Implementing AM Quartex to drive a digital shift
By Joanne Fitton, Deputy Director of Libraries, Museums and Galleries, University of Liverpool.
The University of Liverpool signed up with AM Quartex in March this year.
We were moving at speed to build our digital infrastructure to support our ambitions for a digital shift in activity across heritage services in the Libraries, Museums and Galleries department.
We wanted to think in tandem about our capacities and capabilities to create digital content, as well as preserve it, make it accessible and reusable.
Adopting a digital library model based on integration
A mixed model of digitisation was adopted, with a digitisation studio built in the Library as well as using external digitisation companies. And we signed up with Preservica to manage our born digital archives, and the new digital assets we were generating.
Many of our decisions have been pragmatic, and based on our current capabilities. We are not awash with in-house developer time or skills, so we needed to leverage infrastructure and expertise from outside if we were to make progress quickly.
It was highly attractive to us that AM and Preservica were planning integration works as it meant that we could begin to map workflows between systems. It was also attractive to us that AM had integrations with a number of digitisation companies; again, making it possible to think about streamlined workflows to ingest content from the outset.
Building momentum and starting new conversations
The project is moving at pace – a pace that it is sometimes difficult for us to maintain, as we build our team internally to take on these new services.
We have hired a new Digital Heritage Operations Manager who is developing our digitisation services and working with curators and archivists to establish metadata frameworks for our digital assets.
Our Systems Manager is implementing Preservica, and working closely with AM to ensure that the integrations work for us from the outset. And we are hiring a Digital Imaging Specialist to run our internal digitisation services.
The project is opening up lots of interesting conversations and considerations across the University – about different instances of the Quartex platform that could have specific focus or outputs, and lots of thinking about the potential for curriculum development with our students.
Whatever your drivers for change, the migration of your digital collections requires planning, resources, strategic buy-in and, not least, the support services of your chosen vendor. Given how important these migration support services can be, it’s crucial to ask some fundamental questions to, as far as possible, guarantee a smooth experience.
Harris County Public Library celebrated its centenary with over two dozen digital exhibits that chart its history from the first library stations to becoming America’s tenth largest public library system. CJ Williams, Technical Services Manager, reflects on her experience of creating exhibits using AM Quartex and offers advice for establishing efficient exhibit workflows.