The Johnny Appleseed of Digital Asset Management

Ojai Valley Museum

I aspire to be the Johnny Appleseed of Digital Asset Management.

Johnny Appleseed is the legendary character who traveled America in the early 19th Century, planting apple trees wherever he went. I want to spread the word about Digital Asset Management as part of my drive to visually preserve cultural heritage, just as Johnny planted trees to provide food for a growing population.

Digital Asset Management (DAM) refers to establishing systems that organize image files for efficient retrieval and distribution while protecting the original files using effective backup methods. The only way to preserve cultural heritage images for the long term is by creating effective DAM systems that include regular backups on at least three separate devices, situated in at least two separate locations.

As part of my campaign to help museum professionals embrace best practices in DAM, I will be presenting several workshops this year.

The first will be on February 7, 2019 at the California Association of Museums (CAM) conference in San Francisco. I’ve partnered with Brittany Bradley of the Oakland Museum of California and Sean Heliger of the African American Museum & Library at Oakland to work with museum professionals in small to mid-size institutions to get them started in the right direction with establishing DAM systems in their work environment.

I’ve seen my clients struggle to quickly and efficiently retrieve image files to share with their communities. I’ve had clients lose image files that I created for them to document their exhibitions and collection objects. I worry about the long-term safety and accessibility of photographs that I create in the hope of keeping the images available to future generations. Like Johnny Appleseed, I’m on a mission.

I look forward to our workshop at the California Association of Museums. We will focus on DAM approaches scaled to the needs of the participants. We’ll even have a crafting session to cut-and-paste together a customized workflow diagram for each participant. You know it’s going to be fun if scissors and glue sticks are involved!



Organizing Your Digital Photos for Efficient Retrieval and Safe Archiving

Cost: $35 Early Bird/ $40

Facilitators: Scott Miles, Owner / Media Producer, The Scientific Photographer; Brittany Bradley, Intellectual Property and Imaging Coordinator, Oakland Museum of California (OMCA); Sean Heyliger, Archivist, African American Museum & Library at Oakland

Description: Managing a library of digital photos produced by or for an institution with little to no specialized archive support or IT services is a huge challenge. This workshop presents small-scale solutions to organizing your image files so that you can retrieve them readily and well as addressing the critical need for proper backup of your image archive.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Evaluate systems to organize image files for efficient retrieval
  • How to deliver copies of original files formatted properly for various distribution methods
  • Adopt appropriate practices to ensure that archives are backed up properly

10:00 AM – 2:00 PM    Thursday Feb. 7, 2019



Scott Miles
The Scientific Photographer

I help museums, organizations, artists
and collectors document their artworks