Dutch Open Air Museum’s solution for managing an infinite amount of content: WoodWing Assets

On September 23, the Netherlands Open Air Museum (hereinafter: NOM) opened the presentation ‘The Canon of the Netherlands’: a multimedia, interactive overview of Dutch history, “from dolmen to the present”. While the use of multimedia content at NOM has changed and intensified in recent years, the production of the Canon presentation was the main driver for the switch to a new digital asset management (DAM) system.

An image bank had to be created that meets the requirements of the current market and that also offers possibilities in terms of links with various other systems. During a tender process, Graphit emerged as the winning contractor thanks to a detailed plan of approach for the implementation of the new system, including the desired links with, among others, the NOM website and with Adlib – a collection management system in which all works of Dutch museums can be found. can be found, and which NOM naturally also makes use of.

Powerful search system

NOM works a lot with visual material; for example, the Marketing and Communication department needs images for exposure of the museum, the Education department for the educational program and the Collection and Management department uses images, among other things, to supplement the registration of the entire collection. The Canon presentation would mainly use digital multimedia: photos, videos, presentations.

There had to be a digital asset management system (DAM) that could handle all the necessary content. The museum wanted a system in which you no longer have to search through an explorer, but can find exactly what you are looking for via a powerful search system, or quickly find something in the direction you are looking for using a search term and filtering. WoodWing Assets is just such a system.

Manage HR content

Together with the future key users of WoodWing Assets, Graphit carefully examined how the organization works, how departments work together and how images were handled at that time. In addition to the image bank of the Marketing and Communication department, which was due to be replaced, NOM uses the Adlib collection management system, as mentioned above. It describes more than 150,000 museum objects and 300,000 photos, books and other documentary material of the NOM. However, this system is not suitable for also managing the many high resolution (HR) images that the museum has, such HR content fits better in a new image bank.

Elvis screenshot 1 - admin

Direct link

That is why WoodWing Assets ( DAM ) was created. All HR images of the objects in the museum collection had to be stored and managed in Elvis from now on, but Adlib would remain the leading system for the substantive information about those objects. Graphit established a direct link between the two systems, as a result of which the images from Assets are linked to the information from Adlib for each object. Elvis is periodically fed with the most important data from the collection, and in Adlib a thumbnail is shown for each object from Elvis.

In short: the systems are synchronized, so that everyone can work in their own way with the necessary content, and all the material is available in HR.

Get rid of the folder structure

Graphit helped to think about the most effective and efficient way to organize the thousands of existing images and put them in the new general image bank WoodWing Assets. A different way of thinking was needed for this, and that was a huge eye-opener: no more thinking in folders.

A folder structure is unnecessary, it is better to lump everything together and subdivide it usefully with as much good metadata as possible. With the help of the right tags you can quickly find what you need. For this you have to think carefully about the keywords to be used and agree on how to determine and name them.

think differently

Where previously complete sentences were sometimes used as descriptions, these had to be cut short for meta tags for the new Assets image bank: concise keywords. Graphit taught the key users of NOM to look at images differently, and to literally name what they see. Within such a DAM collections can be made by using the same tag. A collection thus becomes a shortcut instead of a folder. This requires a different way of thinking that is new, but which everyone soon agreed is a very strong tool.

Impressive implementation

The result of the implementation of WoodWing Assets is impressive. Folders are no longer used and the metadata of images is done in an unambiguous way.
Colleagues are very pleased with the speed of Assets, and people who work with collection material can now find things faster.

It turns out to be an indispensable system. The biggest gain is having all images stored centrally, their findability, and the fact that Elvis serves as a source of content for different platforms and can handle huge amounts of data. Elvis is also linked to the NOM website so that collections can easily be made accessible to the website. You can see a good example of the online collection on the NOM website .

Crucial for the future

Elvis also plays another crucial role for NOM. In preparation for the move of all collections to a central depot, the entire collection is photographed and these HR images are imported into Elvis and linked to Adlib. This means that around 30 terabytes of photos will be stored in WoodWing Assets until early 2020.

Elvis will serve as the sole storage location for all HR content for daily use by the various departments, as well as for the other collection content (photos, videos and documents).
As a result, Assets will be and remain extremely important for NOM in the coming years. And they are very grateful to Graphit for that.

Would you like to know more about what a Digital Asset Management (DAM) solution can do for you? Please contact us.

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