Digital Image Collections Using Luna Software

Growing inquiry concerning the development of additional CCS in-house digital image collections using Luna software has led the Library’s Visual Resources team to develop new policies in this regard. Starting in 2004, teaching and research has been our mission; however, we have recently added collections that are administrative and archival in nature with the Select Student Work Repository and Student Work Archive. Because the Visual Resources staff is small, the development of new stand-alone CCS focused collections must be a collaborative effort. This document provides an explanation for that process.

The Visual Resources policy of honoring student and faculty requests for the teaching and research collection, as well as the development of smaller topic-specific media groups as a subset, remains unchanged. In fact, it is our highest priority. As such, Visual Resources is unable to consider developing personal, as opposed to departmental, digital image collections. All collections must directly benefit the college. Slide and photo negatives are currently outside of our scope because of time and equipment constraints. The consideration of new digital image collections that are historical in nature will be referred to the Library Archivist or Library Director for review.

Visual Resources Commitment Statement

The CCS Library’s Visual Resources team recognizes the importance of managing digital material for the purpose of teaching, scholarship, review, and publication. There is a growing need to safeguard, organize, and enable easy, centralized access of digital material specific to a wide range of uses on campus, including academic and administrative departmental functions. For parties who approach Visual Resources for help establishing and building a collection, we commit to the following:

  • Make the digital preservation process understandable: explain common terminology, identify standards and best practices, help create specification guidelines for collection building, and list resources that will further inform on the benefits of the digitization process
  • Assist in identifying scope, purpose, function, and patron base for the digital collection discussed
  • Recommend appropriate strategies that result in the best long-term solutions pertaining to the specific character of the digital collection under consideration including: recommending the most logical storage and retrieval system, choosing the right metadata scheme, etc.
  • Depending on the amount of work hours required to manage the proposed digital collection, offer the use of the Luna software system and server, as well as function as Digital Asset Managers as described under “Roles and Responsibilities”

Roles and Responsibilities in Digital Collection Building

This section describes key stakeholders and their respective roles in the digital preservation and collection-building process in general terms. It is acknowledged that the stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities can overlap, depending on the project’s size and scope. However, if the digital collection development process is to go forward in partnership with Visual Resources, the following stakeholders listed below must be clearly identified and in agreement with said role. For image collections external to the library, the Visual Resources team will fulfill the role of Digital Asset Managers, with the partnering department(s) filling the roles of Content Specialist, Project Coordinator, and Metadata and Imaging Work Group; the role of Information Technology Administrator is already discharged by the Information Technology Department. Visual Resources shall provide initial guidance for external collections in the form of identifying appropriate strategies and supplying documentation for the technical specifications to guide the Content Specialist, Project Coordinator, and the Metadata and Imaging Work Group. Visual Resources must be informed of the identified partners:

Content Specialist(s) – determines the nature and extent of the collection, selects material for inclusion, defines purpose, function, scope and goals of proposed collection

Project Coordinator – meets with all parties involved to ensure that standards and best practices are followed, maintains a production schedule, coordinates communication, understands rights-based constraints and intellectual property rights pertaining to specific digital material being processed, collaborates with Digital Asset Manager(s) to design appropriate template and specifications for Work Group to follow

Metadata and Imaging Work Group – individuals responsible for creating metadata and making sure digital images meet specified standards for upload into the system

Digital Asset Manager(s) (established: Visual Resources) – creates template and header in Luna for collection, administrates settings and access levels for end users, uploads metadata and digital material, aids in the definition of standards for best practices, helps Project Coordinator educate and train all involved in metadata creation and image format requirements in order to meet designated collection outcomes, advises according to best practices on issues pertaining to intellectual property rights as they relate to the field of digitization at large

Information Technology Administrator (established: IT) – maintains server, monitors server space, offers technical advice as needed, ensures that campus network incorporates Luna software functions to its fullest capacity, initiates software upgrade process as revisions become available

Library Director (established) — monitors potential challenges in the partnership process, including the increasing volume of digital material to be maintained, Visual Resources staff limitations, the need to update Visual Resources staff expertise as technologies evolve, administrative complexities in ensuring cost-effective and timely action

College for Creative Studies Administration – commits to supporting an environment in which digital preservation is regarded as a critically necessary endeavor. This support includes providing adequate managerial and financial commitment to develop a digital preservation program


After understanding the Visual Resources Policy for the Formation of New Digital Image Collections, interested CCS departments may proceed through the following steps. Please note that Visual Resources is unable to consider developing personal digital image collections that fall outside of the college’s overriding mission. The consideration of new digital image collections that are historical in nature will be referred to the Library Archivist or Library Director for review.


  • Meet with the Library Director and Visual Resources team in order to determine scope, purpose, function, and patron base of proposed image collection, recognizing that Luna software may not be the best option for storage, organization, and retrieval, at the time. Permission limitations and access levels will be discussed. See also the “Visual Resources Commitment Statement” in the Policy for the Formation of New Digital Image Collections.
  • If the use of Luna software and an arrangement with Visual Resources is agreed upon, determine a desirable metadata scheme allowing for cataloging in Excel or Open Office, image specifications and formatting, naming conventions, and a clearly written guide that spells out expectations for your Metadata and Imaging Work Group. The Visual Resources team will steer you through the process and provide examples used by other digital collections.
  • Identify the project participants: Content Specialist, Project Coordinator, and Metadata and Imaging Work Group members. Provide their names, and contact information, to the Visual Resources team. If the collection is small, it is acceptable for individuals to function in more than one role.
  • Determine a timeline, deadlines, and meeting dates with the Visual Resources team. Material will not be uploaded into Luna unless agreed upon specifications are met.


University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. Digital Preservation Policy,

Dartmouth College Library, Digital Preservation Policy

Institute of Museum and Library Services, Nisco, A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections,