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on July 15, 2011 at 11:54:30 am

Helping museums make content re-usable; helping programmers access cultural and historic content


Hello!  This is a site for sharing, discussing, arguing (nicely) over and hopefully coming to some common agreements on APIs and data schemas for museum collections in the UK or worldwide.


Right now, there's a great discussion of Broadening hack days - join in! 


Next events?

Informal meetup c October 6 or 7

Larger event in November? Get in touch if you want to be involved.


Previous events

LOD-LAM London meetup


LOD-LAM (Linked Open Data for Libraries, Museums and Archives), San Francisco, June 2-3: LOD-LAM live blog

Session notes for: LOD-LAM microdata and schema(dot)org ;

LOD-LAM crowdsourcing, annotations and machine-learning

LOD-LAM Messy data and same-as

LOD-LAM crowdsourcing session notes



Linking Museums III - working with 'people' records


Notes from Linking Museum II meetup from London, September 27, 2010
Notes from the first Linking Museums write-up from the first 'Linking museums: machine-readable data in cultural heritage' meetup.


I've also created a general Events page to list upcoming events that people might be interested in.  Feel free to add listings and info to it.



A note on definitions - this is about access to and re-use of cultural heritage data.  I'm pretty acronym agnostic, and apart from the resources required to re-write output scripts, I don't think acronyms compete.  Wikipedia defines 'API' (application programming interface) as "a set of functions, procedures, methods or classes that an operating system, library or service provides to support requests made by computer programs" - there's some discussion of implementation formats on the wiki if you want to dive in.  I find the navigation on wikis a bit annoying: here's a link of all the pages in this wiki so you can get a good overview of what's on the site.


If you want to get in contact, try @mia_out on twitter (unless your account is restricted, of course), or get my email address from the register your interest page.  Or just leave a comment somewhere appropriate!


What you can do - if you work in a museum

Any or all of these would be useful:

  • Upload or copy and paste some examples from your collections data schemas - whether that's nicely marked up xml, a table structure from the databases that feed your website, even plain old HTML from an online page.
  • Link to your API
  • List the functionality of your API (through documentation, examples, whatever)
  • Talk about how you decided how to implement your API
  • Share your questions, unresolved issues
  • Explain the project to your collections documentation people, and ask for their help
  • Subscribe to the 'recent changes' feed, and pop in when you see something that interests you


What you can do - if you are a developer

  • Try any of the APIs listed, report back - was it useful, could it be made more useful?
  • Tell us what do you look for in an API, or link to APIs you think are done really well
  • Subscribe to the 'recent changes' feed, and pop in when you see something that interests you


I'm not terribly sure how to organise a discussion like this, so I'm open to suggestions.  I'd also like to see some collections people contributing so feel free to invite non-technical people.


Please feel free to edit pages or add any stuff that you think might be of use.  If commenting feels more natural than editing a page, go for it.

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