The Salzburg Museum is a museum of art and cultural history for the Salzburg region. It is responsible for the administration and preservation of several hundred thousand objects from 15 different collections. With the objects of the museum 11 sites are permanently filled with life. In addition, the Salzburg Museum organizes various changing exhibitions at different locations every year.
For many years, the Salzburg Museum has been using the program MuseumPlus from zetcom to manage its collections. A team of more than 10 employees is continuously engaged with the cataloguing and documentation of the collection objects. Through their work, 250,000 objects have been entered into MuseumPlus. Each year about 20,000 objects are added. In doing so, not only textual information is captured and maintained, but also links to external media, in particular the object photos, are created.
The administration of the media files, which are relevant for the object documentation, presents a special challenge for the collection management of the Salzburg Museum. Above all, photos must be created, archived and linked to object records in MuseumPlus. This is a labour-intensive and error-prone process, especially if all steps have to be done manually. For this reason, the Salzburg Museum has decided early on to automate important tasks in this process.
First a simple software script was used which automatically established the links betwenn the photos and the corresponding object records. This solution was based on the monitoring of selected file folders. Files contained in these folders were assigned to the matching partner records in MuseumPlus using the criterion of the file name. Through this mechanism, the coworkers of the inventory team were largely freed from creating manual links between media and collection objects.
However, the described solution still left wide areas of dealing with the external media in the hands of the inventory team. Metadata of documents and images had to be transferred to MuseumPlus in an interactive process. External files were stored in file folders provided for them, but they could be modified, overwritten, deleted or moved by mistake. Above all, the need to protect the integrity of the external media pool from disturbing interventions turned to be a critical requirement for media administration in the context of collection management. This could not be adequately ensured with the existing solution.
Against this backdrop, the decision makers of the Salzburg Museum came to the conclusion that in 2014 the acquisition of a comprehensive software solution for the management of digital assets would be tackled. This was supposed to meet the following essential requirements:
- Link external images and documents with MuseumPlus
- Synchronize the metadata between external files and MuseumPlus
- Provide files in different formats and resolutions
- Manage the media pool in a protected file repository
After extensive evaluation of the available products on the market the Salzburg Museum opted for the system BeeCollect Media from Solvatec.
The decisive factor for BeeCollect Media was the already existing technical integration with MuseumPlus. To realise a comparable connection to other systems with otherwise equivalent functionality, would have caused considerably higher efforts. In this context, the decision for BeeCollect Media promised that the given requirements could be fulfilled relatively quickly and at a comparatively low cost.
In the course of the introduction of BeeCollect Media, the existing media stock was first viewed and a new folder structure for the integration of external media into MuseumPlus was defined. All relevant media were supposed to be linked afresh with their partner records in MuseumPlus. For this purpose, the necessary profiles for media handling had to be set up in BeeCollect Media.
This task was carried out by the responsible project manager at Solvatec in close coordination with the team at the Salzburg Museum. In this way, a differentiated set of settings was implemented, which took into account the peculiarities of the multi-layered usage contexts. The resulting profiles defined rules for the following typical tasks:
- Patterns for assigning a file name to an object.
- Source and destination folders for importing and storing files
- Metadata mappings for synchronization between MuseumPlus and file repository
- Requirements for the creation of file variants
In May 2014, BeeCollect Media started with the import or reimport of the existing collection media. Based on the pre-configured import profiles, a total of more than 100,000 images and documents were re-linked with MuseumPlus. In this way, all digital assets were transferred to a media pool protected against mistaken modifications by individual actors. All additions, exits and changes in this file repository can only be initiated via BeeCollect Media. One of the main goals of the introduction of a digital asset management system was already achieved with BeeCollect Media's productive implementation.
Since the incorporation of the initial media stock in May 2014 more than 200,000 images and documents have been linked to MuseumPlus via BeeCollect Media. The effort for the media administration in the context of the collection documentation has been significantly reduced by the introduction of the new system. Since then, the general workflow of media management hardly requires manual intervention anymore. The rules defined in the import profiles are continuously monitored in the background and the actions performed are progressively logged with regard to their status. Individual profile settings can be adapted, if necessary, by the responsible administrators in the Salzburg Museum.
At the same time, the introduction of BeeCollect Media significantly increased the quality of the available media information. The quality of the media data in MuseumPlus benefits on the one hand from the fact that pictures and documents are no longer erroneously changed and mistakenly assigned. On the other hand, the elementary link information recorded in MuseumPlus often comes enriched with meaningful metadata now.
The most important arguments for BeeCollect Media:
- tailored DAM software for MuseumPlus
- powerful metadata management
- automated linking of collection data and digital assets
- automated generation of desired file formats and sizes
- integrated interfaces to other widespread DAM systems (Cumulus, Portfolio)
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