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Museum Domain Management Association
The .museum Registry


MuseDoma brings first sponsored domain to the Internet; major step in connecting the public with museums through the Web

LOS ANGELES - (November 15, 2001) The Museum Domain Management Association (MuseDoma) is now "live" with demonstration service for the top-level domain (TLD) ".museum."

The .museum TLD is the first new sponsored domain to be activated and accessible to Internet users. The domain will become the distinct online location for bona fide museums, their professional associations and individual members of the museum community. It also will make it easier for the general public to find and recognize museums and museum associations on the Internet.

"The initial response to .museum has been overwhelmingly positive," said Cary Karp, president of MuseDoma and director of Internet Strategy and Technology at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. "We have more than 2,000 preliminary name requests from cultural and scientific institutions and from national and international museum associations."

Demonstration Phase and Policy Development
The domain's start-up plan outlines several stages. During the current "demonstration" phase, selected names from those initially submitted will be made available on the Internet. Net users will be able to visit the Web sites with URLs ending in .museum and will be able to send e-mail to .museum addresses. Additional services specific to .museum might also be presented during this period. Requests for preliminary domain names will resume on Nov. 21, and further names will be added to the demonstration database on an ongoing basis.

The demonstration phase is critical, as it allows further development and refinement of .museum's naming conventions and other aspects of .museum policy. At its conclusion, the names that have been in provisional operation will then be formally registered and .museum will be in full operation.

Second-level Indexing
The .museum domain provides a Web-based index of the shared second-level domain names (SLDs) within .museum. For example, the URL http://art.museum reveals an active listing of all names registered on lower levels under this SLD, such as chicago.art.museum and renwick.art.museum. The URL http://science.museum reveals the current list of science museum names, including london.science.museum and denver.science.museum. A list of the proposed labels for SLDs can be found at: http://musedoma.museum/full_sld_list.txt, although not all of the labels will become active.

The indexing and lists provide prospective registrants with a structured basis for determining names and viewing those selected by other registrants. Karp adds, "This is intended to support a consensus-based focus to the second-level vocabulary. In the longer term, the indexing facility is envisioned as the seed for a more elaborate service as the domain develops and grows."

When .museum is fully operational MuseDoma will continue to be responsible for its day-to-day operations, including policy decisions on the naming conventions within the domain. It will not be necessary to be a member of MuseDoma, ICOM or any other organization in order to register in .museum.

Registration in .museum will be restricted to museums, museum organizations and individual members of the museum profession according to the definition established by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and adapted, if necessary, to the specific needs of domain operation. This includes both physical and virtual entities.

Full-text of the TLD sponsorship agreement and the latest news on the initiation of .museum operations are posted on the MuseDoma Web site: musedoma.museum/.

About MuseDoma
The Museum Domain Management Association (MuseDoma) is a non-profit organization, founded in September 2000 and created by the International Council of Museums (ICOM) with the assistance of the J. Paul Getty Trust, to obtain, maintain and operate the restricted top-level domain (TLD) - .museum - for the worldwide museum community. MuseDoma's mission is to change the visibility of museums, to facilitate their communications and to enhance the missions of these institutions worldwide.

MuseDoma provides its members with means to participate in the ongoing development of domain policy. For more information: musedoma.museum/.




Updated: 11 July 2005