Workshop on Digital Asset Management

Moderator: Marianne Colgrove
Director of Web Support Services, Reed College
June 6, 2005

Digital asset management involves three primary components: (a) a repository for digital materials and associated metadata; (b) processes for scanning and cataloguing objects; and (c) presentation tools that enable students and faculty to use the digital materials. During the past year we investigated all three aspects of digital asset management in teaching and research. In order to share our findings with others and collaborate on an evaluation of product offerings, we hosted a regional workshop for library, visual resources, and information technology staff. The workshop was held June 6, 2005 at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. A web site describing the event is located at: http://www.reed.edu/digital_asset_mgmt/dam_vendor_day.html

Invitations to the event, which was co-sponsored by the Murdock Trust, were sent to representatives of NWACC as well as to the members of the Orbis Cascade Alliance library consortium. In all, there were forty-six participants representing eighteen colleges and universities in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia.

The program included demonstrations of two commercial systems — CONTENTdm and Luna Insight – as well as two university-developed, open-source systems — James Madison University’s MDID and Princeton University’s Almagest. The speakers gave live demonstrations of their products, showing how to build image collections and how to use various tools for presentation and study. The presenters also talked about their future development plans. Feedback from participants indicated that the workshop was extremely successful in allowing them to examine and compare several promising systems. While the commercial products are somewhat more polished, the university-developed systems had better tools for studying and manipulating content. In this regard, the session proved informative for the vendors as well as the attendees.