What is Catalyst?
Catalyst helps you create item-level inventories for audiovisual collections that have limited, inconsistent, unverified, or no collection data.
Catalyst permits collection managers to introduce an iterative approach to descriptive cataloging; deeper and richer descriptive metadata can be added over time at a more reasonable pace, or after reformatting has been completed without the need to continually go back to the physical media.
The Catalyst process involves the imaging of a physical collection and importing those images and minimal associated metadata to a central server. Once imported into Catalyst, the database records are immediately accessible to a team of offsite Transcribers who use the images to enter further metadata. The images allow physical items to be described and searched for, and their descriptions controlled for quality without the need to continually handle the assets themselves.
The built-in workflows and reporting capabilities allow managers to easily keep track of imaging, transcription, QC and digitization processes. Catalyst can be accessed by multiple users within an organization and has a flexible and customizable data model that allows organizations collect any data about their media items, making it a powerful tool to physical media management, digitization and discovery. Catalyst data can be exported to generate reports for preservation planning and selection, or to become the basis of a finding aid or more complete catalog record.
Once the collection inventory in Catalyst is complete an organization can begin to select and prioritize media items for digitization. An organization determines its selection criteria (a process that can also be integrated into Catalyst) and proceeds to choose which items are to be digitized and in which order. Whether the digitization is to be carried out in-house or outsourced, Catalyst provides functionality to help in each step: selecting items, prioritizing items into batches and tracking their movement and processing status to and from the digitization vendor or department.