EODEM resources

This page will hold links to various resources related to EODEM, the Exhibition Object Data Exchange Mechanism, whose development is being coordinated by the CIDOC Documentation Standards Working Group (DSWG).

What is EODEM?

A framework that will enable museum databases to export objects’ data from one system at the press of a button, and import the data into another system at the press of a button.

An animation showing how EODEM would be used to transfer data about an object from lender to borrower
How EODEM should work

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Why is EODEM necessary?

Because, in a normal year, museum staff manually copy the details of thousands of objects from their databases, and send them to other museums that wish to borrow those objects. The borrowing museums’ staff then manually copy those details back into their own systems.

For example, over the ten years from 2010 to 2019, staff at the National Gallery in London have entered the details of between 180 and 607 new exhibition loan objects per year into their collections management system – and average of 405 a year.

Assuming six hours per working day are spent doing actual work (rather than going to meetings, drinking coffee, chatting, etc.), that means that their quietest year saw between 7 and 10 days spent on data entry, and their busiest, between 25 and 33. So on average, they’ve spent between 16 and 22 days a year entering exhibition object data into TMS – a total over the ten years of somewhere between 164 and 224 days: as a worst case, that’s an entire working year over the last ten years spent on data entry. And those figures ignore the work done providing information for loans out.

To be fair, the National Gallery does have a comparatively large exhibition programme – but it’s still fairly typical of large museums.

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Specifications and samples

EODEM

LIDO 1.1

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Presentations

Digital Transformation in Cultural Heritage Institutions (CIDOC Annual Conference, 2020)

Introduction to the Exhibition Object Data Exchange Mechanism (EODEM), workshop, 7 December 2020

In a normal year, museum staff manually copy the details of thousands of objects from their databases and send them to other museums that wish to borrow those objects. The borrowing museums’ staff then manually copy those details back into their own systems. The CIDOC Documentation Standards Working  Group’s EODEM project aims to make the whole process much quicker and simpler, by establishing a framework that will enable museum databases to export an object’s data from one system at the press of a button, and import that data into another system as easily as possible.

Working Group Chair Maija Ekosaari describes how this all got started. Project lead Rupert Shepherd explains how it will work, and some of the challenges encountered along the way. Working group member (and previous Chair) Richard Light will join the discussion with some insights into implementing EODEM.

Introduction to The Exhibition Object Data Exchange Mechanism (EODEM), online workshop at the CIDOC annual conference, 7 December 2020.

A case-study in collaboration: the LIDO and EODEM working groups, workshop, 8 December 2020

Despite collaborating for several months, this will be the first formal get-together of the EODEM project and the LIDO Working group. The aim of the meeting is to briefly introduce the EODEM project and the LIDO profile it has created and to discuss more generally the opportunities for developing profiles within the updated framework of LIDO v1.1.

Project Lead Rupert Shepherd and LIDO Chair Regine Stein will share what the two groups learnt from the co-operation: what brought results, and what would they would do differently. Participants are encouraged to ask questions and work together to find the answers.

A case-study in collaboration: the LIDO and EODEM working groups, online workshop at the CIDOC annual conference, 8 December 2020

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Dynamic Information for Dynamic Collections (Collections Trust Annual Conference, 2020)

The Exhibition Object Data Exchange Mechanism (EODEM), presented by Rupert Shepherd, 1 October 2020

In a normal year, museum staff manually copy the details of thousands of objects from their databases, and send them to other museums that wish to borrow those objects. The borrowing museums’ staff then manually copy those details back into their own systems. CIDOC’s EODEM project aims to make the whole process much quicker and simpler by establishing a framework that will enable museum databases to export objects’ data from one system at the press of a button, and import the data into another system as easily as possible. Project lead Rupert Shepherd explains how it will work, and some of the challenges encountered along the way.

Link to text

The Exhibition Object Data Exchange Mechanism (EODEM), as presented at the Collections Trust conference, 1 October 2020

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How to participate

If you’re interested in collaborating in the EODEM project – particularly if you want to implement EODEM in a collections management system – please get in touch with me (Rupert Shepherd) using the Contact page on this site.

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