Chair: S. Stead, UK

This tutorial will introduce the audience to the CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model, a core ontology and proposed ISO standard (ISO/CD 21127) for the semantic integration of cultural information with library, archive and other information. The CIDOC CRM concentrates on the definition of relationships, rather than classes, in order to capture the underlying semantics of multiple data and metadata structures. This led to a compact model of 80 classes and 130 relationships, easy to comprehend and suitable to serve as a basis for mediation of cultural and other information and thereby provide the semantic ‘glue’ needed to transform today’s disparate, localised information sources into a coherent and valuable global resource. It comprises the concepts characteristic for most museum, archive and library documentation. The tutorial aims at rendering the necessary knowledge to understand the potential of applying the CRM – where it can be useful and what the major technical issues of an application are. It will present information integration by employing a core ontology of relationships, in contrast to the prescription of a common data format, as an approach applicable to other domains. In a real example, it will demonstrate the solution of typical cases of heterogeneity by intellectually mapping source data structures to the ontology. Participants with some background in information modelling should be able to use the CIDOC CRM in their applications after this tutorial and some further reading.