Natural Collections Descriptions Group - NCD

TDWG Interest Group (Open)


Alex Thompson -- godfoder [AT] acis [dot] ufl [dot] edu
iDigBio, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Deb Paul -- dpaul [AT] fsu [dot] edu
iDigBio, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA

Please note, this IG has recently been re-established. The co-conveners named above are current. The information below is dated.  A new charter is in development.  The most recent information is in the GitHub repository and wiki. -- [TDWG Coordinator, 2017-02-08]


The Collections Descriptions Interest Group brings together work on collections descriptions being carried out for the European Union Framework VI programme known as SYNTHESYS and the work performed by RAVNS under the auspices of RLG with that carried out by TDWG members.

Natural Collections Descriptions (NCD) covers all types of collections of natural history material; specimens, original artwork, photographs, archives, published material or a mixture.

The Interest Group is developing NCD for use with RDF to ensure that it integrates with the TDWG common development architecture. The standard enables the aggregation of collections descriptions from many sources and facilitates resource discovery - particularly for collections that do not have a Web presence.

NCD is a standard between the general resource discovery standards such as Dublin Core, and the rich collections description standards such as EAD. Mappings enable the extraction of a Dublin Core record from an NCD record or, conversely, filling out an NCD record into an EAD record.

Becoming Involved

The Convener would be pleased to hear from anyone, and particularly:

  • those that have skills in the implementation of Web-based information systems, or
  • in writing descriptions based on interviews with collection owners, or
  • are owners of collections that would themselves like to test and make use of the standard and associated software, or
  • just having an interest in the use of collection descriptions in resource discovery systems.



NCD v0.90 was submitted to the TDWG approvals process via the Open Journal System in August 2008. A copy of the submission can be found on the NCD wiki

Report from the 2007 Workshop now available from the Meeting Reports section.

  Last Modified: 09 February 2017