OPAC Image Collection

The images of places, people, and events produced through the Office of Public Affairs and Communications (OPAC) constitute a rich collection of Yale’s history. This project will provide a sustainable solution for the management, dissemination, and long-term stewardship of OPAC’s extensive image collections by moving it to the university's Media Management Environment.

Current OPAC Image database

OPAC currently maintains a database of over 25,000 digital images related to the University. Staff and freelance photographers add to the collection daily, documenting the stories and news of Yale. These images are managed in a standalone server environment. An online catalog of thumbnails and small derivatives is made available to the public while higher resolution images can be obtained directly from OPAC on request.

The exponential growth and importance of this photograph collection requires a more sustainable model of management. OPAC has partnered with YDC2 to move its collections to the shared infrastructure provided through the Media Management Environment and to refine its day-to-day workflow to incorporate processes developed in partnership with Yale’s museums and libraries. With this partnership, OPAC joins a community of experienced digital content managers, acquires ample and robust storage for the collections, streamlines its workflow from camera to centralized management to online access. With these changes, a long-term, sustainable stewardship program for the OPAC image collection is now in place.

OPAC is training a group of students to improve the utility of these valuable images by adding metadata descriptions. These descriptions will conform to Yale’s newly minted events model that was developed in collaboration with the Yale Digital Commons community.  Once tagged, the images will be automatically incorporated to the Digital Asset Management environment for use by the Yale communications staff. Images marked as open to the public will be automatically included and made available through the communications portal campusphotos.yale.edu.

The OPAC image collection project takes full advantage of the efficiencies gained by common and shared infrastructure. OPAC will phase out redundant services that are difficult to maintain and use this more efficient workflow. Yale’s community of digital practitioners is enhanced by OPAC’s development of a standard Events Metadata Model. Finally, everyone with an interest in Yale’s marvelous photographic history will have improved access to the collection through an open search service.