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Museum Computer Network 2008

Monday November 17th, 2008 by Cindy Valladares

Last week I attended a very informative event in Washinton DC — the Museum Computer Network Conference.  The slogan for the conference was very appropriate:  “LET’S DO I.T. RIGHT!”.  The event provided a program focused on information technology for museums.  I had the pleasure of meeting many professionals in the field, including various Portfolio customers.

One topic that has been sparking a lot of interest in this area is Digital Asset Management.  There were several workshops, sessions and case studies, all related to how museums around the globe are dealing with their monstrous and growing amounts digital assets.  Another important topic to address is why organizations want to manage their digital assets — and there were several discussions about that as well.

The first official day of the conference started out with the popular case study showcase.  This year’s focus was around innovation.  As you can see from the image below, the room was packed, as Matt Shanley, Photography Department Technical Coordinator and Digital Asset Manager, presented on “Digital Asset Management at the American Museum of Natural History”.  Matt has been using Portfolio Server for a number of years now, and shared some success stories, as well as DAM best practices.

Other presenters in this case study showcase include:  Art Institute of Chicago (also using Portfolio) on Rapid Imaging, Museum of Modern Art on MoMA.guide as their digital information kiosks, Denver Art Museum on interactive displays, Indianapolis Museum of Art on dashboards as a way of creating transparency, and Jewish Women’s Archive on open source DAM.

After their five-minute case study presentation, each presenter hosted a roundtable, which allowed participants to ask specific questions about their topic.  In Matt Shanley’s table, questions ranged from DAM photographic workflow, integration with collection management systems, best approach to organizing digital assets, creating a naming convention and folder structure strategy, among others.

Next month, we’ll be hosting a webcast on how the National Gallery of London is managing their digital assets with Portfolio.  Details will be posted on our webcast page, as soon as we finalize them, so stay tuned.