A blog on museum-digital and the broader digitization of museum work.

Some months back I presented museum-digital:qa here and elsewhere as a tool building on a subset of the functionality of museum-digital’s import tool to evaluate data uploaded by anyone and make the quality checks musdb offers available to the uploader as well, regardless of their collection management system. Its real potential however can only be seen when taking the first part of that statement by itself: museum-digital:qa can evaluate data from any format that may also be used for importing to museum-digital to do something with the data. Quality checks are in that sense only one possible use of museum-digital:qa.

Coming from that basic idea, there is now a second use case for museum-digital:qa: It is now capable of being used as a conversion tool. As usual, most formats supported for imports to museum-digital can be used to upload data – e.g. a simple CSV structure we regularly use for importing data previously held in table calculation programs – that is then converted to those XML formats to which users can export their object data in musdb (again recycling code from there).

At the moment conversions to LIDO (both versions 1.0 and 1.1) and EODEM are supported. Especially the latter may prove interesting: EODEM is a very recent extension of LIDO aimed at enabling a much simplified data exchange between different institutions in the context of loans. The lending museum exports the relevant objects’ data from their collection management system in EODEM; the borrowing institution then imports it and immediately has all the relevant information in their respective collection management system without having to manually re-type the data as has been usual for the last years. EODEMs utility in practice however depends on how widely it will be supported by the different collection management systems.

By offering a conversion option from different formats to EODEM, museum-digital:qa may thus help to make the benefits of EODEM available also to those museums whose collection management software does not yet support exports to the standard.

Image: Bell Telelphone crew with a dog, ca. 1892