Press Release

Museum Domain Management Association
c/o Swedish Museum of Natural History
Box 50007
SE-10405 Stockholm, Sweden
Tel: +46 8 5195 5150
Fax: +46 70 384 3246

Contact: Kate Parson
E-mail: idn.info@nic.museum

For Immediate Release

INTERNATIONALIZED DOMAIN NAMES NOW AVAILABLE IN
THE .MUSEUM TOP-LEVEL DOMAIN

Stockholm, Sweden, 22 January 2004 - The Museum Domain Management Association (MuseDoma) announced that it is now possible to register Internationalized Domain Names in the .museum top-level domain ("dot-museum" - http://about.museum). This Internet domain is reserved for the use of the professional museum community and has been in operation since November 2001. Although it is global in scope, names in .museum have previously been limited to the 26-letter A-Z Latin alphabet. With the availability of Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) it is now possible for a museum to indicate its name in any written language in present-day use.

MuseDoma is the Sponsoring Organization for .museum and is responsible for developing domain policies in response to the interests of museums, worldwide. One of its initial goals was to make internationalized names available at the earliest possible time. The technical standards necessary for this were finalized in June 2003 and guidelines for their application in top-level domains were established by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN - http://icann.org). The implementation of IDN in .museum was authorized by ICANN on 20 January 2004.

Support is initially being provided for selected European languages and will be expanded as rapidly as possible to accommodate the needs of all .museum name holders in the global museum community. "The ability of museums to identify themselves using their own languages provides a strong force for expanding the museum presence on the Internet", said Manus Brinkman, Secretary General of the International Council of Museums (ICOM - http://icom.museum), which played a key role in the creation of .museum and remains actively involved in its operation and development. MuseDoma's President, Cary Karp, said, "IDN is an exciting new Internet initiative and we look forward to participating in its development on behalf of the entire heritage management sector".

Detailed background information and a description of the policies and procedures for the inclusion of IDN in .museum is located at http://about.museum/idn/detail.html. Examples of the way ICOM is using IDN in .museum can be seen at http://icom.museum/idn.

About the .museum organization:

The Museum Domain Management Association is a nonprofit organization that was established in 2000 by ICOM and the J. Paul Getty Trust (http://getty.art.museum), specifically to develop a proposal for the establishment of a top-level domain in which museum activity could be immediately and verifiably recognized by Internet users. This proposal was subsequently approved by ICANN, which delegated responsibility for the new domain's operation to MuseDoma. The Swedish Museum of Natural History hosts the .museum Network Information Center in Stockholm. The European Commission supports an Awareness Campaign about .museum (http://musenic.museum) within its Information Society Technologies Program for Cultural Heritage Applications (http://www.cordis.lu/ist/directorate_e/digicult/index.htm). The introduction of IDN is the most recent of the actions that these agencies have conducted in collaboration in the on-going development of .museum.

For more information, please contact:

Kate Parson
E-mail: idn.info@nic.museum
Tel: +46 8 5195 5150

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