We completed a two-year project in August 2014 funded by an IMLS Museums of America grant to develop requirements and standards for catalog record formats and metadata for archival materials, connect the Museum’s library system to a digital asset management system (DAMS) to reduce duplicate data entry, connect other collection databases to this system, and continue to add information to these systems to aid searching for both the Museum staff and general public. Virtually all activities set out to be completed by the end of the project were accomplished.
Metadata standards selected during this project ensure that there is a uniform way of cataloging digital assets for the future. Also, the ability to use the DAMS as the center for metadata and digital files is incredibly valuable and avoids duplication. Now, metadata and files only need to be loaded once; and by simply clicking on an icon, those assets can be uploaded to Flickr.com or YouTube. In addition, the ability to automatically ingest the tags from Flickr.com into the DAMS ensures that the incredibly valuable information gained from crowdsourcing is quickly and permanently stored in one location.
Now that this project has been completed, digitization work continues at SDASM. Because standards and workflows were established during “Preserving Our Aerospace Heritage,” digitization is easier and can be done at a much faster pace. With many more assets to digitize, the treasures of the Archive will now be available to the public, the world over for many years to come.
In addition to digitizing our archival material, we have started phase two of our project, which includes the cataloging and photographing of our curatorial collection objects. These objects are currently cataloged in the PastPerfect collection software, but this index lacks standard subject terms and is not up to date. We are currently re-indexing the objects using a standard vocabulary that will make the collection much more easy to search. In addition, we are photographing all of the objects and putting the images online for the public to enjoy. High resolution images of the objects and their associated metadata are being stored in the DAMS, which are then pushed to Flickr.
As of December 2020, we have uploaded close to 12,000 images of our Curatorial objects and paintings to Flickr, which can be seen HERE.