Issue proposal for Leipzig meeting: CIDOC CRM Based Provenance Metadata for Interoperability of Cultural and Research data

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Regina Varniene...
Regina Varniene Janssen's picture
Issue proposal for Leipzig meeting: CIDOC CRM Based Provenance Metadata for Interoperability of Cultural and Research data

Dear colleagues,

We would like to propose the following issue for the upcoming Data for History meeting: CIDOC CRM Based Provenance Metadata for the Interoperability of Cultural and Research Data.

In order to achieve interoperability between national memory institutions, an information system has been developed in Lithuania: the Virtual Electronic Heritage Information System (hereinafter “VEPIS”, Virtuali elektroninio paveldo sistema) ( The project initiator and manager is Regina Varnienė-Janssen(2005–2016)  and the developer and administrator of the platform, the company Asseco Lietuva ( (the manager Albertas Šermokas)). More information about VEPIS is available in the article by  Varnienė-Janssen, R. and  Juškys J. Strategic, Methodological and Technical Solutions for the Creation of Seamless Content of the Digital Cultural Heritage: Lithuanian Approach. Access at:

Because of the further development of VEPIS and increasing number of organizations, including research institutions, the issue of a standard way to obtain provenance information as a fundamental concept of data quality is becoming of great importance. The issues we would like to discuss at the Data for History Workshop are: What is the meaningful scope of the provenance content and what types of information would need to be represented in a provenance record; How this provenance information has to be managed in order to make provenance available and accessible within a system and How provenance records  accommodate a variety of uses and diverse users/consumers?

In order to start the discussion on the above mentioned questions ,we will present the results of the project which was implemented as one of the objectives of the main research theme at Vilnius University’s Research Centre for the Organization of Libraries and Information ( by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Regina Varnienė-Janssen and Affiliate Prof. Dr. Albertas Šermokas at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics of Vilnius University  in 2017-2018. The research was based on the analysis of the compliance of provenance metadata within VEPIS with the W3C Incubator Group’s Requirements for Provenance on the Web (

The analysis showed that since VEPIS is based on CIDOC CRM, which contains 86 classes and 137 properties, and its extension CRMdig as well as RDF, it provides the derivation chain (“ByWhom”). It also allows for querying the most relevant facts and returning complete descriptions encoded in this model by generic CIDOC CRM terms without the need to refer to its specific properties. The publisher of provenance metadata in VEPIS is associated with provenance records by using a standard Web application based on OPAC and an application for access and automatic data import via the OAI-PHM protocol. Since the VEPIS portal has all the accessibility features conforming to the recommendations of the European Union’s WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, it provides appropriate presentation and visualization and allows comparing artefacts according to their origin and trust. The interoperability of provenance metadata within VEPIS has been only partially realized: VEPIS aggregates data from diverse systems and all descriptive metadata are mapped to CIDOC CRM (however, it is not interoperable as regards search) and integrates authority data from diverse institutions into the thesaurus Lithuanian personal names, geographical names and historical chronology (BAVIC), which conforms to the CIDOC CRM compatible data structure. The Thesaurus has the pathfinder function and operates as a search aid within the portal


Regina Varnienė-Janssen sends e-mail)


 Albertas Šermokas sends e-mail)