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The Continuted Evolution of DAMs in the Nonprofit Sector


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The Continuing Evolution of DAMs in the Nonprofit Sector

Nonprofit organizations are driven by their missions and for many decades they have delivered on those missions effectively by using primarily manual processes.

However, the world has changed dramatically. The digital transformation of the past two decades has resulted in an entirely new set of opportunities as well as challenges. In today’s world, nonprofits achieve mission-focused success and competitive advantage by implementing and leveraging best practices with digital technologies.

Managing information and digital content is vital, leading to the embrace of powerful digital asset management tools and practices. Viewed from the perspective of 2018, there has been a remarkable evolution, as organizations have adapted and thrived (or not) in this new, technological ecosystem. This session will explore how nonprofit organizations have evolved as they continue to fulfill their important missions.

Using an interactive case study format to include multiple perspectives, panelists from different types and sizes of nonprofits will share their stories. We will examine the origins of adopting new tools such as DAMs, the challenges faced, and the evolution that has taken place in our sector. We will look at changes to strategy over time, and the different ways that organizational structures have shifted in response. Through open sharing and plenty of audience participation, attendees and presenters will learn from each other, gain practical knowledge, expand professional networks, and set the stage for continued success.

Douglas Hegley, Chief Digital Officer, Minneapolis Institute of Art
Jessica Berlin, Director, Digital Asset Management, American Cancer Society
Peter Dueker, Head of Web and Imaging Services, National Gallery of Art
Susan Luchars, Librarian and Archivist
Dr. Stephanie Tuszynski, Director of the Digital Library, The White House Historical Association

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The Continuted Evolution of DAMs in the Nonprofit Sector

  1. 1. The Continuing Evolution of DAMs in the Nonprofit Sector Friday, May 4, 2018 2:20 pm
  2. 2. Introductions André Kertész, Marc Chagall and His Family, Paris, 1933, Gelatin silver print, Gift of Frederick B. Scheel, Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2007.35.150
  3. 3. Douglas Hegley, Chief Digital Officer, Minneapolis Institute of Art @dhegley Image Source:
  4. 4. Peter Dueker - National Gallery of Art, Washington DC Back in ‘03 I swore we wouldn’t be a band for more than 10 years, punk is young and I didn’t want to grow up or grow old on stage, no way. Yet here we are thank gawd... Karen O, Nick, Brian - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  5. 5. Susan Luchars, MLIS, PT Barnum Digitization project Image source:
  6. 6. WHHA Digital Library Launched March 2016 Dr. Stephanie Tuszynski, Amazon Web Services Director of the Digital Library
  7. 7. Image source: PLEASE #H371 Also share challenges, tips, comments, etc.
  8. 8. Purpose
  9. 9. Evolution Current State ? Origins The Future Evolution
  10. 10. Evolution of DAMs
  11. 11. The Nonprofit Sector DAMs ● Specific requirements & challenges ● Primacy of mission ● Importance of persistent archives ● Learning from case studies ● Inform and challenge the industry
  12. 12. Progression of DAMs Print/paper copies File cabinets Card catalogs Digital files Network shares Indexing tools File-naming Centralized repository Wider access Rights Management Deployment automation Installed system Metadata Limited access Incomplete inventory Mission critical Asset production & delivery Full integration, APIs Artificial Intelligence Image recognition Image source:
  13. 13. Origin of DAMs
  14. 14. P. T. Barnum Digitization project
  15. 15. The Division of Imaging and Visual Services produces, manages, preserves, and distributes the primary digital images of objects in the National Gallery of Art’s permanent collection and non-NGA objects included in special exhibitions
  16. 16. ● DAM program started in 2005 ○ The DAMS has become an essential application at the NGA, used on a daily basis to support a variety of asset management activities ● 740,000+ assets managed (70+ terabytes, growing quickly) ○ DIVS + 13 active DAM programs across the Gallery ● 545,000 within DIVS alone ○ Four primary imaging studios plus one-rapid capture station ○ There is a high amount of churn – new images or derivatives replacing other assets ● Critical workflows: ○ Delivering assets to internal and external staff ○ Feeding websites (including NGA Images)
  17. 17. WHHA DAM journey ● WHHA educational mission includes public education and access to history of the White House. An online archive of about 200 images, mostly POTUS/FLOTUS portraits, had been up since 2009, but needed to be replaced with a more robust tool. ● Following the strategic plan, WHHA used a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to do the shortest DAM RFP and purchase process in history. ○ WHHA has no physical object collections, only images & some documents. ○ Open-source was not an option; WHHA has no on-site IT staff. ○ Only existing tool was a custom MySQL database created in 1994 that was internal-only. ○ 8TB of old photos/files that needed to be accessible to staff.
  18. 18. WHHA Digital Library launched in March 2016 Public side currently has just over 10,000 images and growing Internal DAM holds over 300,000 files; 12TB of data Team of four full-time staff, 3 librarians and 1 historian
  19. 19. Evolution of DAMs
  20. 20. Evolution - PT Barnum Project : Tools, Technology, and Repositories for sharing Photograph: P.T. Barnum and extended family, 1870’s Courtesy of the The Barnum Museum
  21. 21. WHHA Digital Library - Evolution ● Relationship with Amazon Web Services starting in 2017 altered the development path of the department. ○ AWS has facilitated the scanning of over 20,000 35mm slides that have been in cold storage ○ DL is now supporting new mobile app for WHHA - virtual tour of the White House ○ Other educational technology projects with AWS are evolving utilizing the DL content “Gemini 4 Astronauts and Families Visit White House.” 1965. Photo by Joseph J. Scherschel● Post-launch, changing financial priorities slowed down expansion of the Digital Library.
  22. 22. courtesy courtesy MOVING AWAY FROM... ● Stand-alone catalogs (desktop software) ● Limited internal access ○ immediate stakeholders only: creators, collection managers ● Limited departmental use ○ 13/40 departments on the old DAMS MOVING TOWARDS… ● Universal portal (web-based app) ● Increased internal access ○ all are welcome! self-service! ● Increased departmental use ○ improved communications, socialization, and educational resources
  23. 23. Successes Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, The Attributes of the Arts and the Rewards Which Are Accorded Them, 1766, Minneapolis Institute of Art, 52.15
  24. 24. CSuccesses: P.T. Barnum project:1,286 diverse objects preserved eting Digital Collections
  25. 25. Successes - PT Barnum Project : Data integrity through crosswalks Physical object: Jenny Lind Girandole candlesticks Courtesy of the The Barnum Museum CTDA -- Screenshot: Collective Access / Barnum / CT Collections
  26. 26. WHHA Digital Library - Successes ● WHHA has over 20,000 35MM slides from 1962-1987 in cold storage. Only a handful of the images had been digitized for WHHA publications. ● Agreement between Amazon Web Services, WHHA and Digital Divide Data has facilitated scanning the entire collection. ● Pilot batch March 2017. First delivery of 5,000 images July 2017. ● 11,000 scans delivered, ~4,000 processed to date. ● Image on right is very first edition of WHHA signature publication, The White House: An Historic Guide being sold in the East Garden Room in 1962, as it looks within the DAM.
  27. 27. Stumbles, Wrong Turns, Blind Spots, Unfinished Business Félix Bracquemond Unfinished Landscape c. 1858 Minneapolis Institute of Art 2002.186 ... it is simply unfinished. More curious is the faint upside-down figure of the French writer Honoré de Balzac ... [the artist] must have begun thinking he could scrape out the figure. But after etching the background ... he evidently decided to stop where he was.
  28. 28. Complacency & “DAM fatigue” At the NGA we’ve gotten comfortable and excused shortcomings. Make evolution of your DAM a core principle. Be accountable. ● Is everything really fine? ● Be aware of warning signs ● Accept that requirements evolve Guy Pène du Bois Pierrot Tired Corcoran Collection (Museum Purchase through the gifts of William Wilson Corcoran and Ivan C. Aivasovsky) National Gallery of Art, Washington
  29. 29. Challenges - PT Barnum Project : Photograph: P.T. Barnum and young Charles Stratton Courtesy of The Bridgeport History Center / Bridgeport Public Library ● Silos ● Rights ● Vulnerability ● Continuity
  30. 30. Evolution of Reporting Descriptive Reports Hindsight Who? How many? How much? Numbers, accounting Awareness Alerts Analysis Insight Why? How? Evaluation Exploration Predictive / Forecasting Foresight Competitive advantage Optimization Data-driven decisions We are here
  31. 31. Current State
  32. 32. WHHA - Current State & Biggest Challenges ● Digital Library public face is slowly expanding. Team is severely limited in time and resources - detailed research and thick description are a high standard to maintain. ● Backlog of 300K files needs to be processed... someday. ● Discussing image recognition software as a possible tool for prioritizing files. ● New projects with AWS keep getting added to team’s responsibilities, which is both awesome and annoying. ● Biggest users are still internal staff. “The Kennedys Make Entrance at Ivory Coast State Dinner.” 1962. Photo by George F. Mobley. “Fala on the Train.” 1942. U.S. Navy photo.
  33. 33. ● New DAMS selected ○ Enterprise-minded ○ Focus on user-friendliness, updated technologies, improved permissions and security ● Installation (cloud) complete, implementation underway ● Kicking-off data migration ● Will roll-out in three phases: ○ Summer 2018 - DIVS ■ NGA collection object images, Non-NGA object images for exhibitions, special project photography, event photography ○ Fall 2018 ■ Departments with current DAM catalogs including Archives and Conservation ○ 2019 and Beyond ■ Opening our doors to new departments, new users, new collections museum-wide Detail Bingham, George Caleb. The Jolly Flatboatmen. 1846. Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington
  34. 34. Current State - PT Barnum Project : ● Oversight of DAM processes by Curatorial and Archival staff, not a “DAM” staff ● Statewide training and all day conferences promote sharing and development ● Step-by-step training manuals for interns and volunteers
  35. 35. The Future
  36. 36. Value of DAM - PT Barnum Project : ● Less staff time on research and image requests ● Use of images in marketing and promotion ● More collections on road map for repository
  37. 37. WHHA Digital Library - Outlook Short-term ● Continue describing and adding slides ● Leverage AWS projects to promote the Digital Library ● Marketing plan to boost awareness and revenue from image licensing Long-term ● Expand user base ● Partnerships with other presidential libraries and sites to create a single hub for White House history online “Cassius M. Clay Battalion of the Union Army on the South Lawn.” 1861. “White House South Portico Looking Toward the Washington Monument.” 1996. Photo by Erik Kvalsvik.
  38. 38. National Gallery of Art - Everybody In ● more users, more collections ● fully realizing the new DAMS’ potential ○ API, portals, automated workflows, leveraging reports and statistics to more fully meet collection and user needs ● integrations beyond current CMS and web ● continued evolution of DAM practices made possible by ● solid teams ○ You cannot succeed without good people ● Positive and productive vendor relationships ● strong network and community courtesy
  39. 39. What’s on your minds? #H371
  40. 40. Q & A Image source:
  41. 41. Thank You