OCLC releases software suite to help museums exchange data


OCLC Research has released a software suite to help museums exchange object descriptions and share data, the result of a cooperative effort made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to further develop infrastructure for museum data exchange.

Museums participating in this effort have a common interest in being able to share information about collection items and digital images from their own institutions, with other art museums, and with content aggregators such as ARTstor or OCLC.

Museums now have access to COBOAT and OAICatMuseum 1.0 software. COBOAT is a metadata publishing tool developed by Cognitive Applications Inc. (Cogapp) that transfers information between databases (such as collections management systems) and different formats. As configured for this project, COBOAT allows museums to extract standards-based records in the Categories for the Descriptions of Works of Art (CDWA) Lite XML data format out of Gallery Systems TMS, the museum industry's leading collection management system. Configuration files allow COBOAT to be adjusted for extraction from different vendor-based or homegrown database systems, or locally divergent implementations of the same collections management system.

COBOAT software is now available on the OCLC Web site under a fee-free license for the purposes of publishing a CDWA Lite repository of collections information at www.oclc.org/research/software/coboat/default.htm.

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