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Subject: CIMI Consortium formed

CIMI Consortium formed

From: John Perkins <jperkins>
Date: Monday, January 31, 1994
Museum Computer Network to continue its work on open interchange
standards through the CIMI Consortium

The Museum Computer Network (MCN) is pleased to announce the formation
of the CIMI Consortium to continue the pursuit of a standards-based
approach to the automated recording and retrieval of museum information
along with mechanisms for its interchange and availability on digital

Three prestigious international organizations, the Canadian Heritage
Information Network (CHIN), the Getty Art History Information Program
(AHIP), and the Research Libraries Group Inc. (RLG) have joined with MCN
to provide primary sponsorship for the consortium for an initial three
year period. In recognition of the importance of MCN's previous work
developing a Standards Framework for the Computer Interchange of Museum
Information, the sponsoring organizations are providing $US225,000 over
the next three years to support the consortium.

MCN president Diane Zorich said:

    "We are committed to seeing CIMI continue and the CIMI Standards
    Framework brought to life, and do not want to lose the efforts and
    momentum that CIMI has generated for museum interchange standards."

In addition, the CIMI Consortium has 6 participating members
contributing $US5,000 per year: The Smithsonian Institution/National
Museum of American Art, the US National Gallery of Art, the University
of California at Berkeley Museum Informatics Project, the University of
California Office of the President, and the Coalition for Networked
Information (CNI).

Rounding out the participating organizations is RAMA, a consortium of
seven European Museums and telecommunications organizations including
the Ashmolean, the Museon, the Musee d'Orsay, the Prado, the Pergamon,
the Goulandris and Telesystems France Telecom. CIMI also has commitments
in principle from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Museum
Documentation Association in the UK and international interest from
individual museums and commercial enterprises.

CIMI has endorsements from many national and international organizations
including the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI), the
associations representing systematics collections (ASC), and science and
technology centres (ASTC). This builds on the original support for CIMI
from the Association for State and Local History (AASLH), the American
Association of Museums (AAM) and the International Council of Museums'
(ICOM) documentation committee CIDOC.

CIMI intends to start up immediately and will undertake a program of
work commensurate with the available funding. This work will be directed
by John Perkins, who managed the original CIMI project and co-authored
the CIMI Standards Framework. The positive response by museums does not
surprise Perkins, who commented:

    "Museums all over the world are tremendously interested in the uses
    of digital information highways and in electronic ways of making
    information available such as CD-ROM and multimedia. With museums
    being mentioned in the Clinton-Gore administration's recent
    announcements on the US National Information Infrastructure, and the
    European Community and Canadian federal interest in access to
    heritage information, museums want to be positioned to respond. CIMI
    provides a forum for that."

Mission and Goals

The mission of the CIMI Consortium will be to promote an open,
standards-based approach to the creation and interchange of information
relating to the professional and business activities of museums and
cultural heritage organizations internationally. This is being done in
order to enrich scholarship and enhance organizational performance.
Initially, effort be focused in three areas:

    1.  monitoring and reporting on standards issues internationally
        that impact museums by publishing CIMI News as a bi-annual
        insert in MCN's quarterly journal SPECTRA and publishing

    2.  promoting CIMI and creating awareness of the benefits of
        interchange standards and their importance to the museum
        community. This will include prospecting for members,
        participating in collaborations with organizations such as
        CIDOC, CNI, and other standards efforts;

    3.  undertaking a program of pilot projects as proofs-of-concept in
        the development of interchange format specifications for objects
        and their associated images and for collections-level
        descriptions, and an application profile for a Z39.50 based
        information retrieval of those types of records.

In addition CIMI hopes to support and coordinate community
standardization efforts and participate in international information
standards development. These efforts may take the form of publishing,
working with museums to specify information and data standards,
developing standardized naming conventions for museum data entities and
elements, and supporting development of implementations relevant to
museum information interchange. For more information about the CIMI
Consortium contact: John Perkins at jperkins [at] fox__nstn__ns__ca (Internet
email), 902-826-2824 (voice), 902-826-1337 (fax)

John Perkins
CIMI Project Manager
Consortium for the Computer Interchange of Museum Information
16 Schooner Dr.
Head of St. Margarets, NS B0J 1G0 Canada
fax: 902-826-1337

                  Conservation DistList Instance 7:57
                 Distributed: Friday, February 4, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-7-57-007
Received on Monday, 31 January, 1994

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