Standards in a new bibliographic world
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Copyright (c) 2022 Renate Behrens
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Jointly developed and agreed standards are essential for description and exchange of data on cultural assets. We are at a turning point here. Standards with broad acceptance must move away from strict sets of rules and towards framework models. To meet this challenge, we need to fundamentally rethink the conception of standards.
Cultural institutions hold treasures and want to make them accessible to a wide range of interested parties. What was only possible on site not so long ago, now also takes place in virtual space and users worldwide can access the content. To make this possible, all resources must be provided with sufficient and sustainable metadata. Many sets of rules and standards can do this and aim to make the exchange of data as international and large-scale as possible.
But does this also apply to special materials? Is a lock of hair to be recorded in the same way as a book, or is an opera to be redorded in the same way as a globe? By now, it is clear to everyone involved that this is not the case. Far too much expertise is required for this, which is not available in the breadth of cataloguing. This is quite different in the special communities, where this expertise is available and many projects and working groups are working intensively on the relevant topics. In order to bundle these approaches and enable more effective cooperation, the colleagues must be networked and embedded in a suitable organisational structure. This is the only way to achieve results that are accepted by a broad range of users and at the same time are sustainable and reliable.
This article is intended as an introduction to a future discussion and does not aim to provide answers.