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In order to develop Europe-wide standards for knowledge storage, it is necessary to take stock both of the existing formats for information storage and of the standards for structuring and processing the content of information (for example, in museum databases, in comprehensive files such as complete indexes, work lists, artist encyclopaedias, in thesauri, keyword lists, classifications for DeepL descriptions, etc.).
This processing concerns both the purely technical exchange between museums and the open access to digital resources for the general public offered on the Internet. In cooperation with various partners, the Institute for Museum Research therefore develops recommendations for basic inventory schemes (e.g. "Leitfaden für die Dokumentation von Museumsobjekten" [DOWNLOAD pdf], instructions for documentation practice (Spectrum), technical data exchange formats and instruments such as LIDO as well as vocabularies relevant to the museum sector.

A whole series of questions relevant to museums are dealt with in standards in Germany and worldwide, i.e. attempts are made to establish a common basic framework, to write down jointly valid regulations, and to create a structure for action in certain areas. The aim is always to make work easier and save costs as well as to improve interchangeability and compatibility between individual services, products and systems, for example within a museum, a regional museum association, between museums in their loan agreements, data deliveries and so on worldwide.

Such standards are developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), by the German Institute for Standardization (Deutsches Institut für Normung e. V.) and by the German Institute for Standardization (Deutsches Institut für Normung e. V.). (DIN), which is also the German partner in ISO, and in the Comité Européen de Normalisation (CEN) for European Standards (EN), also on the German side by DIN. The work on ISO, EN and DIN standards is carried out by honorary experts in the individual countries. The Rathgen-Forschungslabor, for example, also participates from the National Museums in Berlin.

In the field of European standardisation, the CEN/TC 346 Committee deals with cultural heritage, conservation, fixed and movable heritage. The programme includes more than 50 planned standards, but many on specialised individual aspects. One of the working groups of the CEN/TC 346 Committee deals with the definitions of technical terms in the field of "cultural heritage", in which Axel Ermert of the Institute for Museum Research is involved. The standard with a recommendation for the handling of showcases has not yet been completed. A standardisation on the subject of packaging methods (transport and packaging) is about to be adopted. One of the points of discussion between museum representatives and service providers, but also between the individual countries, is whether each loan should be preceded by a site visit - many experts consider the effort to be too high.