History defines who we are; it informs our decisions, and can guide us to make the correct choices. It’s also our legacy. These days, it’s not just traditional cultural institutions that are discovering the importance of recording their heritage — many companies and organizations increasingly see the value in this endeavor as well.
NetX has a long and enduring history working with cultural heritage organizations. From traditional institutions like MoMA, The Met, and many other museums — to corporate archivists, tasked with preserving the legacy of their founders.
Cultural heritage and historic preservation begins with physical items: a picture, a trophy, an artifact. These need to be cataloged, stored — and in the case of museums, they need to be exhibited. This is where collections management systems (CMSs) play their role: catalog and organize the physical. Typically, items are given an accession number, which is analogous to a SKU.
But a CMS is not a DAM — there’s no workflow, no transcoding, no sophisticated metadata management. This isn’t so much a limitation of a CMS; it’s more about using the right tool for the job. Instead of having one system do everything in a convoluted way, it’s better to connect the two systems — CMS and DAM — and have them work together, each doing their own job most efficiently.
NetX has the experience of integrating with a variety of Collection Management Systems for over a decade.
Any cultural heritage project requires a dialed-in acquisition workflow. This applies equally to Museums that acquire new pieces for exhibits, as well as to the corporate archivist who is digitizing relevant materials. Items are received, photographed, processed, catalogued, and stored — this is true of both the physical and digital aspects of acquisition.
NetX has evolved over the last decade, using our experience working with leading Museums — incorporating a variety of functions to automate and streamline the acquisition process. This includes sophisticated metadata management, automated workflows that tag and organize assets based on incoming data and programmatic rules, as well as flexible, off-the-shelf tools for syncing metadata between various systems.
Recently, NetX integrated with JIRA to better assist with the project management aspect of acquisition — specifically to manage the scheduling and tasking of acquisition photography. Simply create “tickets” in JIRA for your photographers. JIRA is a fantastic tool for projects; it includes task priorities, hours tracking, along with a variety of project views (Kanban, Agile, and even Service Desk). Photographers simply interact in JIRA; image files and data flow automatically (view configurable field mappings) from JIRA to NetX. See the Met Digital Asset Management case study
Leverage and Broadcast
Once you have all your heritage items in digital form and stored in NetX, the next thing you’ll want to do is leverage that treasure-trove. Repurposed assets can be resized, cropped, watermarked, and color corrected. And these derivatives can be used in brochures, on web sites, in ecommerce stores, and in social media.
NetX includes a media publishing framework that allows you to publish assets to various systems via a plugin system. Currently, NetX has plugins for a variety of endpoints: YouTube, Brightcove, Flickr. NetX also has plugins for Drupal and WordPress; and for social media, NetX plugs into both Chute and Percolate — leading social media management platforms.