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Friday, November 6 • 12:00pm - 12:30pm
Overcoming the Digital Infrastructure Divide: Open Source Solutions to DAMS

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Do you struggle with managing your digital assets? trying to provide access on a limited budget? Ever wonder how to get your metadata to stick to your assets? Come learn the very different methods of two similar organizations implementing the same open source Digital Asset Management system, and how it has changed their lives. We’ll share how both institutions have customized ResourceSpace, integrated it with other applications, and utilized a community of developers, making a real difference in our individual implementations of the DAM.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts’ Enterprise Content Management (ECM) project – funded by the IMLS and under the strategic direction of Douglas Hegley, Director of Media and Technology – aims to store, organize and make accessible the museum’s vast amount of intellectual property in all digital formats including video, audio, image, and documents. Our new (to us), open-source DAM – ResourceSpace – joins an existing enterprise DAM and provides the means to gather our currently dispersed digital assets. An Application Program Interface (API) ties all our collections-related systems together and serves a unified search interface with an Elasticsearch backend.

The open source system, Elasticsearch index, and API-driven approach provide the project lynchpins, allowing MIA users to retrieve deep information about the collection and digital resources from across multiple repositories, using keywords and other associated cues. A new, MIA-authored metadata specification ensures longevity and access to the asset data from an array of digital formats. The API will also provide a direct content feed to the galleries and visitors via the MIA’s TDX digital experience project and website collection resource pages. The MIA has undertaken all project development work in-house with museum and contract staff using an Agile methodology that involves extensive stakeholder input.

The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore implemented ResourceSpace two years ago to house a growing repository of nearly 300,000 assets. ResourceSpace is the center point for digital assets related to both the museum collection and many other facets of museum activities. While the Walters has primarily focused on mapping custom metadata to standardized schemas and integrating their collections management database, the real success has been in creating a digital asset management “experience” for staff that makes the searching and retrieval of digital assets easy, explorative and intuitive.It was with some apprehension that the Walters replaced a vendor-driven (and chronically broken) 3-year old DAMS with an open source application; after all, the Walters has a small IT staff and no in-house developers. The open source community helped our decision in several ways. First, there is the broad community of ResourceSpace users, ranging from developers, DAM managers or simply enthusiasts who are eager to share their experiences and knowledge. Secondly, the low implementation cost has left a surplus of funds that are dedicated to ongoing custom development. These things simply were not possible with proprietary software solutions. The Walters has partnered with the UK-based firm Montala, who originally developed ResourceSpace in 2006, for annual support and custom development. The two organizations will share the methods and issues around implementing their open source DAM(s), managing the metadata needs of an array of digital asset formats, and meeting internal and external user needs, all while navigating existing museum infrastructure hurdles.All session attendees and colleagues will be provided with direct links to the MIA codebase, and documentation and example deliverables from both museums - shared and available for others to use and build upon.

Keywords: Open Source, Digital Asset Management, API, Elasticsearch, Metadata, ResourceSpace, Access

avatar for Piotr Adamczyk

Piotr Adamczyk

Director, ITHAKA (Artstor/JSTOR)
Starting with an analyst position at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, as a Program Manager for the Google Cultural Institute, and now ITHAKA's Director of Image Content and Museum Partnerships, Piotr Adamczyk's work is focused on the use of open/linked data in cultural heritage institutions... Read More →

avatar for Kate Blanch

Kate Blanch

Administrator, Museum Databases, The Walters Art Museum
Kate Blanch is the Systems Manager, Data and Digital Resources at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. She oversees the museum’s databases, data-driven web-components, collections data API and digital resources. This encompasses systems in support of digital asset management... Read More →

Andrew David

Head of Software Development, Minneapolis Institute of Art

Joshua Lynn

Digital Media Specialist, Minneapolis Institute of Art

Friday November 6, 2015 12:00pm - 12:30pm CST
Harriet Hyatt Regency Minneapolis 1300 Nicollet Mall Minneapolis, MN 55403

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