Describing Collections & Collection Services for the BTP

Timothy W. Cole, Myung Ja Han, Doug Moncur, Harriett E. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Libraries facilitate the use of information by collating related items to create distinct, cohesive collections. As libraries have acquired and generated more digital content, the need to agree on a standard method for describing digital collections has become increasingly evident. Shared rules for collection description not only facilitate discovery; they also have the potential to facilitate the reuse of collections and collection items. In the last decade, work has focused largely on standards and practices that facilitate collection discovery and provide human-readable descriptions of collections. With the advent of projects such as the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and now the Bamboo Technology Project (BTP), there is a need to consider computer-mediated collection interoperability and computer-agent collection use as well. This requires more attention in collection descriptions to machine-actionable descriptions of collection-level services and suggests benefits possible through greater reliance on Semantic Web technologies such as the Resource Description Format (RDF). Experience from the Institute of Museum of Library Services Digital Collections and Content (IMLS DCC) project at University of Illinois also indicates that content-providers on their own typically do not produce collectionlevel descriptions that are adequate for some functions that aggregators want to deploy. This suggests that the creation of collection-level descriptions should be a collaborative enterprise. In the context of the BTP, this paper discusses the current practice of creating collection-level descriptions and introduces new developments and emerging approaches which can drive and support collection content interoperability at a more robust level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-79
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the International Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications
StatePublished - 2011
EventInternational Conference on Dublin Core and Metadata Applications, DC-2011 - The Hague, Netherlands
Duration: Sep 21 2011Sep 23 2011


  • ANDS
  • Bamboo Technology Project
  • Collection description
  • Collection description application profiles
  • Collection-level service description
  • Digital humanities
  • RDF
  • RIF-CS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Software


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