Metadata across cultural domains

An interesting article by Mary W. Elings and my colleague Günter Waibel on cross-domain metadata practices has just appeared.

Integrating digital content from libraries, archives and museums represents a persistent challenge. While the history of standards development is rife with examples of cross-community experimentation, in the end, libraries, archives and museums have developed parallel descriptive strategies for cataloguing the materials in their custody. Applying in particular data content standards by material type, and not by community affiliation, could lead to greater data interoperability within the cultural heritage community. [Metadata for All: Descriptive Standards and Metadata Sharing across Libraries, Archives and Museums]

The authors propose a framework within which to think about metadata across domains. I commented here on a blog entry in which Günter introduced the framework.

In recent discussions, I have been struck by how the issue of authorities, gazetteers, and subject resources has come up as a shared interest across these curatorial traditions. Each community has an interest in establishing agreed ways of noting names, places and things, and has a variety of practices to support it. This seems like a fertile area for investigation of shared attention across communities.

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