Logo for EODEM (Exhibition Object Data Exchange Model)

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.

First, the standard. Over the last year, we’ve developed a working draft standard, which is implemented as a profile of LIDO – we’re very grateful to Rob Tice of Knowledge Integration for a first draft of this, and of course to Regine Stein of the LIDO Working Group for answering our questions and agreeing how to accommodate EODEM’s specific needs in the new LIDO 1.1.

As a working draft, of course, the standard is still not finalised – in particular, we need to agree on some vocabulary terms, as these are crucial for identifying which data go where when importing LIDO data – but it’s stable enough for several vendors to have started work on exporters and importers, on the understanding that they may need to update their code as the final aspects of the standard are agreed. We’re currently working with the LIDO Working Group to review what they need to set EODEM up as a formal LIDO profile.

In fact a couple of implementations are more-or-less built already. Those of you that attended the EODEM workshops at the online CIDOC conference last December will have seen importers and exporters demonstrated for both Modes and MuseumPlus – thanks to the hard work of Richard Light and Jette Klein-Berning, respectively. And several other software vendors are working on exporters (comparatively easy) and importers (much trickier) right now:

AxiellAxiell Collections, Mimsy XGunder developmentunder development
Axiell / MusoftMuseionunder developmentpossibly
Knowledge IntegrationCIIMplannedno
KulturITPrimus, DigitaltMuseumunder developmentunder development
Modes Users AssociationModesunder developmentunder development
Sistemas do Futuroin arte, in patrimoniumplannedno
Userix OyCollecteplannedpossibly
ZetcomMuseumPlusunder developmentunder development
Software vendors and products implementing EODEM exporters and/or importers, as of 28 February 2021

So what next? Well:

  • with help from colleagues at CHIN and the Canadian Conservation Institute, we’re working on the outstanding vocabulary terms;
  • as I mentioned above, we’re establishing just what we need to do to set EODEM up as a formal LIDO profile;
  • we’re working out the most effective way to provide a viewer, which would let users see EODEM data in a more user-friendly form than the raw XML;
  • we’re preparing some sample datasets and XSL transforms to show developers how they might go about manipulating EODEM data for import into a collections management system

– and our working group continues to meet monthly, to review progress on all these tasks, and help any vendors who are working on EODEM implementations.

Our aim is to have the standard signed off, and live importers and exporters working with the finalised standard in at least two collections management systems, in time to demonstrate a finished product at next autumn’s round of documentation conferences. As I said before – watch this space; and, if you want to get involved, drop me a line through the contact page.

  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. []

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