I’m in a discussion, oh alright then, disagreement with our IT department over the use of our DAM. In case you’re interested we use TEAMS which was originally from Artesia but now is called Artesia DAM and is owned by OpenText. The discussion is about what should go into it. They want a specific list of file types but limited to images and rich media (more about that), I say anything. They seem to be hung up on using it for images primarily, but my point is, departments should be free to use it to manage any digital object that they think is important. The system doesn’t care about the type of the asset, why should we? If its departmentally important to store an organising FileMaker database and some scans of loan agreements along side all the images for a temporary exhibition I say, why not? But, we don’t agree.
So, ‘rich media’. I had a fairly interesting discussion about what constituted a rich media file. Later, I realised the conversation was more about excluding Powerpoint files from the DAM, but the thread went something like:
Me: So, is a PPT file rich media?
Me: So, a PPT file with video, qtvr and audio files embedded in it, is not a rich media file?
ITP: Er, yes it is.
Me: So, is a PPT file with just text in it a rich media file?
Me: So, some PPT files can go in and some can’t? How will we tell which are rich and which are not?
ITP: PPT files are out.
Despite the exchange with this IT Person, we did come up with some useful policy criteria to broadly define what files (excluding PPTs) could be uploaded into our DAM. The list is more about a simple working criteria for us to benchmark departmental ingestion requests, rather than an extensive strategic policy framework. Organisations like NISO have much more thorough and indepth discussions and recommendations, see: A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections. Anyway, our ‘working’ list:
- The digital object is a ‘master’ not a derivative or work in progress
- The digital object has value to the institution
- The digital object must be managed for access, rights, etc
- Digital object must be searchable/findable in multiple ways
- Authorized users should have access to the digital object
- Digital object should protected/preserved using best practices available
- The institution has defined use/access rights to the digital object
If you have similar simple policies or guidelines, I’d be interested. In the meantime I’m off to create some rich media PPTs.