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Tuesday, May 30 • 2:30pm - 3:00pm
(Electronic Media) Digital Preservation Actions as Interventive Conservation Treatments at the Smithsonian

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At the Smithsonian Institution, stewarding digital assets is an institution-wide concern. The Institution has deployed an enterprise Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) to support this effort. The system supports all units and currently contains over 10 million image, audio, and video assets including event documentation, digital surrogates of collection objects, and component files of accessioned artworks at the Museums. Additionally, the SI DAMS uses a vendor application, bringing with it its own advantages and challenges, functionality that must be taken into account when building out a comprehensive plan for the care of specific artwork component files. The Smithsonian Museums have worked in collaboration with the Smithsonian's Office of the Chief Information Officer DAMS team to build a suite of actions and policies around the care of artwork component files in the system, defined as the DAMS Time-Based Media Art Package, with approved package definitions and workflow checklists used by all of the participating museums. In developing the DAMS TBMA suite of preservation actions, staff members across the Smithsonian consulted the digital preservation guidelines outlined in ISO 16363, A Standard for Trusted Digital Repositories, and the National Digital Stewardship Alliance's Levels of Digital Preservation. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden's Conservation Team has developed their internal processes even further, defining the ingest and care of the artwork components in the system as both interventive conservation treatments and ongoing preservation actions, in accordance with the policies and processes for other material artworks. TBMA Package Reports are provided to the Museum biannually in the ongoing management of these file based artwork components. The Hirshhorn has instituted their own policies to incorporate this documentation in the artwork's ongoing condition assessment. DAMS actions are documented in the form of treatment logs in the Hirshhorn's internal systems. As the DAMS Package develops, management of these files is not only being informed by the needs of treatment, but is also influencing how that treatment is documented. In this way, digital preservation and art conservation professionals have built a shared plan drawing from both fields. Crystal Sanchez, Digital Preservation Specialist at SI DAMS, and Briana Feston-Brunet, Variable Media Conservator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, will present their work in building a preservation action framework for the care of digital artwork components in the Smithsonian DAMS. This presentation will examine the shared responsibilities in building and executing policies and actions in the framework, will explore the allocation of tasks to manage the defined requirements, and will speak more broadly to the use of an enterprise Digital Asset Management System in the care of these specific artwork component files, in its role as a preservation repository for this select class of assets. It will also provide perspectives on this choice from both the IT System Admin and the Museum Conservator roles, and provide examples from specific artworks in the collection.

avatar for Crystal Sanchez

Crystal Sanchez

Conservator, Smithsonian Institution
Crystal Sanchez is a media archivist at the Smithsonian Institution on the Digital Asset Management System (DAMS), working with digital collections from across the Smithsonian’s diverse Museums, Archives, Libraries, Research Centers, and the Zoo. She has Masters degrees from New... Read More →

avatar for Briana Feston-Brunet

Briana Feston-Brunet

Conservator of Sculpture and Variable Media, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Briana Feston-Brunet is the Variable Media Conservator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution. She focuses primarily on the conservation of contemporary and time-based media artworks, including audio, video, film, performances, computer and software... Read More →

Tuesday May 30, 2017 2:30pm - 3:00pm CDT
Comiskey Concourse Level, West Tower