The internet has become an important means of accessing out cultural heritage. Many organisations in the sector are busy digitising images, but behind the digitisation process lie questions of physical access , editing procedures and cataloguing which are often the last to be addressed.
Online libraries are not always the goldmine people imagine. The resources needed are considerable, and the sums add up best when the benefits encompass public access, education, and commercial sales.
The schoolchild looking for an image to illustrate an essay may have similar search requirements to the picture researcher – both are unlikely to be well served by a system that requires you to know details of the artist in order to get a picture. The educational and commercial sectors can learn from each other.
Electric Lane has advised collections in the not-for profit sector for many years, including work for major museums and galleries. We can help plan and cost a realistic digitisation and databasing programme which is informed by developments in commercial and not-for-profit sectors and will maximise use of available resources.