Tag Archives: EODEM

EODEM update 3

It’s a couple of months now since my last update on progress with EODEM (the Exhibition Object Data Exchange Model) – so what have we been doing? The short answer is: issued a further draft of the standard; and drawn up a stylesheet which demonstrates how XSLT can be used to transform a heavily-nested EODEM LIDO XML document into a flatter structure (actually CSV, as flat as they come), closer to many that used by many collections management systems.

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EODEM update 2

Since I last wrote about EODEM (the Exhibition Object Data Exchange Model), three months ago, we have been busy. The net result is a new draft of the standard (now available via CIDOC’s new document repository, by the way.) Whilst this is not yet final, it marks a significant evolution of the draft, and we don’t expect to make too many more changes.

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EODEM update 1

I was very pleased to hear EODEM referred to last week,1 during the third Balboa Park Online Collaborative webinar on Dreaming of a New Collections Management System (a really interesting series, well worth watching if you haven’t already, and have the time). But then, as it was Richard Light speaking, and he’s been hard at work recently on building an EODEM importer / exporter for MODES, perhaps it wasn’t so surprising – but this made we realise it’s time to share where we are with the EODEM project.

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  1. EODEM is the CIDOC Documentation Standards Working Group’s project to create an Exhibition Object Data Exchange Model, and see it implemented in collections management systems worldwide – but then, you knew that. []

What is EODEM?

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have noticed that I’ve been very quiet over the last year: I haven’t really been able to face social media since the pandemic started. But when I have tweeted, it’s usually been about conferences – and I’ve been making much of something called EODEM. This post is to explain what EODEM is, and why I think it’s important.

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Collections Trust 2020: systems, interoperability and aggregators

Conferences have not been the same this year: I’ve particularly missed the opportunity to catch up with friends and colleagues, and the random conversations and encounters in queues that compensate for the quality of the coffee one is waiting for. We have been left with the formal proceedings, and I wanted to say something about the papers presented at the (comparatively) recent Collections Trust conference, held online over two half-days on 1 and 2 October 2020.

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Send me your loan forms!

We’re coming up to the autumn conference season, and once again I’ll be going to the annual conference of CIDOC, the international committee for documentation that forms part of ICOM, the International Council of Museums – this year it’s in Heraklion, in Crete. Before the conference proper, I’ll be running a workshop on Sunday 30 September, along with colleagues from CIDOC’s Documentation Standards Working Group, for developers of digital collections management systems, focussed on the development of ‘EODEM’, an Exhibition Object Digital Exchange Mechanism.

We plan to kick off the development of a mechanism that lets users of different collections management systems share as easily as possible the information about their objects, and those objects’ requirements, that is needed when objects are lent from one institution to another. The lender should be able to just press a button to share the data, and the borrower just press another to import it into their system. This would eliminate a huge amount of the retyping that goes on when different museums exchange information about objects that they are lending and borrowing.

First, though, we need to identify the information that museums need to share. We’ll base the core information that identifies and describes the objects themselves on an existing standard, Object ID; but we need to know what information museums needs to share about borrowed objects’ requirements.

And here’s where I hope you can help us: the easiest way to do this will be for us to look at the information different museums request when they borrow objects. This is often requested using a ‘loan object information request form’, which the lending museum is asked to fill in for each object, giving its environmental needs, minimum security levels, etc. We’d like you to send us a copy of your museum’s ‘loan object information request form’ (blank, of course: we really don’t need sensitive individual object information, just the empty form so we can understand what you need to know). Drop me a line in the comments box at the foot of this page, and I’ll email you an address you can send the form to.

Once we have the forms, my colleagues and I will collate them all, draw up a list of the different pieces of information museums are asking for, and pass it to the system developers to incorporate into EODEM.

If all goes according to plan, future generations of registrars, exhibition organisers, and documentation staff will be forever in your debt!