Conceptual Reference Model


The CIDOC CRM model is a semantic reference model that has been developed since 1994:

  • first by the Documentation Standards Group affiliated to the International Committee for Documentation of the International Council of Museums (ICOM-CIDOC),
  • and then by a special interest group, the CRM-SIG.

The CIDOC CRM was published in 2006 as an ISO standard (ISO 21127:2006).

It is a semantic model that provides an « ontology » of cultural heritage information, that is, a formalization of the relationships that unite basic concepts underlying such information. It is expressed as an object‑oriented model.

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Ontology development

The CRM model’s purpose is to provide a common language for heterogeneous information depositories, and to enable their integration, despite possible semantic and structural incompatibilities. That way, cultural heritage information can be exchanged and retrieved, and museums can make their information systems interoperable without having to compromise their specific needs or the current level of precision of their data.

There has been an effort towards harmonization between the museum model CIDOC CRM and the library model FRBR since 2003. As a result, FRBR was reformulated as an object oriented extension to the CIDOC CRM. The association of CIDOC CRM and FRBROO now provides a common conceptual model for both museum and library information.

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A project to extend this common conceptual model to archival information as well, so as to cover the entire spectrum of cultural heritage information, was incepted in early 2010.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

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