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Bringing your archive into the digital age

by Catherine Chiang  |  October 30, 2019

2 min. read

How can organizations transition their decades-old asset libraries into the digital age? Many organizations accumulate assets over time, including assets from before the digital age. A big challenge for these organizations is making these physical assets accessible and searchable. A digital asset management (DAM) solution can help solve these frustrations, even for organizations with a physical archive!

Don’t believe us? Jess Scott, archivist/marketing specialist at Bruce Lee Enterprises, talked to us about how she uses Canto to organize both their digital and physical archives.

bruce lee poster

Organizing assets

Canto makes it easy for Jess to keep tens of thousands of photos in the archives organized and easy to retrieve.

Library architecture

Jess set up the library structure in Canto to make assets easy to find. She created folders organized by subject matter and usage, such as stills from films and TV, photos of martial arts practice and portraits and family.

Then, she organized the physical archives in the same way. Jess also tags digital photos with the cabinet and shelf where the physical photos live, so that team members can find both the digital and physical copies of an asset by checking in Canto.

Duplicate check

Many organizations need to delete duplicate assets that take up storage space, but keep all of their unique assets. Bruce Lee Enterprises has many very similar photos, so Canto’s duplicate check identifies true duplicates that can be discarded and prevents them from accidentally deleting similar, but unique, images.

Finding and using assets

Having a vast archive is valuable, but only if team members can find and use assets. Canto’s search and filter tools and metadata help teams find what they’re looking for quickly.

Bruce Lee Enterprises kicked off a social media series, ‘From the Archives,’ using their assets in Canto. Jess writes the social copy for their social media manager in the description of the images they use and tags each image with ‘From the Archives.’ This helps the team find the asset later on via search, and also keeps track of which images they have already shared on social.

Recently, the organization had an opportunity to participate in a Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) exhibit on influential fashion items and needed to recreate Bruce Lee’s jogging suit. They were able to quickly find all images in their archive of his jogging suit from multiple angles, and even a page from his journal, where he recorded the date of the shoot when he wore it!

Simple sharing

Jess loves using Canto collection links to share assets outside of the organization, because they provide granular control and an easy user experience.

“With the collection link, you can ‘micromanage’ how people access your photos. You know who you’re sharing it to and for how long,” says Jess. “People know what a link is. It’s a language they already speak.”