The American Museum of Natural History is one of the world’s preeminent scientific and cultural institutions. Since its founding in 1869, the museum has advanced its global mission to discover, interpret, and disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe through a wide-ranging program of scientific research, education, and exhibition.
An integral element to delivering on the museum’s mission is centered on photos and digital images. With hundreds of thousands of files, having a system to manage and catalog them is key not only for efficiency, but ensuring everyone has access to the files they need when they need them.
The museum’s initial solution was built internally. The photo team would burn everything to CD/DVD, put them in binders, and create an entry in an Excel spreadsheet for each one.
As the number of digital assets increased, this homegrown solution became unmanageable. There were no best practices, no file and folder naming protocols, and no controlled vocabularies. Locating files was taking far too long, so the team went in search of a digital asset management system.
Deliver on the institution's mission to disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe
Implement a centralized digital asset repository
Reduce turnaround time for image requests
In preparation for finding a new system, The American Museum of Natural History team developed a list of priorities.
They needed a solution that would:
After reviewing the options, the team selected Portfolio, coupling it with MySQL for the back end. The team was able to easily set user access, so the photo team could maintain control over the library.
Since deploying Portfolio, The American Museum of Natural History photo team has: