRBR… Person
    17. 17. Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d… WORK: The Thought… I say, my good man, I believe I shall make a painting of a woman carrying a small child on a rocky New England shoreline in the middle of a Nor’Easter. It shall be known as The Gale. Note: The work is dependent on the person in order for it to be realized in an expression. Winslow Homer, American, 1863-1910
    18. 18. Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d… Person
    19. 19. Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d… Physical Painting: (Expression) Winslow Homer (American, 1863-1910), The Gale, 1883-1893, oil on canvas, 76.8 x 122.7 cm (30 1/4 x 48 5/16 in.)
    20. 20. Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d… Physical Painting: (Expression) Winslow Homer (American, 1863-1910), The Gale, 1883-1893, oil on canvas, 76.8 x 122.7 cm (30 1/4 x 48 5/16 in.), Museum Purchase, 1916.48 (Object Number, Unique ID)
    21. 21. Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d… Person
    22. 22. Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d… DP1578 Photographic Winslow Homer (American, 1863-1910), The Gale, 1883-1893, oil on canvas, 76.8 x 122.7 cm Renderings: (Manifestation) (30 1/4 x 48 5/16 in.), Museum Purchase, 1916.48 (Object Number, Unique ID)
    23. 23. Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d… Physical Photo-Documentation BWP123 Photographic Winslow Homer (American, 1863-1910), The Gale, 1883-1893, oil on canvas, 76.8 x 122.7 cm Renderings: (Manifestation) (30 1/4 x 48 5/16 in.), Museum Purchase, 1916.48 (Object Number, Unique ID)
    24. 24. Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d… Digitized Photo-Documentation (from parent physical) D-BWP123 Photographic Renderings: (Item) Winslow Homer (American, 1863-1910), The Gale, 1883-1893, oil on canvas, 76.8 x 122.7 cm (30 1/4 x 48 5/16 in.), Museum Purchase, 1916.48 (Object Number, Unique ID)
    25. 25. Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d… Person D-BWP123.tif D-BWP123.jpg
    26. 26. Breaking Down FRBR, cont’d… All of these hierarchies supports the original expression as conceptualized by Winslow Homer. Physical Painting: (Expression) Winslow Homer (American, 1863-1910), The Gale, 1883-1893, oil on canvas, 76.8 x 122.7 cm (30 1/4 x 48 5/16 in.), Museum Purchase, 1916.48 (Object Number, Unique ID)
    27. 27. Filename Organization • Thinking in FRBR terms… – Each visual instance of this one work of art requires its own unique identifier, aside from the object number assigned to it – Keep It Simple Stupid – Quick identifier (prefix) Numerical sequence (suffix)
    28. 28. Filename Organization Prefix What is represents DP Digital Photograph DNG Digital Negative SL Slide BWP Black & White Print NG Negative GNG Glass Plate Negative CR Color Reproduction (transparency) XR X-Ray CON Conservation Image If this represents a physical image, the digitized rendition will share the shame filename, but with a ‘D-’ as an additional prefix to acknowledge that this is a digitized item.
    29. 29. Filename Organization
    30. 30. FRBR and TMS Object Record
    31. 31. FRBR and TMS Media Module
    32. 32. FRBR and TMS Media Record
    33. 33. FRBR and TMS Media Record
    34. 34. FRBR and TMS Media Record
    35. 35. FRBR and TMS Media Record
    36. 36. FRBR and TMS Media Record
    37. 37. Embedded Metadata • Visual Resources Association – VRA Metadata Panel (beta) – VRA Import/Export Plug-in (Adobe Bridge) – www.vraweb.org
    38. 38. Embedded Metadata: What to Embed? Object Data Fields from TMS for Embedded Metadata (EM) Classification Title Approximate date Medium Measurements Credit Line Object Number Description Gallery Location (if available) Photography Copyright Artist (Agent)
    39. 39. Embedded Metadata: What to Embed? Gallery Location Only
    40. 40. Embedded Metadata: How to Embed • Select a folder created by staff photographer, which contains day’s work • Create an Object Package in TMS containing all records related to photographer’s folder – Make sure that all records go in the same order as the folder; critical for accurate embedding of metadata
    41. 41. Embedded Metadata: How to Embed • Export pre-existing metadata into spreadsheet (VRA Import/Export Tool) • Export TMS metadata into an excel spreadsheet • Carefully copy and paste TMS metadata into VRA import template spreadsheet (same spreadsheet from the first export)
    42. 42. Embedded Metadata: How to Embed • Once all metadata is entered, save excel spreadsheet as a tab delineated text file • Import into images using the same Import/Export Tool • Batch Rename images following predetermined filename format (e.g DP1573)
    43. 43. Embedded Metadata
    44. 44. Now that was just Embedded Metadata… • Aside from EM, also keep spreadsheets of archived batches • Let me show you…
    45. 45. Effects of Reorganization • Work is still not done • Not trying to promote a culture of ‘no’ but a culture of preservation – Protecting the digital integrity of borndigital media is the future • Causing a major shift in internal culture – Restrictions – New file naming system – Centralized Access
    46. 46. External Discovery: eMuseum
    47. 47. External Discovery: eMuseum
    48. 48. External Discovery: eMuseum
    49. 49. Digital Thinking… That’s all folks… Special Thanks to the support of:
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