Arbitrary borders? New partnerships for cultural heritage siblings – libraries, archives and museums: creating integrated descriptive systems

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Timms, Katherine V.
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This thesis explores the topic of convergence of descriptive systems between different cultural heritage institutions — libraries, archives and museums. The primary purpose of integrated descriptive systems is to enable researchers to access cultural heritage information through one portal. Beginning with definitions of each type of cultural heritage institution and a historical overview of their evolution, the thesis then provides an analysis of similarities and differences between these institutions with respect to purpose, procedures, and perspective. The latter half of the thesis first provides a historical overview of each discipline’s descriptive practices with a brief comparative analysis before discussing various methods by which these institutions can create integrated descriptive systems. The overall emphasis is on complementary similarities between the institutions and the potential for cross-sectoral collaboration that these similarities enable. The conclusion of the thesis is that creating integrated descriptive systems is desirable and well within current technological capabilities.
libraries, archives, museums, cultural heritage, descriptive standards, descriptive systems, integrated descriptive systems, metadata