AUB Museum Catalog Proposal


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General

This proposal is based on the CIMI (Consortium for the Computer
Interchange of Museum Information) "SPECTRUM: The UK Museum
Documentation Standard".

SPECTRUM is an extension of the Dublin Core standard for information
mark-up as it applies to museum information.

The aim of this proposal is to provide a framework for the design and
implementation of a museum object catalog that includes the
possibility of registering all relevant information pertaining to an
object throughout its life.

the Catalog interface

The documentation categories are linked in the collumn at the left,
in ALPHABETICAL ORDER.

  -  Each page illustrates the complete information in the SPECTRUM
     standard that can be tied to an object.

  -  The information fields are listed in ALPHABETICAL ORDER and as
     plain text with the field name and a short explanation of its
     contents. 

  -  The page for IDENTIFICATION illustrates how the fields
     might appear in a registration or search mode.

  -  This is NOT a suggested design for the way the program will
     appear, but an overview of all the possible categories and
     fields that can be used.

  -  The datatypes "Address", "Date", "People", "Person", "Place", 
     and "Metadata" have their own pages which would be called when
     fields demand that level of precision in their information
     content. 

  -  The design process would propose a main program interface with
     the most important fields for documenting an object gathered on
     one page, with the rest on supplemental pages. It would also be
     configurable, so that the user could assemble the fields most
     used in the main interface page to make the registration and
     retrieval process as efficient as possible.

  -  An example of such an interface might be the ADLIB program.

  -  Fields can be supplemented and expanded for special areas of
     applications by adding fields and defining the relation to their
     siblings in the standard as documentet in this note.


Use and XML funtionality

With the data fields provided by the CIMI xml standard, the catalog
would have the following functionality:

  - Registration of all information relevant to an object from the
    moment of its entry or aquisition to its deaccession from the
    collection.

  - Retrieval of object information on the basis of any of its
    characteristics. 

  - Object husbandry. The database has fields for information
    relevant to the maintenance of the object throughout its life in
    the collection.

  - Feedback from external users of the cataloge in the form of
    submission of comments to various characteristics of an object. 

  - Publishing. The Spectrum standard is in the orm of an XML
    schema. The catalog software would have an option for information
    retrieval in the xml format which would allow for ease of use as
    material for:

    - lectures
    - exhibitions
    - research
    - popular articles


the Main system functionality

This proposal suggests that the catalog be design and implemented
with the following main functions

  - a three-stage system consisting of a web browser based data entry
    and retrieval interface, a set of php (or other) scripts
    interfacing the web interface to an SQL database system.

  - user configuration of the web interface to suit the complexity of
    the data being entered.

  - an administration interface to control access, access security,
    user registration, preentered information, help pages, etc.

  - configurable external user access at levels of domain (for
    example only AUB, or AUB and affiliated units), person, and so on
    with registers that store user access, reason and access history.

  - WWW access


Cost estimates


References

  - CIMI Guide to best practice: Dublin Core

  - CIMI Spectrum XML XSD (in text format)

  - CIMI Spectrum XML XSD (as xml)

  - MDA (Museum Documentation Association)


 


Last modified: Sat Jul 17 15:19:38 2004