Digital Collection Content Creation at the DMA

Shyam Oberoi, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Canada, Andrea Severin Goins, Dallas Museum of Art, USA

Published paper: Digital collection content creation at the DMA

As part of a grant-funded project that began in September 2013, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) is digitizing its collection of over twenty-three thousand artworks as a two-part initiative. High-resolution photography of artwork not previously photographed and establishing the technical framework to publish this content constitute the first part. The second involves extensive cataloging of these works; the digitization of rich, supplementary contextual content for those works; and developing technical processes to route content internally, link content to both existing internal digital resources and external taxonomies, and harvest content for publication online via a collections API. Examples of this supplementary digital content include artist and designer biographies; catalogue essays; cultural and geographical descriptions; definitions of materials, processes, and art historical terms; smartphone assets, program recordings, and other multimedia assets; contextual images; related Web resources; and teacher resources.

This paper and presentation will overview the challenges, iterations, and successes related to the management of the project from the technical, administrative, and interpretive perspectives. Reflecting on the trials and errors of our process thus far, this presentation and paper will strive to illuminate effective, interdepartmental strategies to rendering extensive object research accessible and easily navigable to online visitors. Additionally, we will provide insight into both the interpretive and technical approaches to creating rich connections between a vast and broad collection through associations with thematic content.

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