British Museum Collection

The British Museum has published the contents of its collection database as linked data, complementing their Collection Online search facility. Physical objects, their properties, and provenance events are described using the CIDOC-CRM vocabulary. Examples include transfer of title and surrender of custody.

A representative example of provenance description is this acquisition record: https://collection.britishmuseum.org/resource/?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fcollection.britishmuseum.org%2Fid%2Fobject%2FEOC3130%2Facquisition%2F1

This implementation documents the provenance of physical objects, not research data, and the descriptions include no mappings from CIDOC-CRM to other vocabularies. The service does include a Sparql endpoint which supports output in JSON and RDF/XML. The service URL is http://collection.britishmuseum.org.

Conversion of the Museum’s data to the Semantic Web format was made possible through the ResearchSpace project funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

A position paper on some of the cultural heritage data management problems motivating this project can be read at http://dlib.org/dlib/july14/oldman/07oldman.html.