Enhancing access to digital information resources on heritage

Abdus Sattar Chaudhry (Division of Information Studies, School of Communication and Information, Singapore)
Tan Pei Jiun (Division of Information Studies, School of Communication and Information, Singapore)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Publication date: 1 December 2005



Due to various historical differences in organising, documenting and managing information across cultural institutions, cross‐domain resource discovery in the cultural heritage sector remains problematic. Leveraging on the lessons learnt from current efforts to enhance access to networked digital cultural resources, this paper seeks to explore the development of a taxonomy for the same purpose.


A methodology was developed for the construction of a 500‐term taxonomy for a Singapore‐based cultural heritage network. Based on this taxonomy, the benefits and problems of developing such a knowledge organisation system for a cultural network are also discussed.


Collecting terms and concepts from various external and internal sources was sufficient to kick‐start the taxonomy development process. One of the key aspects of the Integrated Museum and Archives System (IMAS) taxonomy is its ability to show a broad overview of the all the resources held by the National Heritage Board, regardless of originating institution.


No single scheme currently best fits the needs of cultural networks, but all can benefit from each other's learning process. The development of the IMAS taxonomy particularly benefited from the insights provided by faceted classification and the possible relationships between terms and concepts in ontology. Such guidelines and recommendations also provide much ground and basis for the NHB to start a framework for standardising documentation practices.



Sattar Chaudhry, A. and Pei Jiun, T. (2005), "Enhancing access to digital information resources on heritage", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 61 No. 6, pp. 751-776. https://doi.org/10.1108/00220410510632077

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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