***Please excuse cross-posting***


CDWA-Lite is a lightweight XML schema that describes core information for cultural materials and their visual surrogates.  It is described below.


The Advisory Committee for this standard is seeking broad community review of it from a technical viewpoint as well as for its value in collection cataloging and access/sharing.  We encourage completion of the survey (or those parts of it you are comfortable with) at 


While the survey will provide the most useful basis for review, additional comments outside the survey are welcome at [log in to unmask]


Please respond before 31 May 2007.  We anticipate a discussion of the results of this review in conjunction with the MCN meeting in Chicago, 7

- 10 November 2007.


CDWA-Lite Advisory Committee:

Günter Waibel, OCLC/RLG

Nick Poole, MDA

Erin Coburn, Getty Museum

Nancy Allen, ARTstor

Jenn Riley, Indiana University

Michael Jenkins, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Kenneth Hamma, Getty Trust






Over the last two years ARTstor, the J. Paul Getty Trust, and RLG Programs/OCLC have worked together to develop an XML schema to describe cultural materials and their surrogates to provide an easier and more sustainable model for contributing to union resources.  This initiative was driven by the absence of a data content standard specifically designed for unique cultural works, and a technical format for expressing this data in a machine-readable format. 


The result of this effort is CDWA Lite, an XML schema based on the core elements from Categories for the Description of Works of Art (CDWA), a framework for documenting and organizing information on cultural works and images.  CDWA Lite is intentionally *lightweight,* to encourage and facilitate its use even by small institutions in cataloging, online publishing, and exposing metadata. 


The schema recommends using Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO), a data content standard for unique cultural works that provides guidelines for selecting, ordering, and formatting data used to populate elements. It is designed to promote good descriptive cataloging, shared documentation, and enhanced end-user access.  CDWA Lite was specifically designed for use with the OAI Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAI/PMH), which is a standard for delivering, sharing, and disseminating metadata records expressed in XML syntax.


CDWA Lite is made up of 22 descriptive and administrative elements, of which only 9 are required; it is not meant to be a comprehensive element set for describing or cataloging works in a collection.  Instead, a CDWA Lite record contains the minimal amount of relevant and critical information needed for facilitating ease of access to unique cultural works in the online environment.  CDWA Lite reflects the core descriptive documentation traditionally captured about works in collections, which makes adoption of this model for contributing records to union resources all the more attainable.  


CDWA Lite intends to meet the following objectives:


-     To provide a simple, low-barrier model for capturing the

essential amount of information about unique cultural works in order to facilitate a high return on accessibility and resource discovery. The minimal set of information needed to facilitate ease of access to collections.

-     To reduce the overhead and labor involved in contributing to

aggregated resources and digital repositories. Format and export data one time only in a standards-based way for contribution to a variety of

*venues* in the online environment.

-     To ensure a method for being able to provide updated, accurate

information about works of art that are accessible in the online environment.  Data integrity and accuracy occurs at the source of the collection.

-     To provide a mechanism for bringing users back to a resource in

its native environment.  Learn more about a work in the context of its larger collection. 


The Advisory Committee will organize a public meeting to discuss responses to the CDWA Lite survey and other feedback received from the community during the MCN conference in November 2007, which will take place in Chicago.




Günter Waibel
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RLG Programs, OCLC
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