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Paving the way: The American Museum of Natural History Research Library’s road to digital asset management
This article introduces the American Museum of Natural History Research Library’s role in stewarding collections for the various departments of the institution and how it plans to continue supporting its stakeholders in a digital age. Detailed use cases of managing digital assets in lieu of a digital asset management (DAM) system demonstrate how the library facilitated public access to digitised and digital assets using custom-built applications and open source solutions. The article describes the process of developing functional requirements for an institutional DAM solution, the system selection process and the effort to procure necessary funding. Finally, the article describes how the library strategically builds museum-specific taxonomies to gain better control of assets through structured metadata.
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Jennifer Cwiok is the Digital Systems Librarian at the American Museum of Natural History Research Library, where she is responsible for the library’s technical infrastructure. She also teaches at the Pratt School of Information. Jennifer holds a master of library and information science degree and has worked on metadata and digital asset management projects on behalf of Marvel Entertainment, Conde Nast, The Granger Collection and the University of Georgia.
Iris Lee is the Cataloguing and Metadata Librarian at the American Museum of Natural History Research Library. She oversees descriptive data across formats and applications with the goal of streamlining metadata to enable interoperability and data sharing. She is also a visiting assistant professor at the Pratt School of Information. She has a BA from University of California at Riverside and an MLS with a certificate in archives, preservation and records management from City University of New York, Queens College.