Propelling Carnegie Hall's rich past into a digital future

Photo © Jeff Goldberg/Esto

During its 120th anniversary season, Carnegie Hall began an organization-wide initiative to equip the Hall to better engage 21st-century audiences. In addition to the renovation of its facilities, commissions of new musical works, and the creation of the National Youth Orchestra of the USA, Carnegie Hall began a wide scale digitization of its archival materials, embarking on an exciting new chapter for the Archives.

The digitization initiative emerged as a result of a collection assessment completed by AVP the year prior. AVP’s assessment identified a need for upgraded infrastructure to improve the longevity of the Hall’s assets and enable expanded access for the staff and patrons, including digitized programs and performance documents, photographs, videos and born-digital content. Carnegie Hall’s creation of new digital content and the arrival of digitized archival materials required the implementation of proactive management from the moment of creation to ensure proper use and preservation of the organization’s assets.

Carnegie Hall once again engaged with AVP for the development of an enterprise-wide digital asset management and preservation infrastructure to achieve this business goal. The project had three primary goals:

  1. To preserve and digitize analog collections;
  2. To implement a central digital repository; and
  3. To establish digital preservation policies and best practices.

The goal for the digital repository was to enable the institution to manage and utilize digital assets in support of its vision for the digital age—providing staff, students, researchers, and the general public with access to digital content in dynamic, new ways. AVP conducted discovery interviews and workshops with multiple stake holding departments within Carnegie Hall, focusing on the organization’s asset creation methods, data management practices, uses of digital materials, descriptive practices, and workflows for creation and reuse of digital materials. The assessment and analysis of Carnegie Hall’s operations and business goals resulted in a comprehensive set of functional requirements and use cases for an asset management system, which informed the vetting and selection of a digital asset management solution.

In addition, AVP helped the team evaluate prospective storage solutions to support preservation and access storage of born-digital and digitized assets, facilitated the development of an enterprise-wide taxonomy, and guided the configuration and implementation of the system according to the requirements and use cases defined in the discovery and assessment initiative.

Carnegie Hall’s Digital Collections Program continues to grow and expand. Explore the collections yourself here.

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