CIDOC 2012: Enriching Cultural Heritage

The Helsinki Cathedral, minutes before midnight.

The CIDOC 2012: Enriching Cultural Heritage conference was held in Helsinki (the World Design Capital this year) on June 10-14. The conference is organized annually by CIDOC/ICOM, the International Committee for Documentation at the Internation Council of Museums. Last year the conference was held in Sibiu, Romania – a short post about it is available here.

The reason why PSNC is interested in the works of CIDOC is that we have started using the CIDOC CRM model as the main ontology to organize metadata stored in a Semantic Web knowledge base we have built in the SYNAT project. The knowledge base contains information about resources of different type (currently: librariy, catalogue and museum), described with different metadata schemas. We needed adescription format to which we could map the existing heterogeneous records CIDOC CRM (Conceptual Reference Model) provides definitions and a formal structure for describing the implicit and explicit concepts and relationships used in cultural heritage documentation, so it was a natural choice. Also, there exist an OWL implementation of CIDOC CRM, very useful in the Semantic Web environment.

While trying to map library metadata to CIDOC CRM we realized that the representation of books is more complicated than the representation of museum objects (even though, of course, museum can store books, and libraries can have old volumes that have historical value). You can find more information about this issue in the team’s publication list.

First we tried to cope with the problem by introducing our own CIDOC CRM extensions (mostly subclasses and subproperties), but then we switched to FRBRoo. FRBRoo is an extension of CIDOC CRM created by the CIDOC committee, that is also compliant with FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) model as specified by IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations). The most distinctive feature of FRBR is the description of a publication (e.g. a book) on four levels:

  • work (e.g. ‘Heart of Darkness’ by Joseph Conrad),
  • expression (the intellectual contents first English edition of ‘Heart of Darkness’),
  • manifestation (all physical copies of the edition, as a set),
  • item (a particular exemmplar from the set).

During this CIDOC conference we presented our results: the description of mapping from MARC 21 and PLMET schemas to FRBRoo and the challenges related with this process.

  • The conference included a number of workshops (with a very interesting CIDOC CRM/FRBRoo/EDM/CRM Dig one by Martin Doerr), CIDOC working groups meetings, keynotes, and ‘regular’ presentations. The main themes of the conference were:
  • Co-operation & exchange,
  • Social media,
  •  Semantic Web,
  • Digital technologies and intangible cultural heritage,
  • Innovations in documentation,
  • Multilingualism and regional cultures.

One thought on “CIDOC 2012: Enriching Cultural Heritage

  1. Obawiam się, że moja pamięć nie jest wystarczająco dobra, żeby napisać bardziej rozbudowane opracowanie ponad dwa miesiące po konferencji. Co najwyżej mogę poprawić się następnym razem, mogę także spróbować odpowiedzieć na wszelkie pytania. Większość czasu spędziłam na sesjach Co-operation & exchange oraz Semantic Web.

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