MMP - Collection Policy

MMP - Collection Policy

Project Description

The Montana Memory Project (MMP) is an online resource for digital collections relating to Montana's cultural heritage. These collections help to document the Montana experience. Access is free and open through the Internet. Many of these items are digitized reproductions of historic material, and some items are contemporary. All content serves as a resource for education, genealogy research, business, pleasure, and lifelong learning. Montana libraries, museums, archives, and cultural institutions add materials to this collection.

1.1 Purpose

To provide free and open access to Montana related digital materials. These materials provide opportunities for education, genealogy research, business, pleasure, and lifelong learning. The Montana Memory Project encourages Montana cultural institutions to digitize and share historic and contemporary resources.

MMP is not a preservation tool, and it does not store digital files for preservation purposes. It is an access platform only. Thus, MMP should not be used as a replacement for preservation, or as a substitute repository for archives. Partners should retain the original items of all material submitted to MMP and employ their own preservation plans for those items. 

1.2 Scope

The Montana Memory Project includes digitized historic and contemporary resources that reflect the Montana experience and that are important to understanding Montana’s rich cultural heritage. The digital collections of the Montana Memory Project may include maps, photos, rare books, documents, publications, diaries, oral histories, audio recordings, video recordings, paintings, illustrations, art and other cultural materials.  

1.3 Mission

The Montana Memory Project encourages cultural institutions to digitize historic and contemporary resources reflecting Montana's rich cultural heritage and to make them freely available for lifelong learning.

Partner Eligibility

2.1 Who can contribute?

Partner eligibility is open to all institutions in Montana that have material with clear and meaningful connections to the history and culture of Montana. Eligible institutions include
  1. Libraries
  2. Schools
  3. Historical Societies
  4. Archives
  5. Charitable or philanthropic institutions
  6. Non-profits
  7. State agencies in Montana and other local government entities
2.2 Requirement

All contributing institutions must follow the Montana Memory Project Metadata Guidelines when creating metadata records for items in the MMP.


3.1 Subject Areas

Possible subject areas include but are not limited to:
  1. Agriculture and Homesteading
  2. Artwork
  3. City History
  4. County History
  5. Government Records
  6. Hunting and Conservation
  7. Journals and Correspondence
  8. Maps
  9. Military
  10. Mining
  11. Native Americans
  12. Public Lands
  13. Science and Technology

3.2 Collection Criteria

The MMP Director and a staff member from the Montana Historical Society will evaluate MMP Collection Applications to ensure they fit the scope of this Policy.

3.3 Character of Collections

Succinctness: Ideal collections will highlight a specific collection or topic in a Partner’s holdings by offering either the entirety of or a representative sample of the items in a specific collection or topic.

Historical Value: Ideal collections will demonstrate their historical significance by telling a specific part of the story of Montana. Usability: Ideal collections will have comprehensive metadata that provide context, and enable users to identify who, what, when, where, and why of all collection material. 

Uniqueness: Ideal collections will be unique, defined in this Policy as, material that is relatively unavailable or inaccessible from other sources, and contains special properties of literary, artistic, political, or historical value that connect to broader patterns of state development and set it apart from more commonly found content.

Distinctness: Ideal collections will be curated to minimize redundancy and duplication. The content and description of material should be distinct from other material within the collection, and from other collections on MMP.

Publication Status: Material may be published or unpublished.

3.4 Size of Collection

There is no fixed limit on the material or data size of a collection, but MMP will work with each Partner to determine the appropriate size for each proposed collection. A general goal is a minimum of 25 items for each collection. Partners who wish to submit larger collections (over 500 items) should consider breaking down the material into multiple collections if an appropriate division can be made. Notable exceptions include serial publications and ongoing documentation (e.g. annual reports).

3.5 Types of Material

Material may be digitized, or born-digital. MMP will accept most types of material, including but not limited to artwork, text, photographs/images, maps, music, humanities related, other audio, and video recordings (e.g. oral histories), and ephemera.

3.6 Watermarking

Watermarks are discouraged. Partners may use watermarks or other branding features for image protection, but the watermark should not hinder research value by blocking significant content from view.

Digitization Guidelines

4.1 Digital Standard

A minimum standard of 300 ppi (pixels per inch) JPEG file is encouraged for text and image files, but some customization may be necessary. Content should remain readable even after magnification, without resulting in significant blurring or pixilation.

4.2 File Formats

Material may include text, image, audio, or video files. Material may be in any format that can be accessed by common browser and software applications, including but not limited to, JPEG, TIFF, PDF, MP3, and MP4.

4.3 Maintenance/Migration

If a Partner has material in formats that are deemed obsolete by commonly held technology standards, the Partner will need to migrate this material to current and accessible formats before offering to MMP. If Montana State Library (MSL) changes MMP’s content management system, MSL will assume responsibility for migrating MMP collections from the old system to the new one.

4.4 Storage and Preservation

MMP is not a storage or preservation tool. Partners that contribute master or preservation copies of digital files to MMP should employ additional methods to store and protect such files. MMP is not an archive or preservation repository..

Metadata Guidelines

5.1 Schema

Currently the Montana Memory Project uses Dublin Core to catalog collections. 

5.2 Standardizatio n

MMP strives to have standardized records that:
  1. provide detailed descriptions to inform and educate users
  2. enhance online search and retrieval accuracy
  3. improve resource discovery capabilities
  4. Improve quality control of metadata records
  5. facilitate inter-institutional interoperability for multiple partnership opportunities
6.1 Compliance

Partners must comply with copyright law when submitting material to MMP. Partners must ensure that material submitted to the MMP is in the public domain, is free from copyright, copyright is owned by the Partner, or appropriate copyright permissions have been secured.

6.2 Rights Statements

Partners must choose appropriate standardized rights statements that accurately define the copyright status of every item in each collection. Rights statements are available at:

Creative Commons licenses can be applied if the content is eligible. Creative Commons licenses are available at:

Submitting a New MMP Collection Application

7.1 Process

Step 1: Plan your collection.
Step 2: Complete and submit an MMP Collection Application.
Step 3: Montana Memory Project's Selection Committee will review your collection application for approval and notify you of the results. Sign the agreement – All new Partners are asked to sign our contributor’s agreement form.
Step 4: After you have received approval, begin scanning and digitizing your collection.
Step 5: Set up a metadata training session with MMP staff.
Step 6:   Upload your items to a folder provided by MMP Staff
Step 7: Review your new collection on the Montana Memory Project site.
Step 8: Celebrate your new addition to Montana's statewide digital repository!

Multiple Collections
Partners may submit multiple collections simultaneously, or additional collections in the future, but each collection requires its own Collection Application and Metadata Spreadsheet.
Expanding an Existing MMP Collection
Partners may add material to one or more of their existing MMP collections, but Partner must inform MMP of their intent to do so by email. MMP reviews and approves the additions before they are published on the MMP 

Removing Material from MMP
Although MMP collections are generally assumed to be a permanent addition to the site, certain circumstances may arise in which material is considered for removal. Such circumstances include:
  1. If a copyright dispute cannot be resolved
  2. If material is found to breach the privacy or cultural sensitivity of an individual or group, or related parties with vested interests in that individual or group
  3. If material is found to have been plagiarized or stolen from another source
  4. If material does not fit the scope of this Policy
  5. If Partner institution goes defunct, and no successor or other institution takes custody of the collection(s) exhibited on MMP 
Material from MMP will not be removed without prior written notice from MMP to the appropriate Partner. Items and their corresponding metadata will be removed and all links to the content will be deleted from the website. 

Changes to the Collections Policy

8.1 Retention/De-selection Policy

If this Policy changes, material or collections that are no longer within its scope may be revised or removed. MMP will notify the appropriate Partners, and offer to work with Partners whose collections are affected by such a change to revise their content to fit the new Policy or to find a new repository for the material.

8.2 Revision of Existing Collections

MMP may occasionally ask Partners to review their collections for the purposes of improving metadata or other content issues. If Partner and MMP cannot resolve the issues in question, the material or collection(s) in question may be removed at MMP’s discretion. No material will be removed without prior written notice from MMP to the Partner.

8.3 Review of Collection Development Policy

MSL and MHS will review the Collection Development Policy annually. Partners will be notified of any changes, and receive a copy of the updated Policy. Partners whose collections are affected by a Policy change will be contacted separately to discuss necessary revisions.

Related Agreements
Contributing Institution Agreement – See Attachment MMP-Collection-Policy-01 
DPLA Data Exchange Agreement – Montana – See MMP-Collection-Policy-02

    • Related Articles

    • MMP - Metadata Guidelines

      Title Element Name Title Dublin Core Definition A name given to the resource. Is Field Required? Required Is Field Repeatable? No How to Use? Title may also be an identifying phrase or name of the object supplied by the contributing institution. Take ...
    • MMP - Glossary of Terms

      Digital Imaging Vocabulary Bit Depth - Bit depth quantifies how many unique colors are available in an image’s color palette in terms of the number of 0’s and 1’s, or “bits.” See also: Dynamic Range Compression - The reduction of image file size for ...
    • MMP - Descriptive Metadata Best Practices

      INTRODUCTION The intent of the Descriptive Metadata Best Practices section of these guidelines is to provide direction for creating metadata records for digitized materials that have been reformatted from an existing physical resource, such as ...
    • MMP - Hardware and Software Recommendations

      Computer The hub of any scanning station is the computer. Because archival-quality digital files are very large in size and can be quite taxing on computers, ensure that your computer has adequate RAM and disk space. Remember that image-processing ...
    • MMP - For First Time Contributors - Contributing Institution Agreement Form

      All new contributors are asked to sign the attached Contributing Institution Agreement form which outlines the expectations of Contributors and the MMP.  Return the signed form to the MMP Director or