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A curated list of ontologies for Digital Humanities
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Awesome Ontologies for Digital Humanities Awesome

A curated list of ontologies for Digital Humanities

What is an awesome list?

This list collects useful ontologies, vocabularies, terminologies, and taxonomies for modelling and publishing datasets from Humanities domains as Linked Data. If you wish to contribute, send a PR or get in touch with Albert Meroño or Melodee Beals.



Persons, places, events, time, documents

  • CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM) - provides definitions and a formal structure for describing the implicit and explicit concepts and relationships used in cultural heritage documentation
  • CRMinf Argumentation Model - an Extension of CIDOC-CRM to support argumentation
  • FOAF vocabulary - linking people and information
  • Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Record (FRBR) - for describing documents and their evolution
  • Geonames - covers all countries and contains over eleven million placenames that are available for download free of charge
  • PROV ontology - set of classes, properties, and restrictions that can be used to represent and interchange provenance information
  • NIE-INE ontologies - infrastructure developed to ensure long-term storage of data of scientific edition projects in the Humanities at the Swiss Universities of Basel, Bern, Zürich, and Geneva
  • LIO - A Lightweight Ontology for Describing Images
  • OWL Time - Time ontology in OWL
  • - a gazetteer of period definitions for linking and visualizing data
  • Simple Event Model (SEM) - an ontology for modelling events
  • Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) - standards to support the use of knowledge organization systems (KOS) such as thesauri, classification schemes, subject heading lists and taxonomies within the framework of the Semantic Web
  • - schemas for structured data on the Internet, on web pages, in email messages, and beyond
  • VIAF - combines multiple name authority files into a single OCLC-hosted name authority service

Cultural Heritage / History

Cultural heritage objects, museums, archaeology, etc.

  • Linked Art Data Model - The Linked Art Data Model is a (CIDOC-CRM) application profile that can be used to describe cultural heritage resources, with a focus on artworks and museum-oriented activities. It defines common patterns and terms to ensure that the resulting data can be easily used and is based on real-world data and use cases.
  • CRMArcheo Excavation Model - an ontology and RDF Schema to encode metadata about the archaeological excavation process (CIDOC-CRM extensnion)
  • Europeana Data Model (EDM) - proposal for structuring the data that Europeana will be ingesting, managing and publishing on museums, digital archives and digital libraries
  • Getty AAT Art and Architecture Thesaurus - an evolving vocabulary, growing and changing on art and architecture
  • JUSO - Juso Ontology is a Web vocabulary for describing geographical addresses and features
  • PNV - The Person Name Vocabulary (PNV) is an rdf vocabulary and data model for persons' names
  • ROAR - Ontology to describe person, location etc. observations in archival resources


Newspapers, magazines, etc.


Scores, music metadata, symbolic notations


Lexicology, named entity recognition, etc.

  • Lexvo - brings information about languages, words, characters, and other human language-related entities to the Linked Data Web and Semantic Web


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