Top Banner

of 24

Integrating Information from Museums, Libraries

Jun 18, 2015




  • 1. Integrating Information from Museums, Libraries & Archives RLG Cultural Materials Initiative July 2001

2. stuff really is important. Scholars use it to separate fact from fiction and to interpret the human record. John W. Haeger RLG Vice President Emeritus RLG NewsIssue 49, Fall 1999 3. The problem space

  • Providing access to collections is central to the mission of most memory institutions
    • Access to physical collections constrained by physical factors (space, location, resources, preservation etc.)
  • Increasing demand for access to digital collections for:
    • Research & learning
    • Teaching
    • Personal use
    • Commercial use

4. Digital collection characteristics

  • Heterogeneous structured textual descriptions
  • Digital representations or surrogates of materials, e.g.:
    • Images
    • Audio files
    • Video clips
    • Animations
    • 3-D models
    • Complex Digital Objects
  • Supporting/contextual materials & external links

5. We need a new vision of opening up historically inaccessible special collections and linking them to both the existing and developing base of scholarly publication. Clifford Lynch Selecting Library and Archive Collections for Digital Reformatting RLG symposium August 1996 6. Challenges to be met

  • Complex issues in delivering integrated access to digital collections:
    • Diverse descriptive practices
    • Meaningful integration across collections
    • Digital representation of physical materials (surrogates)
    • Multiple audiences and applications
    • Institutional rights and responsibilities

7. Different (descriptive) strokes...

  • Different curatorial approaches
    • Museums
    • Libraries
    • Archives
    • Visual Resources
    • Historical Societies
  • Different subject disciplines
    • Arts & humanities
    • Natural sciences
    • Social sciencesetc...

8. Different (descriptive) strokes...

  • Different levels of granularity
    • Collection level
    • Group level
    • Item level
  • Different levels of detail
    • Simple inventory
    • Collections management documentation
    • Authority reference files
    • Associated contextual & research materials

9. Different (descriptive) strokes...

  • Different data structures
    • Flatfile
    • Hierarchical
    • Tagged text
    • Relational
    • Object-oriented
  • Different data value standards
    • AAT, ULAN, TGN
    • MeSH, SHICetc...

10. Some descriptive standards

  • AMICO Data Dictionary
  • CDWA
  • CIMI DTD & Profile
  • Dublin Core
  • EAD
  • MARC
  • MESL
  • Object ID
  • VRA Core Categories
  • Other, superceded descriptive standards
  • +1,001 home cooked flavours...

11. Relationships are important 12. CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model

  • Based on ICOM/CIDOCInternational Guidelines for Museum Object Information: The CIDOC Information Categories
  • Object-oriented domain ontology
    • Formalises the semantics needed to describe objects and relationships in the cultural heritage context
  • Mappings to existing standards
  • ISO standardization process begun

13. Benefits of CRM

  • Elegant and simple compared to comparable Entity-Relation model
  • Coherently integrates information at varying degrees of detail
  • Readily extensible through O-O class typing and specializations
  • Richer semantic content; allows inferences to be made from fuzzy data
  • Designed for mediation of heterogeneous cultural heritage information...


  • The primary role of the CRM is to serve as a basis for mediation of cultural heritage information and thereby provide the semantic 'glue' needed to transform today's disparate, localised information sources into a coherent and valuable global resource.
    • Nick Crofts & Martin Drr

15. CRM learning curve

  • Model necessarily complex in order to model the broad domain of cultural heritage information
  • O-O modeling paradigm may be unfamiliar compared to entity-relation modeling
    • Just similar enough to be confusing!
  • Notation problems
    • Difficult to express mappings textually
    • UML: Universal Modeling Language

16. RLG active participants in:

  • June 2000 CRM stakeholders meeting in Aghios Pavlos, Crete
  • ISO TC46 SC4 CRM Working Group
    • CRM submitted to ISO as a Community Draft standard
  • CIDOC CRM Special Interest Group
  • EU-funded CHIOS (Cultural Heritage Interchange Ontology Standardization) Project
    • RLG is a non-funded partner

17. CRM Prospects

  • CRM needs further refinement, particularly to enhance support for research access and bibliographic material
  • Needs more introductory outreach material
  • RLG enthusiastic about:
    • Raising awareness of the model
    • Soliciting feedback from the community
    • Testing and validating with real data and real users to help finalize the model
  • Next meetings: Barcelona, July 2001

18. RLG Cultural Materials

  • AnAllianceof RLG members that will:
    • Develop the Cultural Materials Service, a collective digitalinformationresource
    • Identify and promotestandardsof best practice for digital surrogates and descriptive information
    • Establish appropriaterights management framework
    • Develop powerful, user-friendly web-baseddiscoveryand retrieval tools
    • Develop asustainablebusiness model that will support long-term development of the service

19. Vision for RLG Cultural Materials

  • Provide integrated access to aggregated heterogeneous cultural content
    • Rich toolset for discovery, examination, comparison, and use
  • Provide reliable, distributed, user-friendly access to multiple user groups
  • Enhance the usefulness of individual collections through rich cross-collection links
  • Transform research and learning in the digital environment

20. RLG Cultural Materials - Data Model

  • Must support wildly heterogeneous data!
  • Support who, what, when, where access
  • Resulted in event-based entity-relation data model, influenced by:
    • CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model
    • InDecs Metadata Framework
    • ABC/Harmony Logical Model

21. Cultural Materials Logical Data Model Version: 2001-05-04 T signifies a link to the Type entity (not displayed for clarity) Show me photographs of New York from the 1940s PlaceName = New York EventType = creation EventBeginDate = 1940 EventEndDate = 1949 WorkType = Photograph surrogateURL = http:// 22. CMI Descriptive Data Loading

  • Convert contributor descriptive data to XML form
    • Draft description guidelines to be published shortly
  • Create mappings using XSLT Stylesheet to convert data to XML form compliant with CMI XML DTD
    • XSLT transformations re-usable for standards-compliant data!
  • Load program loads data into the IBM DB2 database

23. CMI Descriptive Data Loading SGML EAD MARC DC to CMI XSL MARC to CMI XSL EAD to CMI X