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Digital Asset Management for
Museums
Pitt Rivers Museum Case Study
27 November 2013
The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Cent...
My background
• Apple Engineer
• Filemaker Developer
• Medical Sciences work

• Publishing work
• Collections work
What is Digital Asset Management?
• Method for storing and retrieving digital assets
• At a basic level this can simply be...
Digital Images

Pictures of Objects and scans of the Photograph Collections, as well as pictures of
events held at the mus...
Video Files

Videos of events at the museum, film archive collections, education
videos, and videos for research projects
...
Audio Files

Recordings of events at the museum, ethnographic sound
archive, and education recordings
Original media, mast...
Numbers
• Objects database – 235,000 records
• Photographs database – 175,000 records
• The DIA currently contains over 12...
DAM @ PRM - Overview
• Link to and enhance existing collections
management databases
• One-to-many relationship between re...
DAM @ PRM - Main Steps
• STEP ONE - Capture
• STEP TWO - Cataloguing
• STEP THREE - Storage
• STEP FOUR - Delivery
DAM @ PRM - Capture
• Future-proofing assets
– Standard non-proprietary file types

• Ensuring high quality assets
– Uncom...
DAM @ PRM – Image Capture
Scans of films and transparencies
use Hasselblad scanners
Scans of prints done using Epson
flatb...
DAM @ PRM – Image Capture
Many images are scanned from existing slides
(lantern slides, 35mm etc.), and new digital
images...
DAM @ PRM – Image Capture
DAM @ PRM – Audio Capture
• Physical media capture
outsourced (wax cylinders
BL, other media to a local
specialist)
• Fiel...
DAM @ PRM – Video Capture
• Physical media capture
outsourced
• Events generally filmed
by professional
companies
• Educat...
DAM @ PRM - Cataloguing
Photograph Collections are catalogued in the
main Photographs database
Images of Objects are catal...
DAM @ PRM – Cataloguing Photos
DAM @ PRM – Cataloguing Objects
DAM @ PRM – Cataloguing Audio
DAM @ PRM – Storage
DAM script assigns the
asset’s filename, and
transfers the archival copy
to the museum’s RAID
storage....
DAM @ PRM - Storage
• RAID (internal
access only) –
backup to HFS
• ‘Live’ assets
stored on web
server – backed
up to HFS
...
DAM @ PRM – Delivery
Assets are delivered via
standard web technology to
the internal databases and
their online equivalen...
DAM @ PRM – Delivery
DAM @ PRM – Delivery
DAM @ PRM – Delivery
DAM @ PRM - Delivery
Delivery via projectspecific websites
Incorporation of assets into
researchers’ blogs etc.
Possible d...
DAM @ PRM - Delivery
DAM @ PRM - Delivery
DAM @ PRM – The Future?
Storage of files in the cloud would
take away the need for internal
security and backups
Amazon Cl...
My other current projects
Leverhulme funded BACH project and
mapping
Wellcome Trust funded ALHOM and
collaborative online ...
Thank You

daniel.burt@orinst.ox.ac.uk
or
danburt@mac.com

sunnymedia.co.uk
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Practical Examples of a DAM Implementation: Daniel Burt

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The Pitt Rivers Museum at the University of Oxford was used as a Case Study by Consultant Daniel Burt when he spoke at the Collections Trust DAM for Museums Conference in November 2013. His PowerPoint presentation covers the capture, cataloguing, storage and delivery of images and audio content.

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Practical Examples of a DAM Implementation: Daniel Burt

  1. 1. Digital Asset Management for Museums Pitt Rivers Museum Case Study 27 November 2013 The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London http://www.collectionslink.org.uk/events/dam2013 Daniel Burt University of Oxford / Sunnymedia Ltd
  2. 2. My background • Apple Engineer • Filemaker Developer • Medical Sciences work • Publishing work • Collections work
  3. 3. What is Digital Asset Management? • Method for storing and retrieving digital assets • At a basic level this can simply be an organised folder structure • Often need to link supporting metadata to these assets • In the context of the PRM assets include…
  4. 4. Digital Images Pictures of Objects and scans of the Photograph Collections, as well as pictures of events held at the museum Larger TIFF or RAW files for archival storage and compressed JPEG or PNG versions as working copies.
  5. 5. Video Files Videos of events at the museum, film archive collections, education videos, and videos for research projects Original camera recordings, files from Final Cut Pro, and final output files (mp4s) for delivery
  6. 6. Audio Files Recordings of events at the museum, ethnographic sound archive, and education recordings Original media, master WAV files from digitisation, and mp3 working copies
  7. 7. Numbers • Objects database – 235,000 records • Photographs database – 175,000 records • The DIA currently contains over 120,000 images, accounting for about 30% of Objects • The Photographs database contains about 85,000 images, with up to 3 versions of each photo, giving a current total of about 250,000 images
  8. 8. DAM @ PRM - Overview • Link to and enhance existing collections management databases • One-to-many relationship between records and digital assets • Centralized archival storage • Delivery to internal and external users
  9. 9. DAM @ PRM - Main Steps • STEP ONE - Capture • STEP TWO - Cataloguing • STEP THREE - Storage • STEP FOUR - Delivery
  10. 10. DAM @ PRM - Capture • Future-proofing assets – Standard non-proprietary file types • Ensuring high quality assets – Uncompressed archival versions of assets (WAV files, TIFFs, AV files etc.) • Working versions – Versions for online delivery adhering to HTML5 standards
  11. 11. DAM @ PRM – Image Capture Scans of films and transparencies use Hasselblad scanners Scans of prints done using Epson flatbed scanners Digital images are taken by the museum’s photographer, or by collections management team using DSLR cameras
  12. 12. DAM @ PRM – Image Capture Many images are scanned from existing slides (lantern slides, 35mm etc.), and new digital images are also being taken of objects. Slides, negatives and prints are scanned and saved as TIFF files. The DAM system assigns filenames for these images in order to link them to the database records.
  13. 13. DAM @ PRM – Image Capture
  14. 14. DAM @ PRM – Audio Capture • Physical media capture outsourced (wax cylinders BL, other media to a local specialist) • Field recordings and local events via digital recorders or direct to computer
  15. 15. DAM @ PRM – Video Capture • Physical media capture outsourced • Events generally filmed by professional companies • Education team uses Sony ‘prosumer’ DV cameras
  16. 16. DAM @ PRM - Cataloguing Photograph Collections are catalogued in the main Photographs database Images of Objects are catalogued in the DIA and linked to the main Objects database Audio files are catalogued in the main Sound database
  17. 17. DAM @ PRM – Cataloguing Photos
  18. 18. DAM @ PRM – Cataloguing Objects
  19. 19. DAM @ PRM – Cataloguing Audio
  20. 20. DAM @ PRM – Storage DAM script assigns the asset’s filename, and transfers the archival copy to the museum’s RAID storage. A second step creates JPEG versions of the image and transfers these to the web server that feeds these assets into the internal and online databases
  21. 21. DAM @ PRM - Storage • RAID (internal access only) – backup to HFS • ‘Live’ assets stored on web server – backed up to HFS • Cloud storage?
  22. 22. DAM @ PRM – Delivery Assets are delivered via standard web technology to the internal databases and their online equivalents. All images are visible internally, whereas only those marked as ‘for web’ are shown online.
  23. 23. DAM @ PRM – Delivery
  24. 24. DAM @ PRM – Delivery
  25. 25. DAM @ PRM – Delivery
  26. 26. DAM @ PRM - Delivery Delivery via projectspecific websites Incorporation of assets into researchers’ blogs etc. Possible due to standardization of asset storage (URLs), allowing for easy re-use of assets.
  27. 27. DAM @ PRM - Delivery
  28. 28. DAM @ PRM - Delivery
  29. 29. DAM @ PRM – The Future? Storage of files in the cloud would take away the need for internal security and backups Amazon Cloud, dropbox, box, or other commercial providers? An affordable and easily manageable solution for smaller institutions
  30. 30. My other current projects Leverhulme funded BACH project and mapping Wellcome Trust funded ALHOM and collaborative online asset creation Two AHRC projects: • Dirhams for Slaves • OCIANA
  31. 31. Thank You daniel.burt@orinst.ox.ac.uk or danburt@mac.com sunnymedia.co.uk

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