OCLC Research releases software suite to help museums exchange data

Made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the software was released as part of the OCLC Research Museum Data Exchange project.

This project supported the RLG Partnership and its art museum partners in defining the requirements for tools, and created or contracted the creation of software. The suite of tools allows museums 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. Participating museums include Harvard Art Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Art; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Princeton University Art Museum; and Yale University Art Museum.

COBOAT software is now available under a fee-free license for the purpose of publishing a CDWA Lite repository of collections information. It 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, a leading collection management system in the museum industry. 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 systems.

OAICat Museum 1.0, an Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI-PMH) data content provider supporting CDWA Lite XML, is also available. It allows museums to share the data extracted with COBOAT using OAI-PMH.

For more information:

Günter Waibel
Program Officer
OCLC Research

Melissa Renspie
Senior Communications Officer
OCLC Research