Collections Principle 7

Collections Principle 7: A good collection is interoperable.

Collection developers should design their services to support interoperability, particularly the ability to share their metadata with external search engines. At an early stage in the collection design process, collection developers should scan the landscape for related efforts. Collection developers should be aware of and in contact with related efforts, follow widely accepted benchmarks for quality of content and of metadata, and provide adequate collection description for users to place one collection in the context of others. This is a way to expand the use and usefulness of digital collections and may help gain sustainable support for them.

Making collections interoperable will also open up new opportunities for re-purposing the contents of a collection. We can assume that current delivery and access services may evolve into mechanisms that are inconceivable thus far. The National Library of Australia’s IT Architecture Project Report ( alludes to this in both its content and recommendations.

The Google Webmaster Tools website ( provides free tools to improve Google indexing of any website.

For more on collection description, see Collections Principle 2.

For more on sharable metadata, see Metadata Principle 2.

For more on interoperable objects, see Objects Principle 3. 

Last updated: 04/17/2008