Cataloguing Museum Collections<br />History, Trends, and Issues<br />Michael Jenkins<br />JHU Museum Studies Spring 2010<b...
Week 5: Cataloguing Schemas and Standards<br />Definitions<br />Rationale for Standards<br />Standards Resources<br />
Definitions<br />Database Schema-A database schema is a collection of meta-data that describes the relations in a database...
Definitions<br />Data Structure-the organizational scheme for a database. Data structure defines the tables and fields tha...
Definitions<br />Data Format-the rules that specify the form of data entry. For example a data format rule might specify t...
Definitions<br />Authority Controls-In library and information science, authority control is the practice of creating and ...
Definitions<br />Data Dictionary-A data dictionary is a collection of descriptions of the data objects or items in a data ...
Why Do We Need Standards?<br />Standards help cataloguers record information consistently. Consistent data enables effecti...
Standards Resources<br />Cataloguing Cultural Resources:<br />http://www.vraweb.org/ccoweb/cco/index.html<br />CHIN Introd...
Reading<br />Review the following site: J. Paul Getty Trust and The College Art Association (Revised June 9, 2009) Categor...
Written Assignment<br />Create a template for a data dictionary for a website that will provide public access to a museum ...
Written Assignment, Continued<br />You will likely want to use a spreadsheet to create your data dictionary. Be sure to in...
Discussions<br />Monitor the Discussion area of Sakai for this week’s topics. <br />
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Jhu Week 6

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  • Welcome back to our online classroom for Cataloguing Museum Collections: History, Trends, and Issues.
  • This week we are investigating cataloguing schemas and standards. We will begin this presentation by reviewing some key definitions as we consider standards. We will follow that with a look at the rationale for employing standards in cataloguing. Finally we will look at some resources that are helpful as museum work to implement standards locally.
  • All catalogues must have a structure. That structure defines where data elements are located and how they relate to other elements in the system. Taken together these rules form the schema of a cataloguing system. Here is a good definition of a database schema that I found on About.com: “A database schema is a collection of meta-data that describes the relations in a database. A schema can be simply described as the &quot;layout&quot; of a database or the blueprint that outlines the way data is organized into tables.”Decisions about how a schema is organized, what is in the schema, and how changes are made to the schema can have a profound impact on the catalogue information contained in a system.
  • Data Structure-the organizational scheme for a database. Data structure defines the tables and fields that make up a database. It also specifies the relationships of fields to one another.Data Content-Also referred to as data values, data content is the conceptual information that populates data structure. It is the value that populates a field in a database.
  • Data format rules specify how we enter data content values into the database structure. Here is a definition of data format: Data Format-the rules that specify the form of data entry. For example a data format rule might specify that a date field be entered as MM/DD/YYYY rather than DD/MM/YY. Data format rules can also specify things like capitalization, punctuation, and italicization.
  • Authority Controls-In library and information science, authority control is the practice of creating and maintaining headings for bibliographic material in a catalog. Authority control fulfills two important functions. First, it enables catalogers to disambiguate items with similar or identical headings. For example, two authors who happen to have published under the same name can be distinguished from each other by adding middle initials, birth and/or death (or flourished, if these are unknown) dates, or a descriptive epithet to the heading of one (or both) authors. Second, authority control is used by catalogers tocollocate materials that logically belong together, although they present themselves differently. For example, authority records are used to establish uniform titles, which can collocate all versions of a given work together even when they are issued under different titles. From Wikipedia.
  • In our assignment this week, you are being asked to create a data dictionary for an online museum collection. Data dictionaries form the foundation of an organizations standards work. They literally define what it is we care about, how we catalogue it, and how it relates to other information. Here is a good working definition of a data dictionary-A data dictionary is a collection of descriptions of the data objects or items in a data model for the benefit of programmers and others who need to refer to them. A first step in analyzing a system of objects with which users interact is to identify each object and its relationship to other objects. This process is called data modeling and results in a picture of object relationships. After each data object or item is given a descriptive name, its relationship is described (or it becomes part of some structure that implicitly describes relationship), the type of data (such as text or image or binary value) is described, possible predefined values are listed, and a brief textual description is provided. This collection can be organized for reference into a book called a data dictionary.
  • Standards help museums in several ways. First, standards for data structure provide the foundation for information systems that allow us to model the catalogue data about our objects in a way that makes sense to our professional staffs and our visitors. Next, standards around data content and format guide our cataloguers as they describe the works in our collection. Finally, a complete standards program ensures that we have good structured data that can be effectively investigated and retrieved.
  • Here are three great resources for information about standards in museum cataloguing. Each of these resources links to many other places with community standards for cataloguing, information interchange, and retrieval.Cataloguing Cultural Resources:http://www.vraweb.org/ccoweb/cco/index.htmlCHIN Introduction to Standards:http://www.pro.rcip-chin.gc.ca/normes-standards/introduction-eng.jspStandards at the Library of Congresshttp://www.loc.gov/standards/
  • Our readings this week take a look at data structure, data content, and data format. As you read, consider the layering effect of standards based systems, cataloguing, and information retrieval. Is one implementation of standards more important than the others? Can you make up for a lack on standards in one area with use of standards in another?Read the following: Review the following site: J. Paul Getty Trust and The College Art Association (Revised June 9, 2009) Categories for the Description of Works of Art and CDWA Lite, http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/standards/cdwa/index.htmlBaca, M. et al. eds. (2006) Cataloguing Cultural Objects (pp. xi-xii, 1-76) Chicago, IL: American Library Association [eReserves]Weibel, S. (2005) &quot;Border Crossings: Reflections on a Decade of Metadata Consensus Building.&quot; D-Lib Magazine, 11,7/8 (July/August), http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july05/weibel/07weibel.html
  • Create a template for a data dictionary for a website that will provide public access to a museum collection of your choosing. Describe the museum collection that you will be using for the next three assignments. If you like, be creative with the collection you choose. Fictional or personal collections are encouraged.Examples of data dictionaries can be found at http://www.amico.org/AMICOlibrary/dataDictionary.html and http://www.pro.rcip-chin.gc.ca/bd-dl/ddrcip_sn-chindd_ns/description-about-eng.jsp.
  • You will likely want to use a spreadsheet to create your data dictionary. Be sure to include attributes to describe your data fields. Examples of attributes include repeating, required, authority controlled, and core.Make sure your data dictionary contains fields for all of the information that you would like to make available online. Try to push the envelope of online collections and support meaningful interaction with your collection. Keep in mind that most online museum sites serve well over thirty fields.
  • Our discussion this week will focus on the collections that you and your classmates will be using for the next three assignments.
  • Jhu Week 6

    1. 1. Cataloguing Museum Collections<br />History, Trends, and Issues<br />Michael Jenkins<br />JHU Museum Studies Spring 2010<br />
    2. 2. Week 5: Cataloguing Schemas and Standards<br />Definitions<br />Rationale for Standards<br />Standards Resources<br />
    3. 3. Definitions<br />Database Schema-A database schema is a collection of meta-data that describes the relations in a database. A schema can be simply described as the "layout" of a database or the blueprint that outlines the way data is organized into tables.<br />
    4. 4. Definitions<br />Data Structure-the organizational scheme for a database. Data structure defines the tables and fields that make up a database. It also specifies the relationships of fields to one another.<br />Data Content-Also referred to as data values, data content is the conceptual information that populates data structure. It is the value that populates a field in a database.<br />
    5. 5. Definitions<br />Data Format-the rules that specify the form of data entry. For example a data format rule might specify that a date field be entered as MM/DD/YYYY rather than DD/MM/YY. Data format rules can also specify things like capitalization, punctuation, and italicization.<br />
    6. 6. Definitions<br />Authority Controls-In library and information science, authority control is the practice of creating and maintaining headings for bibliographic material in a catalog. Authority control fulfills two important functions. First, it enables catalogers to disambiguate items with similar or identical headings. For example, two authors who happen to have published under the same name can be distinguished from each other by adding middle initials, birth and/or death (or flourished, if these are unknown) dates, or a descriptive epithet to the heading of one (or both) authors. Second, authority control is used by catalogers tocollocate materials that logically belong together, although they present themselves differently. For example, authority records are used to establish uniform titles, which can collocate all versions of a given work together even when they are issued under different titles. From Wikipedia.<br />
    7. 7. Definitions<br />Data Dictionary-A data dictionary is a collection of descriptions of the data objects or items in a data model for the benefit of programmers and others who need to refer to them. A first step in analyzing a system of objects with which users interact is to identify each object and its relationship to other objects. This process is called data modeling and results in a picture of object relationships. After each data object or item is given a descriptive name, its relationship is described (or it becomes part of some structure that implicitly describes relationship), the type of data (such as text or image or binary value) is described, possible predefined values are listed, and a brief textual description is provided. This collection can be organized for reference into a book called a data dictionary.<br />
    8. 8. Why Do We Need Standards?<br />Standards help cataloguers record information consistently. Consistent data enables effective information retrieval. <br />
    9. 9. Standards Resources<br />Cataloguing Cultural Resources:<br />http://www.vraweb.org/ccoweb/cco/index.html<br />CHIN Introduction to Standards:<br />http://www.pro.rcip-chin.gc.ca/normes-standards/introduction-eng.jsp<br />Standards at the Library of Congress<br />http://www.loc.gov/standards/<br />
    10. 10. Reading<br />Review the following site: J. Paul Getty Trust and The College Art Association (Revised June 9, 2009) Categories for the Description of Works of Art and CDWA Lite, http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/standards/cdwa/index.html<br />Baca, M. et al. eds. (2006) Cataloguing Cultural Objects (pp. xi-xii, 1-76) Chicago, IL: American Library Association [eReserves]<br />Weibel, S. (2005) "Border Crossings: Reflections on a Decade of Metadata Consensus Building." D-Lib Magazine, 11,7/8 (July/August), http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july05/weibel/07weibel.html<br />
    11. 11. Written Assignment<br />Create a template for a data dictionary for a website that will provide public access to a museum collection of your choosing. Describe the museum collection that you will be using for the next three assignments. If you like, be creative with the collection you choose. Fictional or personal collections are encouraged.Examples of data dictionaries can be found at http://www.amico.org/AMICOlibrary/dataDictionary.html and http://www.pro.rcip-chin.gc.ca/bd-dl/ddrcip_sn-chindd_ns/description-about-eng.jsp. <br />
    12. 12. Written Assignment, Continued<br />You will likely want to use a spreadsheet to create your data dictionary. Be sure to include attributes to describe your data fields. Examples of attributes include repeating, required, authority controlled, and core.Make sure your data dictionary contains fields for all of the information that you would like to make available online. Try to push the envelope of online collections and support meaningful interaction with your collection. Keep in mind that most online museum sites serve well over thirty fields.<br />
    13. 13. Discussions<br />Monitor the Discussion area of Sakai for this week’s topics. <br />
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