Digital assets are digital materials created or owned by your institution. Digital assets exist in a variety of formats, and can include text, web, audio, video and image files. Digital images of objects in your collection are digital assets, as are logo image files, corporate Powerpoint presentations and any other digital resources created by your institution that generate revenue or that provide valuable content to employees or clients. Digital assets may be used in many contexts, including sales, marketing, education, web development, collections management and digital preservation. Sometimes you will see the term ‘media asset’ used to refer more narrowly to audio or video content.
Managing Digital Assets
Digital assets are the result of institutional activities in content development, media production and digitization and can represent a substantial investment in time and expertise. As the volume of digital resources created and maintained by museums increases, their management becomes increasingly important if staff are to easily retrieve and use them. Digital Asset Management (DAM) includes activities associated with the creation, cataloguing, storing, retrieving and backing up of these assets. The purpose of DAM is to integrate best practices within workflows to improve access to resources and make them available for reuse. DAM could be as simple as adopting file-naming and storage conventions so that assets can be easily tracked, located and retrieved for different purposes. Many of us are familiar with the frustration of trying to locate the most recent version of a digital file; DAM can help to avoid these scenarios by establishing consistent file management practices within an organization. DAM is normally undertaken to improve efficiency not only in file management, but all of the following areas: