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

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
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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:
GŁnter 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
-    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
-    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.

Jenn Riley
Metadata Librarian
Digital Library Program
Indiana University - Bloomington
Wells Library E170
(812) 856-5759

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