Digital content will often be produced from, or in response to your museum collections. Digitising and archiving whole collections to the SPECTRUM classification standard is now an affordable option via content management systems such as Modes. The processes for digitising collections are explored further on the Collections Link website. Digital Preservation Guidelines for Museums created by Renaissance East Midlands, is another useful document.
There are several websites for databasing and sharing collections online. Ehive is an online database for cataloguing collections and is free for the first 200 images or 50mb of data.
Flickr Commons is also a great way to digitise and share photography collections. Its use for museums is explored further in this MuseumNext article by John Coburn from Tyne and Wear Museums: Understanding Compelling Collections.
Create Your Own
Digital media can be produced cheaply, and with relative ease. Training and experience are useful but not always essential. As well as digitising and sharing images and text about your collections, other digital content can be created for education or audience development purposes, using a variety of interesting and often affordable audio and visual media.
Advice on choosing and operating audio and video recorders and links to relevant software and websites can be found in our Audio Visual guide.
Understanding copyright basics is essential when producing any digital content. Agreement from the copyright owner and any third parties must always be sought first. For instances when a work is out of copyright then it is free to be shared. Timescales of length of copyright can be found on this fact sheet.
If the copyright owner is unknown but reasonable effort has been made to find the owner then it is still possible to use an orphan work digitally. The risks involved can be measured and calculated on the Web2Rights Risk Management Calculator.
The Creative Commons framework offers a straightforward licence for sharing content online and choosing whether other users can copy it, share it or adapt it. More advice on digital copyright for museums can be found here on Collections Link.