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published: April, 2002

Archives & Museum Informatics, 2002.
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License

speakers

Dollars and Sense: Integrating Digital Access for Fun
Snowden Becker, Japanese American National Museum, USA
http://www.janm.org

Demonstration: Demonstrations 2

Over the last three years, the Japanese American National Museum's digital access initiatives have established a thriving repository of high-quality surrogates for collection items. Participation in cooperative efforts like the Japanese American Relocation Digital Archive (JARDA) and the Museums of the Online Archive of California (MOAC) allow for 24/7 access to digitized collections, and new procedures have streamlined and expanded in-house access to digital surrogates. All of these advances have changed how the National Museum, its staff, its collections, and the public interact-sometimes in drastic and surprising ways.

This presentation will speak to the need to integrate digital access across the institution: audiences, working methods, and long-term plans all may change gradually or quickly when a museum first enters the digital realm. Sensible planning can help recoup a museum's investment of staff time and keep digitized collections working in new ways. The National Museum's current projects and practices will be related in this context; specific examples from the JANM experience will illustrate major points, and provide a framework for planning and consideration. Topics to be covered include:

Balancing the workload. As the digital archive has grown, demand for digital surrogates has increased. How do we balance the workload by anticipating the need for images related to upcoming exhibitions, education activities, and new museum projects?

Turning toward digital delivery. How fast will the museum shift to digital delivery of images for PR, licensing, and publications? What impact is this having on in-house photographers, graphic designers, and web masters?

Becoming a 24/7 museum. How is in-person access to the collection changing now that researchers can access digital surrogates via the web, any time, anywhere? What impact does this have on staff resources?

Educating the audience. How do we increase understanding among staff members and the public about what digital collections are, and what they can do? How do we keep our goals for digital access and service realistic, attainable?and visionary?

Making it pay. Virtual collections can lead to actual revenues. What else can they offer in terms of accessibility, broader audiences, and returns on the original investment of staff time and expertise? How do we enforce intellectual property rights on web-accessible materials?

Plans for the future will be discussed at the end of the presentation.