Tools & Research

MCN is pleased to launch this new listing of freely available tools, resources, and research to assist information professionals in museums, libraries, and archives. We look forward to working with members and continuing to expand this list in the future. Please let us know what you think.

Digital Asset Management Database (DAMD)

Building on previous successful work in the areas of standards and online collections access, the new MOAC software tool, the Digital Asset Management Database (DAMD), has been developed as both a utilitarian tool and as a test case for exploring more general issues of content sharing and community tool development. This tool has two primary functions that can be used together or separately: it provides basic digital asset management for simple to complex media objects and it easily transforms collections information into an extensible variety of standards-based XML formats, such as METS and OAI, to allow even small organizations without technical staff to share their collections broadly and participate in building a national network of culture. DAMD was developed as an "open solution," built on FileMaker Pro software (8.5 or above) because of the broad base of installed users of FileMaker in the museum and arts communities. DAMD is available for free to cultural organizations. The tool, and its unique export/transform functions (detailed in the documentation), are open-ended, allowing organizations to customize the tool for themselves or the community to improve the tool for all. Thanks to funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, DAMD is now ready to be shared freely with the cultural heritage community. Here you may download your own copy of the Digital Asset Management Database (DAMD), which works in FileMaker Pro Version 8.5 or above for Mac or Windows. The download includes a PDF version of the DAMD manual, with annotated screenshots. 

Download Digital Asset Management Database (DAMD) (1 MB ZIP file) 


L.A. art ONLINE: Learning from the Getty’s Electronic Cataloguing Initiative

"The Getty’s Electronic Cataloguing Initiative was designed to help Los Angeles museums and visual arts organizations make information on their collections available online. The six-year initiative was launched in 1997, at a time when museums were just beginning to develop Web sites. Although the possibility of harnessing the Web to provide collections access quickly surfaced, few in the field had a clear understanding of how this might be achieved. Getty funding provided an incentive for developing and implementing plans for making online collections access a reality. Today, a Web-savvy public expects immediate user-friendly access to visual arts collections. Although many museums have at least a part of their collections available online, organizations still struggle with how to fund, develop, and justify these programs. What, after all, is the relationship between collections access and a museum’s core responsibilities? Can online access have a meaningful impact on an institution’s broader mission and programs? How will online access affect an organization’s budget and operations? By focusing on these key issues and by providing candid accounts of the challenges encountered by both the Getty and its grantees, we hope to address the concerns of museum leaders and their staff—and to thus give back to the field from which we have learned so much. In addition, we hope that the lessons learned during this initiative—as well as the many successes of its grantees—will inspire other funders to support the ongoing efforts of museums and other cultural organizations internationally to provide online access to their permanent collections." 


From introduction to the report by Deborah Marrow, Director, Getty Foundation 


Download the full report HERE (3.64 MB PDF file)