Museum Information Professionals: Essential Skills
Communication / Metadata & Cataloging / Copyright / Digital Preservation / Professional Development
Museum information professionals will deal with digital assets, images, documents, or other resources. Knowing how to manage and maintain this information for future generations is vital to the mission of cultural heritage organizations. Digital preservation is the practice of preparing materials to ensure continued access for as long as necessary. Files become corrupt, media formats become obsolete, and devices for reading media can break. You must protect, know what is in your data, monitor, check for fixity, and be able to repair your data. (Digital Preservation Handbook, 2015) There are a variety of resources available when thinking about digital preservation. Here are a few that are especially helpful for museum information professionals.
Matters in Media Art, a collaboration between the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) and Tate, is a website that outlines collection care for new media. It covers digital preservation from an art museum’s point of view from defining the scope and budget through the execution of a preservation strategy.
The Library of Congress hosts a blog called The Signal that focuses on digital preservation. This includes everything from institutional collections to digitizing family photo albums. It is a great way to get a taste for digital preservation in practice.
The Northeast Document Conservation Center (NDCC), which focuses on the preservation of traditional tangible objects, has resources for digital preservation as well. They have information on digital preservation policy, self assessment, and further training materials.