Thinking in CIDOC-CRM

David Henry, Missouri History Museum, USA

CIDOC-CRM (Conceptual Reference Model from the International Committee on Documentation) is an ontology for cultural heritage data that was first released in 1999 and became an ISO standard in 2006. Adopting the CIDOC-CRM would allow museums to create meaningful connections between their own collections and those in the broader cultural heritage community. Yet, adoption of CIDOC-CRM at cultural heritage institutions has been slow and limited, in part, because CIDOC-CRM represents a radical departure from the way most people think about data. Attempts to fit traditional table and row data sets to CIDOC-CRM are bound to fail if one does not recognize how much CIDOC-CRM differs from those traditional models. However, the CRM (Conceptual Reference Model) approach is very familiar to those with experience in object oriented-programming and/or entity-relationship models. This workshop will provide an overview of the philosophy and concepts behind CIDOC-CRM.


"Hacking Linked Data" (

"Using an RDF Pipeline to Implement Cross Collections Search"