The Swiss Art Research Infrasctuctures Ontologies

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. One 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 responds almost entirely to our requirements. This includes the logic of CIDOC-CRM, namely how it describe the procedural character of entities beyond simple labeling functions. This event- and process-oriented approach allows us to define, in details, the characteristics of how each artefact was created by providing information about both its physical and conceptual characteristics. Thanks to several extensions of CIDOC-CRM, we are able to complement its core ontology with statements about scholarly argumentation, digital provenance, geographical embeddings, and others.

Finally, due to the CIDOC-CRM ontology and its current extensions not sufficing for expressing particular properties, especially regarding personal relationships between artists, we, at SARI, have defined an ontological extension that covers such interpersonal relationships (in families, work hierarchies, etc.) More information on this ontology is available here.