Seb Chan, Director of Digital & Emerging Media at the Cooper-Hewitt, believes this is the direction that museums and other collecting institutions need to go:
With the growing Digital Humanities field, there is increasing value in scholars being able to ‘see’ a collection at a macro, zoomed out level – something which just isn’t possible with search interfaces. Likewise the release of such data under liberal licenses or to the public domain brings closer a future in which cross-institutional discovery is the norm. (…) Philosophically, too, the public release of collection metadata asserts, clearly, that such metadata is the raw material on which interpretation through exhibitions, catalogues, public programmes, and experiences are built. On its own, unrefined, it is of minimal ‘value’ except as a tool for discovery. It also helps remind us that collection metadata is not the collection itself (See full post).
Van Hooland, Seth, Ruben Verborgh, and Rik Van de Walle. Joining the Linked Data Cloud in a Cost-Effective Manner. Information Standards Quarterly, 2012 Spring/Summer, 24(2/3):24-28.
Cooper-Hewitt Labs: A behind the scenes look at what goes on in the Digital & Emerging Media department at Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City.