Nice Jennie....easy to use interface and nice contextual display.  


Our digital images and finding aids for our Collections Online interface are linked via computer programming in our own internal Digital Collections Database.  The xml file is parsed into a database table that holds all of the EAD tag contents, including the box and folder containers listed in the xml file.  Once uploaded into the DCD, a digital image file directory is also created that mirrors the container listing.  This directory is automatically generated on the computers used by the scanning technicians, so they just save their files to the correct collection code/box#/folder#.  The only really unique name in the DCD is the collection code.  During processing for the web display, these same images then get a unique id, but it is meaningless outside of our own system, and there is no readily identifiable link back to the container table.  


We’ve just started linking additional digital images to the home page for individual finding aids; for example, see Gertrude Abercrombie.  These represent “digital highlight links” for collections that have not been fully digitized (most of the collections obviously). These files represent another digitization workflow in the DCD; the items are individually cataloged and scanned at high resolution, full color, unlike Collections Online.  Most often these files result from selecting representative images during processing, reference orders, exhibitions, our journal, etc.  In the DCD, all digital files for one collection share the collection code referenced above, but these also carry unique individual id numbers that are not present in the CO images.  In addition, these files are not linked or accessible at the folder or file headings as in the CO interface.


We’ve just begun to participate in the Smithsonian’s overall DAM system – Artesia.  The ingest of our files has been challenging because 1) AAA has so many, and 2) Artesia assumes (as do most DAMS) that each item is unique and is not related to any other item – a very non-archival approach that does not work very well with the naming of our CO files, which is based entirely upon an archival approach.  Artesia also does not easily handle multiple derivatives of the same file.   So, one of our staff has working with the SI DAM to ensure that all of our files are harvested into the DAM so that AAA can possibly participate in future SI collaborative web projects. To do this, she has had to create and load complex customized xml-based data crosswalks that ensure that AAA’s hierarchy and container #s are part of the file linking mechanism. She reports that the process has been challenging at best.  However, at the present, we have no plans to use the DAM for Collections Online type web presentation. 


The real problem with all of the DAMS and databases is that you really need a good programmer to automate the linkage and web interfaces.’s the new version of AT coming along?


Barbara D. Aikens


Chief, Collections Processing

Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Ph: 202-633-7941

email:  [log in to unmask]


Mailing Address

Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

PO Box 37012

Victor Bldg., Suite 2200, MRC 937

Washington, DC  20013-7012




-----Original Message-----
From: Encoded Archival Description List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jennie Levine Knies
Sent: Monday, March 01, 2010 4:23 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Digital Asset Management Systems



We are doing both, and using Fedora to do so.


By visiting our digital collections web page, you can get access to both

finding aids and digital images/texts.


They are all located in our Fedora repository.  So, a keyword search for

something like "Civil War" would give you hits of manuscripts, films,

finding aids, etc.


We have only recently started adding links from our finding aids to our

digital collections, for example:


At the folder level (scroll down to the box list):


At the item level (scroll down to the box list):


We're playing around with folder views, to see if we can live with it.

We are not using the proper <dao> to link to these at present; rather we

are using <extref>, simply because right now we have no one to help get

all of that into the style sheet. But we're being consistent and

hopefully that will work out later on.


Strengths of Fedora? Open source, flexible, the metadata we chose to use

allows for this type of cross-searchability, and potentially so much

more that we probably haven't even imagined.


Weaknesses of Fedora? Open source, therefore, requires

programmer/technical assistance for development.


But overall, my own personal feeling is that as many ways as we can make

our finding aids and digital images available, the better. We're still

in what I would call the experimentation phase.  The few Humanities

scholars who I have talked with seem to really like this basic finding

aid/link to a folder set up, because it recreates the reading room

experience for them.  (This is anecdotal).  However, I am not sure that

an archives novice would have the same reaction.  Hence the multiple

access points.





Jennie Levine Knies

Manager, Digital Collections

2216 Hornbake Library

University of Maryland

College Park, MD 20742

(301)314-2558 TEL (301)314-2709 FAX

[log in to unmask] E-MAIL


Max Evans wrote, On 3/1/2010 4:00 PM:

> Dear Colleagues,

> I'm looking for help from the EAD community.


> Are any of you delivering both EAD finding aids and digital images of

> collection content? If so, can you let me know what, if any, digital

> asset management system you are using? If you have any thoughts about

> the strengths and weaknesses of each, I would appreciate those, also.


> Thanks,

> Max J. Evans

> LDS Church History Department

> 801-240-8538