This page provides an introduction to EODEM, the Exhibition Object Data Exchange Model, and links to related resources. The development of EODEM is being coordinated by the CIDOC Documentation Standards Working Group (DSWG).
Follow these links to further resources
What is EODEM?
A framework that will enable museum databases to export objects’ data from one system at the press of a button, and import the data into another system at the press of a button.
Why is EODEM necessary?
Because, in a normal year, museum staff manually copy the details of thousands of objects from their databases, and send them to other museums that wish to borrow those objects. The borrowing museums’ staff then manually copy those details back into their own systems.
For example, over the ten years from 2010 to 2019, staff at the National Gallery in London have entered the details of between 180 and 607 new exhibition loan objects per year into their collections management system – and average of 405 a year.
Assuming six hours per working day are spent doing actual work (rather than going to meetings, drinking coffee, chatting, etc.), that means that their quietest year saw between 7 and 10 days spent on data entry, and their busiest, between 25 and 33. So on average, they’ve spent between 16 and 22 days a year entering exhibition object data into our collections management system – a total over the ten years of somewhere between 164 and 224 days: as a worst case, that’s an entire working year over the last ten years spent on data entry. And those figures ignore the work done providing information for loans out.
To be fair, the National Gallery does have a comparatively large exhibition programme – but it’s still fairly typical of large museums.
How to participate
If you’re interested in collaborating in the EODEM project – particularly if you want to implement EODEM in a collections management system – please get in touch with Rupert Shepherd using the Contact page on his website.