Artefacts Canada Modernization is Moving Forward!

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September 2016

In its December 2015 newsletter, the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) announced its plans to move forward with the modernization of Artefacts Canada.

Pilot Project Completed

In the months following the December 2015 newsletter, CHIN and various Canadian museum contributors have been hard at work completing a pilot project entitled “150 Years of Canadian Art”. This pilot project was undertaken with the help of eight museums across Canada – the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the McCord Museum, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Musée des beaux arts de Montréal, the National Gallery of Canada, and the Vancouver Art Gallery – and was completed in March 2016.

Linked Open Data Approach Tested

The intent of this preliminary project was to test a new approach called Linked Open Data (LOD) and to lay the foundation for the full modernization of Artefacts Canada. Europeana defines LOD as a way of publishing structured data that allows metadata to be connected and enriched, so that different representations of the same content can be found, and links made between related resources. An instructional video developed by Europeana about LOD provides a good overview of the concept.

CHIN has undertaken this project to help Canadian museums and galleries share their data with each other and the world. The current pilot project focuses on “linked” data rather than “open” data, and has relatively small number of records, from just a handful of galleries. The project team has taken current data from Artefacts Canada, and enhanced it by linking to LOD sources around the world. In this application, when users begin to explore a school of art, an artist or a particular painting, they will see complementary biographical and background information. Perhaps more importantly, Canadians will discover new themes and relationships linking these works and artists.

Artefacts Canada Modernization Project

The objective of any eventual modernization of Artefacts Canada  will be to take it from a specialized product of use primarily to experts – to a resource that average Canadians can also use to browse, discover, share and re-use collections data in creative ways. The full modernization of Artefacts Canada  is planned for completion in 2018. By this time, CHIN hopes that this new approach can be applied to the 5 million records already housed in Artefacts Canada.

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact CHIN, we would love to hear from you, and obtain your participation in this initiative.  We will be sending further details to keep you informed of our plans as they develop.  Stay tuned!

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One Response to Artefacts Canada Modernization is Moving Forward!

  1. Ann McIntyre says:

    I’m not sure how a small town museum would fit into this

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