LIDO FAQ – General questions

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What is the purpose of LIDO?

LIDO allows to publish collection data in multi-source (web) databases independently from the cataloguing software used in the institution. Thus you may publish your data in different portals. By using LIDO, you make available your data in a standardized format. Without further transformation or adaption, it allows the interoperability at data structure level from different sources within a web portal.
LIDO was developed for the needs of different collections such as art, science, technology, and cultural or natural history. Its data modelling is well adapted to expert requirements and allows for sophisticated methods for searching and navigating in the data.

What do I have to do to use LIDO?

  1. Select the objects of your collection you want to see published.
  2. Decide which information (resp. from which data categories) on your objects should be published.
  3. Check if your database software supports the export of data to LIDO. If you don’t know for sure, ask your software provider. Possibly you will need more technical advice and support.
  4. Collection documentation specialists in your institution should attend to the content-related mapping of the selected categories of your database to LIDO categories. The mapping may vary for different parts of your collection. Sometimes an individual category from your database may be mapped to several LIDO categories.

Can I use LIDO with my cataloguing software?

Ask your software provider! We recommend strongly to ask for a demonstration. Check with data describing a broad range of different objects from various parts of the collection if the output meets your expectation.

What are the expenses for using LIDO?

There is no licence fee for LIDO. There is a one-off effort for mapping your data to LIDO, and, possibly, for adapting your cataloguing software.

What does mapping mean?

Mapping is the expert term for assigning data categories of one data format to the categories of a different format.

Do I have to transfer all of my data to LIDO?

No – you select which data will be published. First, you select the range of objects to be included. Then, you assess which information about these objects will be published.

How do I have to prepare my collection data for LIDO?

Normally, your data will not need any special preparation. Like before any publication, some editorial changes to contents and form may be preferable, and they require additional effort. You decide to which extent this should be done.

What about data that cannot be mapped to LIDO?

These data will not be published. As a publication format LIDO is not designed to cover the full range of collection documentation.

Do you have any further questions?

For questions or feedback about LIDO please send an email to
You may also subscribe to the LIDO listserv at

Go to “LIDO FAQ – Practical questions”