Please note: This experimental research project has concluded.
The research prototype application is no longer supported or maintained by OCLC services, and information on this page is provided for historical purposes only. Some portion of this content may be out-of-date and include broken links. Please visit the OCLC Research website to learn more about our current research.

OAICatMuseum 1.0


The OAICatMuseum software allows museums to disclose descriptions of collection items as well as pointers to digital surrogates. It can be used to efficiently share digital images with trusted partners who have requested access to museum content, or with the networked world at large.

OAICatMuseum instantiates the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH), a lightweight standard for information sharing. OAI-PMH facilitates a machine-to-machine conversation between a data provider (a server offering the data – the museum) and a data harvester (a server receiving the data – the trusted partner). OAICatMuseum communicates information about collection items in CDWA Lite XML, as well as the baseline Dublin Core required by OAI-PMH.

While OAI-PMH has been used in the library community since its initial release in 2001, museum use of OAI-PMH was pioneered by The Getty Trust and ARTstor, who have used the technology to transfer digital images from the Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute to the ARTstor Digital Library in 2006.

OAICatMuseum is based on the OCLC Research open source software OAICat. It was inspired by modifications originally made to OAICat by the Getty, and has been uniquely tailored to the needs of museums as a result of the Museum Data Exchange Project.

An updated version 1.1 of OAICatMuseum is also available, including support for identifying deleted records and the addition of LIDO XML output. This development was prompted by the use of OAICatMuseum and COBOAT by the Yale Center for British Art, one of the 1st US museums to export data in the LIDO schema.




This software may be used without charge in accord with the terms of the Apache License, Version 2.0.



Please note: the software associated with this project is no longer available, and is no longer supported.

  • OAICatMuseum v1.0 War File and Documentation (.txt: 8K/4,403 char.)
  • OAICatMuseum v1.1 War File and Documentation (.txt: 9K/4,787 char.)
  • oaicatdb.sql — A MySQL import file which is referenced in the README.txt file and can be used to test OAICatMuseum

Questions regarding the LIDO schema, supported by OAICatMuseum v1.1, can be directed to David Parsell, Systems Manager Collections Information and Access, Yale Center for British Art [david.parsell at].


More Information


  • Museum Data Exchange project, an activity in support of the RLG Partnership to create tools supporting data sharing in the art museum community, and analyze the extent to which current museum data allows for meaningful search and retrieval in an aggregate environment.
  • COBOAT, a metadata extraction tool that allows cultural heritage institutions to extract data from a database and publish it as a CDWA Lite XML repository of collections information. COBOAT can be used in conjunction with OAICatMuseum to make CDWA Lite XML records available for harvesting via the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH).


Most recent updates: Page content: 2012-04-26


Bruce Washburn