Storing and managing your digital assets securely is as important as managing your collections. Naming and backing up files, security and location and creating master files and working copies are all important and you will need to decide what storage system to use.
How do I manage my digital assets?
Some collections management systems (CMS) include digital asset management features. Alternatively, you might want to use a digital asset management system (DAMS) that covers not only your digitised collections, but also digital assets from elsewhere in your institution, such as marketing literature or promotional images. However you manage your digital assets, you should have a systematically named digital file, catalogue information (or links to it), a timescale for using, archiving or deleting it, as well as access to the files and version control.
- The National Archives cataloguing systems and archive network offers advice on collections management systems (CMS) and DAMS options for archives.
- Collections Trust Choose collections software page offers an overview of various CMS and DAMS options suitable for museums, with links to company websites.
What IT system should I use?
Using a resilient IT system, whether physical or cloud-based is vital to ensure effective management and retrieval of assets over time.
- The DPC’s Digital Preservation Handbook [Digital Preservation Coalition, 2015] has a section on storage, which offers good introductory advice on using IT storage systems as opposed to discrete media such as CDs.
- The same resource also has a great summary of the issues to consider in relation to cloud-based storage solutions and migrating your files from old or obsolete forms of media such as cassette tapes or CDs.