University of Technology Sydney

57204 Digital Assets Management

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2020 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Communication: IKM and Digital Studies
Credit points: 8 cp
Result type: Grade, no marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject examines the theories, technologies and workflows involved in the management of digital assets – text, sound, still and moving images – through their lifecycle. Students focus on the storing of these assets in digital repositories and on their curation/preservation for future accessibility and usability, with particular emphasis on the digitisation and reformatting processes. The subject covers important topics such as development of functional requirements, usage protocols and processes, international frameworks, costing models and metadata standards. Students are expected to develop a prototype of a specialised digital repository as part of the subject drawing on theories and standards of professional practice, including ISO standards.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

a. Explain the concept of digital assets and the principles for access to them
b. Ascertain the issues and possible strategies for user-centered collection and reuse of digital objects
c. Identify, analyse and apply conceptual frameworks, and professional/ national/ international standards for the provision of access to digital assets
d. Utilise key aspects and trends of information technologies and infrastructure for the long-term preservation of digital objects
e. Analyse and document requirements and specifications for the design of a digital assets management system
f. Reflect on key areas of contemporary debate and the implications for professional practice in the management of digital assets

Course intended learning outcomes (CILOs)

This subject engages with the following Course Intended Learning Outcomes (CILOs), which are tailored to the Graduate Attributes set for all graduates of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:

  • Graduates are able to use advanced knowledge of professional practice to solve complex information and knowledge management problems in diverse organisational and cultural environments (1.1)
  • Graduates are able to work with a high level of personal autonomy and accountability as well as collaboratively with peers, clients and the community at large (1.2)
  • Analyse information and knowledge production flows and processes across a range of complex organisational environments (1.3)
  • Locate, gather, organise and synthesise information across diverse platforms to guide their understanding of the relationships between people and organisations (2.1)
  • Graduates are able to synthesise complex information and communicate it effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences across a wide variety of media formats (6.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is structured to provide a varied learning environment in which students are stimulated to explore the issues and challenges of creating collections of digital assets from both theoretical and practice based viewpoints. Students may be involved in lectures, group discussions, case studies, seminars with industry guests and active involvement in online activities. Face-to-face class sessions require active participation and encourage student learning through engagement and collaboration with other students in group task. Students are expected to undertake independent reading and research.

Content (topics)

The subject begins with foundation topics on digital repositories, their content selection, preservation-level digitisation of analogue materials, and the handling of born-digital assets, including intellectual property and digital rights management. This is followed by an exploration of the challenges and issues for managing digital materials (formats such as text, audio, still images, video, databases and datasets), including adherence to international standards and best practice, and designing functional specifications for a digital repository. Topics cover an introduction to conceptual models for long term stewardship of digital materials, the conversion and migration of digital formats necessary for long-time preservation, the curation/preservation of materials in special contexts, e.g. indigenous, heritage, or legal digital assets, and costs, sustainability and social issues of preservation in the digital age.


Assessment task 1: Reflective paper on digitisation and metadata creation


a, b, c, d, e and f

Groupwork: Individual
Weight: 25%

1000 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Thoroughness and completeness of tasks 25 a, b, c, f 1.2
Accuracy and appropriateness 20 c, e 1.1
Effectiveness of technical strategies for access provision 25 c, d 1.2
Integration of theory and literature to support decisions in practice-based tasks 20 b, c, e 2.1
Clarity of expression 10 f 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 2: Draft specifications for a digital project


a, b, c, d and e

Groupwork: Group, individually assessed
Weight: 45%

Maximum 3000 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Depth of analysis of the requirements and needs 25 a, b, c 1.2
Appropriateness of the applied frameworks and standards 25 a, c, e 1.1
Application of research and best practice to support proposed specifications 20 b, c, d 1.2
Effectiveness and appropriateness 20 e 1.1
Coherency of the logical argument 10 b, d 6.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Assessment task 3: Prototype of digital repository and final specifications


a, b, c, d, e and f

Groupwork: Group, group assessed
Weight: 30%

3000 words

Criteria linkages:
Criteria Weight (%) SLOs CILOs
Depth of analysis of the requirements and needs 20 b, c, d 1.1
Richness and level of detail of specifications 15 a, c, d 1.1
Thoroughness of functional and design specifications 15 a, c, d, e 2.1
Convincing justification of specifications and recommendations 20 d, f 1.1
Extent of awareness of user centred design principles and usability of design 15 b 1.3
Professionalism of submission 15 e 1.1
SLOs: subject learning objectives
CILOs: course intended learning outcomes

Minimum requirements

Classes are based on a collaborative approach that involves essential work-shopping and interchange of ideas with other students and the tutor.

Recommended texts

Harvey, R. & Weatherburn, J. 2018, Preserving Digital Materials, 3rd edn, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland (eBook)

References should be formatted in the UTS (modified) Harvard referencing system. Details of which can be found at help/ referencing/harvard-uts-referencing-guide


Specific readings (book chapters, journal articles, etc.) will be assigned on a week-by-week basis in class.

The reference list below is indicative of the texts used in this subject.

AIMS Work Group 2012, AIMS Born-Digital Collections: An Inter-Institutional Model for Stewardship, available at: (accessed 25 June 2017)

Ashraf, T. & Gulati, P.A. (eds) 2010, Developing sustainable digital libraries : socio-technical perspectives [eBook], Information Science Reference, Hershey PA.

Baca, M. (ed.) 2008, Introduction to Metadata [Online vers. 3.0], Los Angeles, CA: J. Paul Getty Trust, available at: (accessed 25 May 2017)

Ball, A., 2010, Review of the State of the Art of the Digital Curation of Research Data [Project Report] [Online], Bath, UK: University of Bath, available at: (accessed 25 May 2017)

Berman, F. et al. 2010, Sustainable economics for a digital planet: Ensuring long-term access to digital information. Final Report, Blue Ribbon Task Force on Sustainable Digital Preservation and Access, available at (accessed 25 May 2017)

Borgman, C.L. 2007, Scholarship in the digital age: information, infrastructure, and the Internet, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Chowdhury, G.G. & Foo, S. (eds) 2012, Digital libraries and information access: research perspectives, Facet, London.

Corrado, E.M. & Moulaison, H.L. 2014, Digital Preservation for Libraries, Archives, and Museums [eBook], Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham.

Deegan, M. & Tanner, S. (eds) 2006, Digital preservation, Facet Publishing, London.

Depocas, A., Ippolito, J. & Jones, C. (eds) 2003, Permanence through change: The variable media approach [eBook], Guggenheim Museum Publications, New York, available at: (accessed 25 May 2017).

Digital Curation Centre (DCC) 2005-, Curation Reference Manual [online], available at: (accessed 25 May 2017)

Eden, B.L. (ed.) 2007, OCLC Systems and Services: International Digital Library Perspectives: Institutional Repositories [eResource], Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.

Gladney, H. 2007, Preserving digital information [eBook], Springer, New York.

Harvey, R. & Mahard, M.R. 2014, The Preservation Management Handbook: A 21st-Century Guide for Libraries, Archives, and Museums, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham.

Harvey, R. & Weatherburn, J. 2018, Preserving Digital Materials, 3rd edn., Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, Maryland (eBook)

Hughes, L. M. 2004, Digitizing collections : strategic issues for the information manager, Facet Publishing, London.

Jones, C. 2007, Institutional repositories : content and culture in an open access environment, Chandos Publishing, Oxford, England.

Kirschenbaum, M. et al. 2010, Digital forensics and born-digital content in cultural heritage collections, Council on Library and Information Resources, Washington, D.C., available at (accessed 25 May 2017)

Monson, Jane D. 2017, Getting started with digital collections: scaling to fit your organization, ALA Editions, Chicago

National Information Standards Organization (NISO), 2007, A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections [Online], available at: (accessed 25 May 2017)

National Library of New Zealand 2005, National Digital Heritage Archive Programme: Business Requirements Specification, available at (accessed 25 May 2017)

Oliver, G. & Harvery, R. 2016, Digital curation, Facet Publishing, London

Owens, T. 2018, The theory and craft of digital preservation, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore (eBook)

Primary Research Group Staff 2016, Survey of best practices in digital image collection management / Primary Research Group, New York

Research Libraries Group (RLG) Inc. 2002, Trusted Digital Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities, available at: (accessed 25 May 2017).

Tibbo, H.R. (ed.) 2009, Proceedings of DigCCurr2009: Digital Curation: Practice, Promise, and Prospects [free download], Chapel Hill, NC., [free download] available at:

Tzitzikas, Y., Marketakis, Y. & Vassilika Vouton, H. 2018, Cinderella's Stick, Springer (eBook).


DLib Magazine
Journal of Digital Asset Management
International Journal of Digital Curation
International Journal on Digital Libraries

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives