Digital Collection Management and Engagement Made Easy


The success of a digital collection relies on the target audience being able to easily discover, access, and engage with the stories, and information that matters the most to them. Users of Digital Collections might be members of an organisation, a local community, or niche researchers: all of whom have different methods of discovery!

The key to information discovery is a filtered and faceted search functionality for users that know exactly what they are trying to find – but what if a user simply wants to browse or explore your Collection?

Curated Collections can help users find the most interesting stories by directing their attention toward related Items that help weave together narratives and relationships embedded in the Collection itself.

The Recollect Collection Management Solution does this via the linked data model that helps you make those connections in your metadata. Recollect is a DAMS (Digital Asset Management System, and CMS (Collection Management System) as one unified platform. It provides a variety of tools to help administrators create Collection showcases, e.g., dedicated static pages, information hubs, timelines, and narrative items.

The State Library of South Australia (SLSA) implemented a collection showcase within their Digital Collections to emphasize the story of pioneer aviators, the Smith Brothers. SLSA created a dedicated static page that utilises many of Recollect’s discovery tools including a timeline, event items, object items, persona profiles, along with an information hub that connects all content relating to the Smith Brothers.


Digital Collections often hold a range of content in various file formats. A portrait of an artist might be stored as a .tiff or .jpg file, a 3D scan of a sculpture will be stored as a .obj file, and a recorded oral history interview will be stored as a .wav, .mp3 or .mp4 file. Each of these file formats have different requirements for how they are accessed, stored, and managed.

Collections containing a variety of file types can be problematic for organisations trying to store their digital Items. They might find they need to use multiple unrelated platforms to host content, which can result in a fragmented, and disjointed Collection. Disconnection between related items diminishes a Collection’s value because it results in the loss of important contextual information.

Recollect’s combined digital asset management system, and content management system is the answer to these problems. It enables your organisation to store and manage all of your content, while allowing administrators to curate Collections, and create contextual relationships between items, by linking connections in the metadata, regardless of file format. Recollect provides new opportunities to reveal the stories and narratives that exist between items in your Collections, facilitating a deeper understanding of the Collection, and better user experiences.

Digital content of all formats is being created at an increasing pace, exposing the need for a unified repository for digital assets, data records, and stories — one that adapts and grows dynamically according to your business requirements.

Recollect is a comprehensive platform designed to host, manage, and share digital collections of all formats. In our case study, Emerging From The Primordial Technological Ooze, librarians and archivists at the University of Newcastle were faced with the challenge of making their digital collections (stored as various file formats) easily accessible and discoverable. They used Recollect to successfully build Living Histories, an online digital collections platform, that is tailored to their specific needs.


Digital preservation is necessary to ensure ongoing to access to cultural heritage Collections in an increasingly digital world. There is a misconception that digital objects do not need to be preserved, because they do not decay, or degrade in the same manner as their physical counterparts. However, digital formats are subject to various risks, and require continual maintenance to guarantee their long-term endurance.

Threats to a digital object’s preservation not only includes bit rot (digital equivalents of degradation and decay), but due to the consistent and rapid evolution of digital formats, they are also threatened with obsolescence.

Digital preservation software tools safeguard digital collections by performing regular checks on each item’s health, accessibility, and usability. If a fault is identified, the tool will make sure an identical backup can be used as a replacement, securing the digital object’s ongoing preservation.

On the surface, digital preservation appears to be a complex subject, suited to large organisations with dedicated resources. This is often compounded by lots of confusing information that may seem over-complicated to those unfamiliar with technical jargon.
When described in simple terms, digital preservation can be a realistic and achievable task for all collecting organisations. Our resource, What is Digital Preservation?, breaks down the subject of digital preservation into easily to digestible core concepts and terms.

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