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A new approach to automated museum documentation

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(1) Microcomputers may render the same services to the individual museums as mainframes and/or networks. When a sizable amount of data is entered in several museums they may be integrated in ‘loosely coupled systems’, that share data as and when required.

(2) The museum staff is motivated more readily by working with a small in-house system that they may control themselves than when they have to work with a system, however extended the help and facilities it provides, that is outside their control.

(3) Data for an automated system may correspond in format to the traditional ones for manual documentation.

(4) The input format should be easily manipulable, both at programming level and from the user's point of view. This ‘user friendliness’ should provide an efficient use of manpower resources, e.g., by concentrating on a few selected fields, by copying fields with identical entries, etc.

(5) If the retrieval program incorporates three essential components—AND/OR/NOT operators, full field control and inverted file searching—a high precision-recall ratio may be expected, even when relatively few fields are used.

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J. J. Paijmans studied art history at the University of Amsterdam, and is now researching the application of computers in museums at Leiden University while teaching computer science at The Reinwardt Academy, also in Leiden. A. A. Verrijn-Stuart, who studied physics at the University of Amsterdam, was involved in various operations research, computer and planning activities. He is now professor of computer science at the University of Leiden.

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Paijmans, J.J., Verrijn-Stuart, A.A. A new approach to automated museum documentation. Comput Hum 16, 145–155 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02259758

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  • Automate System
  • Computational Linguistic
  • Field Control
  • Programming Level
  • Input Format