MOAC California museums working with libraries and archives to increase and enhance access to cultural collections
Landscape with a Town at Sunset



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ABOVE: John Varley, 1778-1842, British, Landscape with a Town at Sunset, ca. 1800-1820, Watercolor, Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts
MOAC: Community Toolbox
Project Manager: Richard Rinehart
Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services


Museums are working with archives, libraries, cultural organizations, and individual scholars and artists to build a national network of cultural content such as artworks, images, and digital learning objects to create and sustain a nation of learners. However, progress in building this national network continues to be stymied in part by the high cost of participation in such large-scale efforts. Issues of cost, time, labor, and technical capacity limit the ability of museums and libraries to share digital content broadly, thus limiting the growth of a national network of cultural content. Clearly, if we are to build a national network and support our nation's learners, one challenge that must be overcome is to lower the cost of participation and raise the capacity of the nation's museums, libraries, and scholars for broad content sharing. MOAC: Community Toolbox is a project of the MOAC consortium that has developed a software tool that enables easy, practical, and cost-effective production and sharing of standards-based content.

Building on previous successful work in the areas of standards and online collections access, the new MOAC software tool, the Digital Asset Management Database (DAMD), has been developed as both a utilitarian tool and as a test case for exploring more general issues of content sharing and community tool development. This tool has two primary functions that can be used together or separately: it provides basic digital asset management for simple to complex media objects and it easily transforms collections information into an extensible variety of standards-based XML formats, such as METS and OAI, to allow even small organizations without technical staff to share their collections broadly and participate in building a national network of culture. DAMD was developed as an "open solution," built on FileMaker Pro software (8.5 or above) because of the broad base of installed users of FileMaker in the museum and arts communities. DAMD is available for free to cultural organizations. The tool, and its unique export/transform functions (detailed in the documentation), are open-ended, allowing organizations to customize the tool for themselves or the community to improve the tool for all.

Thanks to funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, DAMD is now ready to be shared freely with the cultural heritage community.

Digital Asset Management Database (DAMD)

From this web page, you may download your own copy of the Digital Asset Management Database (DAMD), which works in FileMaker Pro Version 8.5 or above for Mac or Windows. Also available is a PDF version of the DAMD manual, with annotated screenshots.

Project Analysis & Report

Project Goals & Objectives

  • Enhance interoperability, integration, and seamless access to digital library and museum resources of state-wide, thematic, and national scope
  • Lower the cost of participation for museums and libraries wishing to share digital content in standards-based, national-level, content gateway projects
  • Raise the capacity of museums and libraries to share digital content broadly by utilizing technical and descriptive standards in practical, cost-effective ways
  • Develop a practical software tool that allows museums and libraries to easily produce standards-based data (in Encoded Archival Description, Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard, and Open Archives Initiative standards) for broad content sharing
  • Test effectiveness of tool for broad content sharing by working with multiple museums to distribute digital content to several national content gateways
  • Share tool freely with cultural heritage community and develop framework and website, a "community toolbox," for sharing this and other open tools

Project Partners

  • University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
  • Oakland Museum of CA
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Libraries & Library Organizations
  • University of Illinois Library
  • California Digital Library
  • RLG (formerly Research Libraries Group)
  • UC Berkeley Library & Bancroft Library

Project Outcomes

  • Tested, documented model with which museums and libraries can share digital content broadly
  • Practical, freely available software tool that allows museums and libraries to produce and share standards-based content
  • "Community Toolbox" website and framework for sharing cultural tools
  • Dissemination of large amounts of digital cultural content to several national online gateways for use by our nation’s learners

This software tool is released to the community as-is, with no implied technical support. Organizations using the tool are encouraged to improve the tool and release new versions into the community. Thanks go to: the Institute of Museum and Library Services, which funded the project; Beeswax Datatools, which developed and programmed the tool; Patrick Schmitz, who wrote the project analysis; Andrew McDiarmid, who wrote the tool manual; and staff from all of the cultural partner organizations who made this project a success.