Currently there is no defined standard or community agreement about unique and persistent identifiers for museum objects on the internet.

Persistent identifiers used in other domains have a different scope, are not suitable to identify real-world objects or require a cost-intensive maintenance infrastructure.

MuseumID provides a free and easy solution to create and use museum object identifiers. There is no need to replace already established inventory numbers or to run a complex technological infrastructure.

MuseumID is a proposal to the International Council of Museums (ICOM) for a recommendation about museum identifiers and museum object identifiers.


  • Uniqueness: MuseumID's uniqueness is guaranteed by a standardized workflow and the use of well-known algorithms.
  • Persistency: MuseumIDs do not consist of any part that refers to a real world item (an URL, a name, a place etc.). It is persistent once assigned to a museum object or museum.
  • Processability: MuseumIDs use standard ASCII characters and arabic numbers so they integrate smoothly in the current internet technological infrastructure.
  • Standardisation: MuseumIDs are created using a well-defined and documented workflow and structure.
  • Automation: MuseumIDs are fully automatically created using standardized and established techniques.


MuseumID is a proposal about persistent identifiers for museums and museum objects. It defines the format of such identifiers and describes a workflow and techniques to create and use them.

Objects play the central role in museums. MuseumID takes this into account and enables the representation of real-world museum objects on the internet. A MuseumID identifies the real object or museum itself and not any data about it.

The primary purpose of these identifiers is their usage in the context of semantic web services and the linked open data cloud. MuseumIDs are a crucial part of the global exchange of metadata regarding museum objects and the knowledge about them.