Concerns in curating an image collection

There are many aspects to curating, in museums, galleries and libraries, in Digital Humanities the main emphasis perhaps is on the curation of Digital images. What can be considered best practices for improving access to data, quality control, and data integrity? Which program should be used that includes time-saving tools that allow ease of access to an extensive online directory, yet is intuitive to use and provides further references to the search area . There is a value to digital curation beyond the academic and research communities those in the commercial and professional sector could benefit from exposure to the concept. There are many in commercial and professional sector who have no concept of digital curation or archive preservation and in many cases are not familiar with these terms. This does not mean that they do not actively curate and preserve archives, what it could mean is that they approach the problem without the knowledge best practice, and without properly trained personal, digital data support or infrastructure. There could be more engagement between those in academia and research and those in the commercial and professional sector. We in Digital Humanities should do more to convey the relevance and value of what we do to specific professions, possibly in the form of interdisciplinary conferences (Rusbridge et al 2005). The benefits of this interaction are the opportunity to safeguard a greater degree of digital imagery whatever it may be.
There are many facets to the Curators of Digital data, with considered best practice or not: the individuals using their hard drives or clouds, departments or groups using shared networks or separate drives, academics , groups of academics of many disciplines, the publishing community, national data collectors, or third parties data agencies. The primary issues in effective curation may include the size of the data, the number of objects to be curated and their complexity/delicacy the intervention/interaction of third parties, social and legal concerns. This should also include access policies, best practices/standards. The DCC consider “optimal approach to curation involves four steps” (DCC 2016). First, all data capture should build curation or re-usability into their workflow. This allows for ease of access regarding, provenance and reputation of information (Curry et al 2007) and self-contained metadata. Secondly curators should allow for scalability, not only data capture and retention. The formats and file type process should be standardised, although in some cases this may also depend on the source.
Thirdly all curators should make available all information regarding ownership and licenced or unlicensed access. Lastly curators should provide metadata to allow data or image to be citable, in accordance with standard formats and practices. The last two are straight forward data protection protocols. The concerns in curating digital image collections may be considered in the overall broader sense of digital capture, be it 2D or 3D. Despite considerable advances in international best practices in capture standards, protocols and future proofing software technology; and the forward thinking and generosity of internationally renowned institutes, Library of Congress, British Museum, the main concerns of curating image collections appear to be copyright and licencing laws.

Digital Curation Centre,
Curry Edward, Freitas Andre, and O’Riain Sean, The Role of Community-Driven Data Curation for Enterprises (Mar2007). Available at,
Rusbridge Chris, Burnhill Peter, Ross Seamus, Buneman Peter, Giaretta David, Lyon Liz Atkinson Malcolm, From local to global: Data interoperability—challenges and technologies, Mass storage and Systems technology. IEEE conference Sardinia Italy, June 20-24 2005.