PowerPoint Presentation - Museums and Digital Repositories

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					Museums and Digital
   Repositories


     October, 2005
         The punch line…


   In the digital realm, museums:

    * are very much like libraries

* tend to share the same policy issues
   Museums and libraries in
      the digital realm

 * Differences in physical formats
 disappear when objects are digital

*Underlying shared purpose becomes
          more obvious
                  Some Harvard
                   background
• “Digital Repository Service”
  –   in production for 5 years
  –   terabytes of data, millions of objects
  –   29 depositors (4 of them museums)
  –   provides both object access and preservation
  –   operates as a service
  –   partially cost recovered
       • recover marginal cost of storage
Some Harvard museums
  active contributors
Some Harvard museums
  active contributors
Some Harvard museums
  active contributors
Some Harvard museums
  active contributors
But not yet all…
             Carrots, not sticks



            Internal grant program

(all museum contributors have gotten at least one grant…
    and all have continued to use services afterwards!)
          Lots of policy…

(and most of it quite comfortable to museums)
        Repository policy aims


       * it’s not about disk storage

          * long time horizons

   * service to the Harvard community

* depositors must take some responsibility
              Policy (1)




Data must be “library-like” in purpose
(i. e., support research and teaching)
           Policy (2)




Data must be of persistent value
                  Policy (3)




    Data must be of accessible to
   the entire Harvard community

(hedged a bit for temporarily “dark” collections)
           Policy (4)




Data must be findable through
University-wide discovery tools


some issue with museums here…
                   Discovery

• “Public catalogs” not traditional in
  museums
  – particularly not union catalogs!
  – frequently oriented to exhibitions rather than
    catalogs
• Museum collection management systems
  not always consistent with library access
  systems
  – descriptive practices, metadata formats
        Discussing discovery

• Persuasion when integrating data makes
  sense
  – our visual arts catalog ("arts, material culture,
    and social history“) fits well for art and
    archeology images, but not for fish specimens
• Some museums have their own independent
  discovery tools
        Discussing discovery

• Persuasion when integrating data makes
  sense
  – our visual arts catalog ("arts, material culture,
    and social history“) fits well for art and
    archeology images , but not for fish specimens
• Some museums have their own independent
  discovery tools
• and there are on-going discussions in other
  cases….
          Policy (5)




Depositors are responsible for
 intellectual property issues
IP issues in museums –
many additional issues
     * Artists rights

       * NAGPRA

* Multiple levels of rights

         * etc…
          Policy (6)




Depositors are responsible for
   paying repository fees
           Policy (7)




Repository and depositors share
 responsibility for preservation
            Preservation


 Repository agrees to try to preserve
             objects if:

     * in recommended formats

*accompanied by appropriate metadata
        Museum data formats

• Mostly reformatting (parallel to libraries)
  – visual images
  – text images
     • archival material
     • field notes
     • published documentation
• Born digital text coming (also like libraries)
• Field databases (a bit more interesting…)
       Shared responsibility


      * Formats and metadata

* Preservation action decision-making

             * Funding
                    In sum…

• Museums are much like libraries in this
  domain
  – persistent research data
  – interested in public accessibility
  – understand metadata
  – curatorial understanding and interest in their
    collections data
  – persistent organization to take long-term
    responsibility (financial, preservation)
  – familiar data types
  The big difference



Mind-set, traditions, formats
      for discovery