Data Curation: The Next Frontier

2011 Museum Computer Network (MCN) conference in Atlanta, GA Presentation given on November 18, 2011. PRESENTERS: Leonard Steinbach, Principal, Cultural Technology Strategies Diane Zorich, Cultural Heritage Consultant, Diane Zorich G√ľnter Waibel, Director, Digitization Program Office, Smithsonian Institution Dr. Helen Tibbo, Alumni Distinguished Professor, SILS - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chuck Patch, Museum Information Management Consulting, Chuck Patch Museums have moved past milestones such as placing collections online, applying best practices in metadata, bridging collection and digital asset management, and other approaches to museum information. But few are addressing data curation. Defined as "the active and ongoing management of data through their lifecycle of interest", data curation recognizes that museum data assets, like collections, require stewardship to be seen as authoritative resources for research and education. Processes for acquiring, creating, using, preserving and making these available must be documented and made transparent or they will degrade, become "orphaned", and lose value. NSF and others now require data management plans from grantees making this is a new nexus for museums, libraries, and archives. This session brings together experts from academia, scientific research, and LAM professions to describe the implications for museums and tools for addressing the challenge.