Promoting Digital Media Stewardship in Art Museums

Jean Moylan
Electronic Media Review, Volume Six: 2019-2020


As museums continue to introduce time-based media art into their collections, they are dedicating increasingly greater resources to the preservation, conservation, and restoration of new media artworks. While such efforts are undoubtedly worthwhile, they are primarily focused on art and too often implemented in isolation from the many other forms of digital content that likewise warrant attention. Through its participation in the National Digital Stewardship Residency for Art Information (NDSR Art) program, the Solomon R. Guggenheim museum is reversing this trend, expanding beyond its pioneering Time-Based Media conservation initiative to enhance the stewardship of all born and reborn digital assets in its custody. Jean Moylan is the current NDSR Art resident at the Guggenheim, where she is helping to improve the museum’s institution-wide preservation and access infrastructure for all digital audiovisual assets. In the proposed session, Jean will share key insights from her work on this project, focusing specifically on identifying preservation and access needs for newly generated exhibition and programming-related digital video. Drawing from the interviews she conducted with both media producers and power users across museum departments, Jean will address strategies for enacting collaborative and cross-disciplinary information gathering as well as decision-making processes. The presentation will also cover a discussion of her recommendations for production workflows, asset management, and search and discovery practices.

Keywords: Time-based media, digital stewardship, museums, audiovisual


Jean Moylan
NDSR Art Resident
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum