Title:The International Museum Community’s Position in the Internet Domain Name System
Authors:Cary Karp
Publication:MW97: Museums and the Web 1997

One of the fundamental bases for the operation of the Internet is the Domain Name System (DNS). This is a rigorously structured distributed database system that is used to translate such things as the names of Web sites into the numerical addresses used to establish communication with host computers. The number of top level domains (.COM, .ORG, .UK, etc) contained in the DNS is in the process of being expanded. This may result in the museum community being able to establish a greater degree of sectorial identity than it currently has. A domain designation has obvious potential for providing an easily remembered means for locating an organization\'s network resources. Unfortunately, the demand for attractive domain names far exceeds the supply. One of the reasons for the current DNS revision is to provide some relief from this difficulty. If the museum community wishes to take advantage of this potential it needs to articulate its needs clearly and take corresponding action. This presentation is intented to discuss possible approaches towards this end. It will be introduced by a description of the basic workings of the DNS and the domain registration process. Particular attention will be paid to international initiatives designed to enhance the heritage sector\'s prominence both in the DNS and in other registries of network resources.