museumdatlogo (2K)
 arrow_switch (1K)   Diese Seite auf Deutsch  

Home

museumdat has been replaced by LIDO, please visit: Lightweight Information Describing Objects (LIDO)


museumdat.org

  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General questions concerning museumdat

   What is the purpose of museumdat?

   What do I have to do to use museumdat?

   Can I use museumdat with my cataloguing software?

   What are the expenses for using museumdat?

   What does mapping mean?

   Do I have to transfer all of my data to museumdat?

   How do I have to prepare my collection data for museumdat?

   What about data that cannot be mapped to museumdat?

Practical questions concerning the application of museumdat

   Why are there duplex categories: display elements and indexing elements?

   Are there mandatory elements? Which?

   What is the difference between type of object and classification?

   Which elements contain information about people, places, and events?

   What is the appropriate element for placing an URL of my institution or location?

Expert questions concerning the application of museumdat

   How can I check my museumdat export for correctness?

   In my documentation, the relation between objects has been defined just the opposite way round - will I have to revise my complete documentation to be able to export to museumdat?

   How do I decide if a historic photo is a related object or a reproduction of an object?

  General questions concerning museumdat

What is the purpose of museumdat?

museumdat allows to publish collection data in multi-source (web) databases independently from the cataloguing software used in the institution. Thus you may publish your data in portals like the BAM-Portal, DigiCult SH, the Bildindex der Kunst und Architektur, or, in the future, in the Deutsche Digitale Bibliothek or Europeana. By using museumdat, you make available your data in a standardized format. Without further transformation or adaption, it allows the interoperability of data from different sources within a web portal.
museumdat was developed for the needs of collections focussing on art, science, technology, and cultural or natural history. Its data modelling is well adapted to expert requirements and allows for sophisticated methods for searching and navigating in the data.

What do I have to do to use museumdat?

  1. Select the objects of your collection you want to see published.
  2. Decide which information (resp. from which data categories) on your objects should be published.
  3. Check if your database software supports the export of data to museumdat. If you don't know for sure, ask your software provider. Possibly you will need more technical advice and support (q.v. mapping)
  4. Collection documentation specialists in your institution should attend to the content-related mapping of the selected categories of your database to museumdat categories. The mapping may vary for different parts of your collection. Sometimes an individual category from your database may be mapped to several museumdat categories.

Can I use museumdat with my cataloguing software?

Ask your software provider! We recommend strongly to ask for a demonstration. Check with data describing a broad range of different objects from various parts of the collection if the output meets your expectation.

What are the expenses for using museumdat?

There is no licence fee for museumdat. There is a one-off effort for mapping your data to museumdat, and, possibly, for adapting your cataloguing software.

What does mapping mean?

Mapping is the expert term for assigning data categories of one data format to the categories of a different format.

Do I have to transfer all of my data to museumdat?

No - you select which data will be published. First, you select the range of objects to be included. Then, you assess which information about these objects will be published.

How do I have to prepare my collection data for museumdat?

Normally, your data will not need any special preparation. Like before any publication, some editorial changes to contents and form may be preferable, and they require additional effort. You decide to which extent this should be done.

What about data that cannot be mapped to museumdat?

These data will not be published. As a publication format museumdat is not designed to cover the full range of collection documentation.

  Practical questions concerning the application of museumdat

Why are there duplex categories: display elements and indexing elements?

The indexing element holds information prepared best for database retrieval, the display element presents it in a form that is pleasant to read. An artist's name could be included for instance in the index element as 'Tischbein, Johann Friedrich August' while the display element offers it as 'Johann Friedrich August Tischbein (1750-1812)'. Note that the additional biographical information in the display element comes from an artists authority file or an additional data category.

Are there mandatory elements? Which?

Yes, there are a few mandatory elements:

  • object/work type: e.g. painting, tableware, motor vehicle
  • title/object name: e.g. Mona Lisa or cup or Volkswagen beetle
  • record ID: (automatically assigned number of the data record, not inventory number!): e.g. 97001270
  • record type: e.g. item or collection or series
  • record source: e.g. Deutsches Historisches Museum

Make sure that each record to published contains these elements - or they will to be added.

What is the difference between type of object and classification?

The element ObjectWorkType holds the term(s) which most precisely identify the object (normally its name), while the classification provides the integration of the object into a broader context (see specification museumdat-v1.0-en.pdf).

These elements cannot be distinguished in some mappings. If you are not sure what should be done in your special mapping project, we recommend to use the mandatory object/work type category only.

Which elements contain information about people, places, and events?

museumdat is a CRM (Conceptual Reference Model)-based format. Information about actors, dates, and places related to an object are combined into event sets, as all their relations to the object are established by events like like production, use, discovery etc.

Event sets contain essential search criteria, so we strongly recommended to generate them. Sometimes the actors, dates and place information belonging to one event cannot be extracted in a consistent way from the data. Generate several IndexingEventSets then, using the same eventType where applicable.

What is the appropriate element for placing an URL of my institution or location?

Unfortunately there is no exclusive element for this information yet. Later versions of museumdat will contain improved options to include information about the data provider.

In the meantime, the element recordSource, perhaps used repetitively, can hold an URL:

Example:

<recordwrap>

<recordid>97001270</recordid>

<recordType>item<,/recordType>

<recordsource>Deutsches Historisches Museum</recordsource>

<recordsource>http://www.dhm.de</recordsource>

</recordwrap>

  Expert questions concerning the application of museumdat

How can I check my museumdat export for correctness?

First of all, it is important to have validated the XML data against the museumdat schema. A number of XML validation tools are available, you will find a free one with plain error analysis on http://www.validome.org/xml/.

If data conform to the museumdat schema, they can be processed on a technical level. But if the conversion of contents has been done correctly remains to be checked with an expert from the institution providing the data. The AG Datenaustausch (data exchange working group) has some expert knowledge in the field and offers to comment on test data.

In my documentation, the relation between objects has been defined just the opposite way round - will I have to revise my complete documentation to be able to export to museumdat?

The question refers to the museumdat element <museumdat:relatedWorkRelType> (Section V.2.1.2. Related Work: Relationship Type in [http://museum.zib.de/museumdat/museumdat-v1.0.pdf Dokumentation] specifying the relationship should be expressed from the documented object to the related object.

The answer is no: make use of a concordance list relating original terms from your system to a set of terms compliant to museumdat. While exporting and converting the data from your system, the export tool would interpret the list and transform the data accordingly.

During the development of such a concordance you will come across ambiguous terms in your own documentation which will need a more general translation. In case of doubt, use the standard value "related to".

How do I decide if a historic photo is a related object or a reproduction of an object?

The crucial point is the independence of the photo-related documentation within your documentation system. So if there is a separate object record for the photo, it should be adopted as <museumdat:relatedWorkSet> (V.2.1. Related Works (Set)). If, on the other hand, the photo is accounted for as evidence of another object, as a rule within the media module of your system, in museumdat it will be placed into the (VI.3.1. Reproduction (Set)), using an URL or identificator.