CHIN Data Dictionaries

The Canadian Heritage Information Network's Data Dictionaries for the Humanities have proven to be valuable reference tools for the management of museum and gallery collections information.

A data dictionary defines all the categories or types of information in a database. The CHIN Data Dictionaries are not a data structure for use in a collections management system, but they can be used as the basis for such a structure. They can be used by a wide range of museums to help them to identify their institution's information needs and standardize their documentation.

Each data field in the CHIN Data Dictionaries is described by a field label, a mnemonic, and a name. Fields include a definition, entry rules, related fields, a data type, examples, a discipline, authority lists, a source, and other information. The CHIN Data Dictionaries are used:

  • as the standard for Canadian institutions that contribute collections data to CHIN's Artefacts Canada;
  • as guidelines for institutions which are developing or modifying a collections management system;
  • to promote the consistent recording of information by cataloguers, or to provide users of collections databases with search strategies.

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