The Computer Interchange of Museum Information (CIMI), operating from 1990-2003, was charged with creating and introducing the international museum community to the concept of adopting metadata industry standards. The CIMI consortium exceeded its original mission by; creating a standards framework, profile, testbeds, important metadata publications, free downloadable metadata software and protocols, and providing instrumental guidance and support in development of new projects. However, CIMI’s emphasis on the importance and utility of a standards-based approach and the necessity for implementing the CIMI Standards Framework is probably its most important achievement. During CIMI’s tenure, museums reaped the benefits by learning how to apply the model and standards to meet their individual needs while not having to invent new ones or bear the cost of software development. Although CIMI operations ceased in 2003, its impacts on museum related metadata application and research were unprecedented in that it provided the standards prototype and foundations on which to build. This paper discusses what CIMI bequeathed to the next generation of museum metadata field developers and describes the anticipated realm of future projects and advancement.
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