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American Museum of Natural History

Streamlines Workflow with Digital Asset Management

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About The American Museum of Natural History

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.

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Where They Started

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.

Their Goals

Deliver on the institution's mission to disseminate information about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe

Implement a centralized digital asset repository

Increase efficiency

Reduce turnaround time for image requests

The Solution:

An easy-to-use DAM with Robust Functionality

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:

  • Offer an intuitive graphical user interface
  • Scale with future growth
  • Allow them to customize user access
  • Provide a robust search feature
  • Include outstanding technical support
  • Offer multiple ways to access assets, including from the web
  • Provide easy and reliable backup and store records in a non-proprietary format

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.

See Portfolio in Action

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The Result

Since deploying Portfolio, The American Museum of Natural History photo team has:


Next Steps

Stand Out from The Crowd

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Implementing a DAM

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Learn More About Portfolio

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