Measure the impact of your digital collections

Assessing reuse of digital objects

If you work with digital collections at galleries, libraries, archives, museums, or repositories, this site is for you.

Digital libraries are increasingly challenged with the task of assessing reuse of digital objects in their collections. This can be a complex and time-consuming process, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

What is the D-CRAFT toolkit?​

D-CRAFT stands for “Digital Content Reuse Assessment Framework Toolkit.” 

This toolkit helps you measure use and reuse of your digital objects. It can help you streamline the reuse assessment process and make it more efficient.

The toolkit contains:

An assessment success story

Mia was writing a grant for digitizing a collection of photographs from her university’s archives. Their local history photo collection had many images that were popular with people who visited the archives. She wanted to digitize this unique collection for easier access by anyone near or far.

Of course, the grant required her to justify the need for this. Mia knew that people would benefit because a small part of the collection had been digitized already — and she noticed that people had been sharing those images on social media.

She needed to collect as much evidence of the impact of this collection as possible. But how could she do that? Where to begin?

Well, Mia was in luck, because she found D-CRAFT. D-CRAFT is a toolkit developed to help digital library practitioners gather evidence of the impact of their collections.

D-CRAFT connected her to a variety of methods and tools that she could use to measure use and reuse of images from their photo collection — methods like interviewing users and offering surveys. And tools like alert services and reverse image search.

In addition, she learned useful information about use vs reuse, how to tell stories of impact, what ethical considerations to keep in mind, and more.

For this grant application, she didn’t have much time, there were only three months until it was due. Luckily her staff had already set up web analytics for their small collection of digitized photos. So she used D-CRAFT’s advice about web analytics to start reviewing the data. 

She also learned about Reverse Image Search, which helped her find specific examples of reuse of their images. This would be a useful supplement to the web analytics data, showing more about the context than analytics alone.

She realized it would also be helpful to include some qualitative data, so after reading through more of the D-CRAFT materials, she decided that offering a brief point-of-use survey on the download pages of their images would be useful. And it would be fairly easy to implement quickly.

So for the grant proposal, she built a complete set of useful data, including quantitative data on usage, specific examples of the context where people reused their images, and comments from the surveys about how people used the images.

Mia was awarded the grant and her institution got the resources they needed to digitize their entire photo collection. And, going forward, they used more of the D-CRAFT materials to help everyone understand the impact of their collection.

The Toolkit

Assessment methods and tools to help you better understand the ways users engage with digital library materials.

Ethical guidelines

Guidelines informed by a critical awareness of identity, socio-economic and racial privilege, access, and privacy, among other important criteria.

Use & reuse

Learn more about the difference between use and reuse of digital objects.

About us

Project team, consultants and experts, advisory group, and how to contact us.

Grant funding

This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services

Institute of Museum and Library Services

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