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Getting it together: realising the value of museum collections data

The 2021 report of a research project led by Collections Trust and supported by the Open Data Institute. It describes a ‘framework for change’ that strongly influenced the development of the MDS in its current form.

Mapping digitised collections in England

In 2019, DCMS commissioned Collections Trust and Knowledge Integration to consider, from a technical point of view, how the Culture White Paper ambition to ‘access particular collections in depth as well as search across all collections’ might be realised. This technical feasibility study anticipated MDS’ flexible approach to working with messy and diverse collections data.

Digital collections audit

In late 2021 – early 2022, Collections Trust carried out an audit of digital collections in 264 leading museums, libraries and archives. Commissioned by the AHRC research programme Towards a National Collection, the aim was to understand the number, scale and attributes of the UK’s digital cultural heritage collections. The work included roundtables with smaller museums and archives on their readiness to join any national data-sharing initiative.

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