History of Collaboration between Yale’s Libraries, Museums, and ITS

2008 - A newly-formed Office for Digital Access and Infrastructure (ODAI) establishes a high-level for collaboration across Cultural Heritage units at Yale.    This effort generated an Open Access Policy for representations of works in the public domain, as well as a first-generation cross-collections discovery platform that includes digital artifacts from the Yale Center for British Art, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Peabody Museum for Natural History, and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.    The effort also generated a shared, sustainable structure for Digital Asset Management for Yale’s three museums that has evolved and expanded over the years.

2016 - Susan Gibbons appointed as the Yale’s first Vice-Provost for Collections and Scholarly Communications

2017 - Cultural Heritage IT Pillar created

  • Regular convening of cultural heritage directors
  • Regular convening of cultural heritage IT and collections representatives
  • Financial incentives to collaborate with University IT
  • Urgency for museum solution for digital asset management and digital preservation

2018  - Start of 5-year project to Improve Access to Yale’s Collections

  • Project funding secured for Year 1 of project
  • Expansion of scope beyond metadata for digital assets to include Library bibliographic records (ORBIS) and archival finding aids (Archives at Yale)

2019 - Highlights

  • Project Management begins
  • Cross Collections Discovery - Literature Review
  • IIIF Programming for Yale’s Cultural Heritage Staff
  • Cross Collections Discovery - Vision, Mission Statement, Name and Requirements
  • Development of shared metadata schema
  • $500,000 grant award from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation for metadata reconciliation and harmonization

2020 - Highlights

  • Proof of Concept (POC) for LUX: Yale Cross Collections Discovery unites more than 15 million object record data in a shared Solr index and searchable interface
  • Multiple iterations of POC to improve local harmonization and data mapping
  • POC work demonstrates the need for a different metadata model to support the LUX Vision
  • COVID-19 forces deep project budget cuts and deferral of build for one fiscal-year cycle (gap year)
  • Dr. Rob Sanderson joins Yale as the Director of Cultural Heritage Metadata
  • Start of grant-funded metadata harmonization, reconciliation and enrichment
  • Refactoring of the LUX Metadata schema to a robust Linked Data model, thus enabling LUX to take full-advantage of knowledge graph technology and external sources to enrich Yale’s Cultural Heritage dataset

2021 Highlights

  • Six month evaluation of both open-source and vended linked-data management technologies to support LUX
  • Selection of technology solution
  • Start of LUX 1.0 Build
  • Begin to identify future opportunities to for research, collaboration and shared services

For more details, the following presentation by Larry Gall provides additional history and context for the CHIT Collaboration and the LUX project: