Jhu Week 5
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JHU Museum Studies Spring 2010
Cataloguing Museum Collections
History, Trends, and Issues
Week 5: Cataloguing Systems and Tools
• History of cataloguing systems• Current state of collections management
systems• Role of digital asset management and
content management• Future of cataloguing systems
History of Cataloguing Systems
Early “Computerized” Systems
Relational Database Model
A relational database is a collection of data items organized as a set of formally-described tables from which data can be accessed or reassembled in many different ways without having to reorganize the database tables. The relational database was invented by E. F. Codd at IBM in 1970.
“Modern” Collections Management Systems
Graphical User Interface
Structured Query Language Database Backends
SQL stands for "Structured Query Language," and can be pronounced as either "sequel" or "S-Q-L." It is a query language used for accessing and modifying information in a database. Some common SQL commands include "insert," "update," and "delete." The language was first created by IBM in 1975 and was called SEQUEL for "Structured English Query Language." Since then, it has undergone a number of changes, many coming from Oracle products.
Today, SQL is commonly used for Web database development and management. Though SQL is now considered to be a standard language, there are still a number of variations of it, such as MSSQL and mySQL. Source: http://www.techterms.com/definition/sql
Security Access and Control
• Maintain permissions and security• Provide change audit
Organization of Records by Module
“Modern” Collections Management Changed Museums• Administration• Exhibition planning• Access
Digital Asset Management
Integration of Systems
• Integration has been hard work• Hard-coding was required to integrate
components of cataloguing and access systems
• Upgrades or changes to one system required a reworking of the integration
Next Generation Cataloguing Systems
• Browser-based• Loosely coupled• Service Oriented Architecture• Employ APIs (application programming
Watch the CollectionSpace Webinar
ReadingRead the Canadian Heritage Information Network's Collections
Management Software Review, http://www.pro.rcip-chin.gc.ca/gestion_collections-collections_management/evaluation_logiciels-software_review/index-eng.jsp
As you read consider how our notions of collections management may have changed since this report was issued in 2004. Do you think that a homegrown system is still a viable option for museums? How far should a collections management system go into the areas of digital asset management and content management? What role do you see for open source collections management systems? Evaluate the methodology employed by CHIN. Would you have structured the software review any differently?
Written AssignmentPick a Collections Management Vendor and review their product
descriptions (either printed or online). Based on the product descriptions, describe their strength and weaknesses in the areas of collections documentation, digital asset management, and content management. Describe the type of organization that would be a good fit for the software and the limitations of the software that might make it unsuitable for other organizations. How easily does the product integrate with other systems? How difficult would it be to make records available online? Do you think the user interface looks intuitive? How well does the system handle reporting? Are there adequate security controls in place? Submissions should be approximately 500 words.
Monitor the Discussion area of Sakai for this week’s topics. New topics will be posted on Monday and Thursday.