Introduction

Getting started in Digital Asset Management with minimal resources: Southwest Minnesota State University Digital Archives

Getting started in Digital Asset Management with minimal resources: Southwest Minnesota State University Digital Archives

 

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Archives at Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall, MN

How do you secure funding for a digital asset management initiative with little to no resources?  We’ll show you how Southwest Minnesota State University was able to do just that.  Click here to explore their digital archives.

Southwest Minnesota State University began working with PALS in 2012 on our beta project.   The beta project is what allowed us to really first test out Islandora as a potential solution.  We sent out an offer to interested partners that let them try out Islandora for free.  This gave us the chance to really put Islandora through its paces.

Southwest Minnesota State University responded to the beta project offer because they saw it as the perfect opportunity to finally begin moving forward with digital asset management.  For them digital asset management had always been a priority:

“We are a relatively young university (we’ll celebrate 50 years in 2017) and we want to begin capturing as much of our history electronically as we can. Having a digital asset management tool in place, especially one as versatile as Islandora, is vital to that goal.” – Pam Gladis, University Librarian, Southwest Minnesota State University

For the initial beta project Southwest Minnesota State University had one full time staff member, Pam Gladis (now University Librarian at Southwest Minnesota State University), and two part-time assistants.

The beta project allowed them to at last get started with a digital asset management project.  Pam Gladis chose to digitize Southwest Minnesota State University’s alumni newsletter “The Focus”, with the hope that once digitized, they could use it to show the importance of D.A.M. and what it could do.  They succeeded and were able to build a successful partnership and secure funding from their Alumni Foundation.

The beta project was a key factor for Southwest’s ability to move forward.  But it wasn’t the main reason Southwest succeeded.  For them “Having a digital asset management tool in place, especially one as versatile as Islandora, is vital.”  In other words, they had buy-in and support from the start.  Resources held them back.

We want to help you build that initial support and buy-in.

So how can we get started with minimal resources? How can we build support for digital asset management? 

  1. Choose a small, impact-full collection to start with.  Photograph collections always provide good visuals, or perhaps you have documents related to your institution’s founding that would make a good first project.  Or maybe its a student publication or newspaper.  Or a video collection, or audio.
  2. Think about who you are, your mission and goals, and what project could resonate the most with other department, students, and alumni.   For Southwest this was the Alumni newsletter.  For another institution, their first documents were related to accreditation. Find something unique that showcases what your institution is all about.
  3. If you think you want to get started with a project but don’t have a way to show off your initial collection, contact us here.  We have a demo repository where we can load some of your materials.  Select “Islandora Hosting (Open Source Digital Asset Management)” and let us know you would like us to set up a demo collection for you.  Please click here and browse through what other institutions have asked us to load for them.
  4. Once this is done, you’ll have something to share with others who may be interested and gain support.  Building buy-in is key to any digital asset management initiative.    We’ll also be happy to do an online or in person demonstration for you.  Click here to contact us for a demonstration.  Select “Islandora Hosting (Open Source Digital Asset Management)” and let us know you would like to talk to us more about Islandora.

Lastly, building support for a digital asset management project takes time, patience, and persistence.  But once you get there, you will be able to move forward.

Our goal is to help you do take those steps.

 

 

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