Title:The BABEL Project: A Museums and Libraries Network
Authors:Guillermo Cisneros, José Maria Martinez, Jésús Bescós
Publication:MW98: Museums and the Web 1998

BABEL is a project aiming to create a network of Museums and Libraries in Spain, compatible being with the European initiatives, to make possible a teleconsult of their databases either from the Internet or from any public network point with access segment to the Internet. The teleconsult system must be based on a common manual, but respecting heterogeneities, particularities, and personalizations of the object registration cards resident being in the different Museums and Libraries (may be also at the level of different Departments of every Museum or Library). BABEL is a capitalization of results coming from projects sponsored by the European Commission, and the idea is to extend a network as much as possible by means of incorporating associate members to BABEL. These associate members may be information providers and users simultaneously, or only users. Another objective is the creation of a common information point to enter the Culture Spanish network (PIC) called Virtual Museum and Virtual Library. The user can navigate through descriptors resident being in this PIC, and then decide which databases are to be consulted. Normalization of a few fields must be agreed to make it possible the navigation in this PIC, but the personalization of the registration cards is kept in the different databases belonging to the Museums and Libraries. The participation of selected sponsors is crucial for the establishment of the PIC and for ensuring postproject actions to keep the BABEL fundamentals. BABEL is in line with the preparation of Museums and Libraries for its new role of service providers, converging with initiatives such as the Memorandum of Understanding launched by the European Commission.