packaging University museum collections information as part of open metadata provision
Benefits of our approach and how others could follow us
The project team has particularly benefited from new insights into the broader use of collection records across University Museums and the applicability of the ‘wrappers’ approach in practice at both the institution and aggregator level. The former being an outcome of the wide consultation the project took with the sector (https://contextualwrappers2.wordpress.com/category/consultation/) and the latter resulting from the related Open Book project. (http://jiscopenbook.wordpress.com/ )
These insights have been fed into technical developments and aggregation workflows to improve integration and dissemination of collections information through the Culture Grid (http://www.culturegrid.org.uk) and other interfaces. This gives future benefits not only to The Fitzwilliam and Culture Grid, but the wider University Museums sector, which can make use of specific search interfaces and an aggregation infrastructure more attuned to the needs of University Museums.
Our advice to other projects looking to use collection descriptions for contextualised resource discovery through aggregation services would be to use existing infrastructure at the aggregation-level, such as the project now provides; focus resources on the development of local systems and policies to fit a broader ‘open resource discovery’ environment; and prioritise those local developments to meet the particular resource discovery needs of their own communities by continually engaging with their collection users.