Managing collections means ensuring that the data about them are useful, available, and accurate. In addition to the technical aspects of data management, there are layers of political and social structure that direct the construction and use of collections data. The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) employs a set of data standards that allows us to gather electronic cataloging data from a wide community of archaeology researchers who are depositing collections at our institution. Though met with initial resistance, these standards have facilitated publication in Open Context as linked open data. Furthermore, institutional discussions concerning Creative Commons licensing and the cultural sensitivity of collections data were precipitated by publication, highlighting the role of social agreement in data management. We found that successful employment of data standards must take into account the needs of the various stakeholders and further their interests. Standards will be most useful and successful when they are lightweight, are supported by training and documentation, and exist as part of a system that allows for more than one way to characterize the collections.