The data recorded within the Swiss Art Research Infrastructure are modelled using the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CIDOC-CRM) ontology. The reason for choosing CIDOC-CRM are numerous. Someone could cite its wide acceptance within the heritage and art history field, or its official ISO status as a “reference ontology for the interchange of cultural heritage information”, or even its continuous development over the years, however, one of the key reasons for its adoption within the Swiss Art Research Infrastructure is that it does work almost flawlessly for us. The logic of CIDOC-CRM is to describe the process behind something and not just prescribe names to be used. The focus on the process allows us to define in details the characteristics of each artefact creation providing information about both its physical and conceptual side. Thanks to the several extensions of CIDOC-CRM we are able to complement the core ontology with statements about the argumentation used, the digital provenance, geographical details and others.
While almost everything gets covered by CIDOC-CRM, some properties, specifically personal relationships between artists, are not covered by the ontology or its current extensions. For such reason, we have defined a small SARI ontological extensions covering the relationships between persons as well as family relationships. More information on this ontology are available here.