Catalog vs curate

Julian Humphries jmh3 at CORNELL.EDU
Wed Sep 13 09:45:23 CDT 1995

>One of the troubling issues in creating systems to manage online
>catalogs is how those systems are designed (or not) to deal with
>updates/corrections/alternative opinions. In particular, how do the
>systems journal the history of corrections/etc? Most, I believe,
>don't.  Most, I believe, simply replace an erroneous/outdated/earlier
>opinion with the current thought, and irretrievably discard the older
>data (except for system backup archives, which are not the proper place
>to journal transactions). (I'd very much like to be contradicted in
>my opinion that most collections databases don't do very extensive, and
>in many cases do almost no, transaction journalling.)

The MUSE system offers (optionally) the capability to log every
change to the underlying specimen and locality data.  Each time a
record is changed it is time-stamped and the previous version is
stored in an online file in its exact previous form.  Because of the time
stamps it is fairly simple to reconstruct the historical changes to
record content without relying on system backups.  Over time such
journal files can get quite large (as you would imagine) but hey,
disk space is pretty cheap.

Julian Humphries                          Email: jmh3 at
The MUSE Project, Cornell University
83 Brown Road, Building 3
Ithaca, NY  14850  USA
Voice: 607-257-8143                       Fax:   607-257-8109

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