Dublin Core as a tool for interoperability: Common presentation of data from archives, libraries and museums

Leif Andresen


Over the last years there has been an increasing focus on co-operation between archives, libraries and museums – particularly in local and regional contexts. This was the reason for setting up the Danish ALM standard committee appointed by the three national authorities for the ALM sectors. In February 2006 a report was completed by the committee. Dublin Core is recommended as the common format for content information to which selected parts of individual databases can be mapped. The selection is based on relevance of data according to search and presentation. The 15 basis DC elements are complemented with DC refinements, Administrative Components and supplements from the developed dkdcplus schema. XML is recommended as exchange format and a XML schema called dkabm collects XML schemas belonging to the built-in content formats.

With the dkabm as starting point, Dublin Core as basis for technical interoperability between different domains is analysed. The analysis covers both the content that is processed and the handling of relation databases when mapping to record-based formats like Dublin Core. Furthermore the chosen extensions to Dublin Core are analysed according to possible disadvantages of Dublin Core as exchange format. The conclusion is that Dublin Core is useful. There are some minor disadvantages, but no alternatives.

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