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Building semantic bridges between museums, libraries and archives: The CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (03 May 2004)
The mapping and harmonization effort has already revealed some interesting comparisons between the approaches to description taken by museums and libraries. For example, the primary objects of documentation for most museums are the unique individual objects in their collections, whereas libraries primarily catalogue the properties of classes of objects, such as editions of a book, rather than specific instances (Leboeuf, 2003).

However, there are exceptions in both communities; descriptive methods in library special collections are often more akin to museum practice, since they focus more on the unique properties of specific items, whereas the taxonomic approach to description so essential in natural history museums shares many similarities with library cataloguing.

It is becoming clear that there is much conceptual overlap between the descriptive approaches used by museums, libraries and archives, and significant resources are available for leveraging those similarities in order to make digital cultural content more accessible online.
Article URL: http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue9_5/gill/index.html

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