Digital Assets

Did you know?

Criminals lost in hard-drive crash

A hard-drive crash destroyed the Macomb County sheriff's database of more than 50,000 photographs of criminals. Without the electronic files, compiled over four years, sheriff's deputies cannot easily search for suspects with certain scars or tattoos, or easily swap photos with other law enforcement agencies.

"We made hard copies of some of the mugs, but not all of them," Capt. Richard Kalm said. "Bad move."

(Wilgoren, Jodi. Pictures of Criminals, New York Times, Pg. 13, May 11, 2002)

What is the nature and size of the digital assets that fall—or will fall—within the organization’s worry radius? Consider the following kinds of factors:
Scope and scale: number of collections and/or series, number of files, size of files
Complexity: homogeneous or heterogeneous collections, simple or complex digital objects
Value: importance of the collections to the mission and services of the organization
Control: level and nature of control over or responsibility for long-term access to the materials

An organization must commit resources to the management of digital assets that are of enduring or at least continuing value and continue to do so until that commitment is formally and explicitly ended. The decision to end that commitment could have political, economic, cultural, and potentially legal ramifications, so sound selection criteria are needed up front to make good preservation decisions.

One example of an organizational approach to digital asset management is:

The Berkeley Digital Library SunSITE collecting levels:

  • Archived
  • Served
  • Mirrored
  • Linked