Case Study - NIDA
How do you preserve and promote the legacy of an iconic cultural institution in the digital age?
This was the pressing challenge for Julia Mant, Records and Archives Manager at The National Institute of Dramatic Art. NIDA is Australia’s leading institution for education and training in the dramatic arts. Since its inception in 1958, NIDA alumni have included many notable actors and directors, names like Cate Blanchett, Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving, and Mel Gibson.
Digital multimedia is essential to the teaching and promotion of the dramatic arts at NIDA. However, NIDA’s collection of over 250,000 image and video files was growing quickly. Staff and students were having difficulty accessing the valuable collection of content, both new and old. They faced the common challenges had by many organisations. Files were stored across any number of drives and removable media, inside and outside the network. The difficulties of maintaining consistent folder and file names limited discovery and led to unnecessary file duplication. Important Usage Rights, security and subject descriptions were also difficult to enforce.
UNLOCKING THE COLLECTION
With these challenges in mind, NIDA realised that they had outgrown the traditional “File system” way of managing content. They went looking for a solution that provided these features:
After evaluation, NIDA concluded that FotoWare presented the best solution.
The appeal of Fotoware as a scalable product was the main factor in their final decision according to Julia, “We could start with a single desktop installation and move to a full Enterprise web-based application once we had demonstrated the value of the product.”
The NIDA team found the software easy to learn and to use. Within the first year, the FotoWare tools allowed the team to sort through their collection and catalogue over 80,000 historical images. During that time, Julia Mant led the project with the implementation assistance of FotoWare Gold Partners, Pivotal Business Technology.
Mark Curach, Director at Pivotal. “Our approach is to coach our customers through the implementation process with regular guidance and advice. By appointing a coach for each project we consistently find our customers are more empowered and involved in the solution, thereby more comfortably achieving their outcomes. A DAM project is as much about business processes as technology, so by coaching we transfer our knowledge and experience across to the customer in a relevant way.”
An important outcome of any FotoWare implementation is to inform users where they should go to find digital assets. The NIDA Media Collection powered by FotoWeb is now a well organised web portal that can be accessed by all. This self-service approach results in huge time savings for both the publishers and also the consumers of the digital assets. Students have mobile access to their work from both on and off-campus. The teaching staff have a central repository of resources to draw from. The Marketing team can share Hi-Res and Low-Res Albums with staff, students, and external users without any unnecessary duplication of files.
Managing their digital assets was no longer a struggle for NIDA.