Descriptive standards and collection management software for documentary heritage management: attitudes and experiences of information professionals
journal contributionposted on 01.07.2021, 03:22 by Chelsea Renshaw, Chern Liew
Purpose This paper aims to examine the attitudes and experiences of information professionals with descriptive standards and collection management systems (CMSs) used for managing documentary heritage collections held by cultural heritage institutions in New Zealand (NZ). The aim is that such insights will inform decision-making around promoting documentary heritage collections discoverability and accessibility, in terms of advocating for appropriate system requirements when procuring or updating CMSs, and application of descriptive standards. Design/methodology/approach A qualitative design was applied to investigate the attitudes and experiences of information professionals working in libraries, archives and records management institutions, museums and public galleries. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with thirteen participants who worked across ten different cultural heritage institutions. Findings The findings reveal that variances among metadata in libraries, museums, public galleries, archives and records management institutions continue to lead to challenges around discovery and access of documentary heritage. If opportunities for connecting documentary heritage collections in the age of linked data are to be realized, the sector needs to work collectively to address these variances along with consideration of the CMSs used. The study findings highlight issues currently affecting the NZ cultural heritage sector goal to make collections discoverable and more widely accessible. Originality/value The findings highlight a need for deeper research into CMSs used by the cultural heritage sector as these systems have an impact on metadata management including constraining the application of appropriate descriptive standards for documentary heritage collections.