Conceptual Reference Model

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Comprehensive Introduction

The "CIDOC object-oriented Conceptual Reference Model" (CRM), was developed by the ICOM/CIDOC Documentation Standards Group. Since September 2000, the CIDOC CRM is being developed into an ISO standard in a joined effort of the CIDOC CRM SIG and ISO/TC46/SC4/WG9. Since September 2006 it has been accepted as ISO 21127. On December 2014, a new version became available ISO21127:2014. It represents an 'ontology' for cultural heritage information i.e. it describes in a formal language the explicit and implicit concepts and relations relevant to the documentation of cultural heritage. The primary role of the CIDOC CRM is to serve as a basis for mediation of cultural heritage information and thereby provide the semantic 'glue' needed to transform today's disparate, localised information sources into a coherent and valuable global resource.

Important Note
In order to start using CIDOC CRM, please use the following resources:

A. The graphical representation (printed)
B. The latest cross reference manual as html hypertext
C. The authoritative text, official release of CIDOC CRM.

Please note that the RDF or OWL implementations is *NOT* a primary source of reference for the CIDOC CRM, but a derivative.

The latest official version of the CIDOC CRM is version 5.0.4. This and all previous versions can be found here.

A complete graphical representation of the CIDOC CRM version 5.0.1 can be found here.

A graphical representation of a minimal reduced CRM form can be found here.

Additional explanations about the meaning and use of selected CIDOC CRM concepts can be found here.

About ICOM
The International Council of Museums (ICOM) is an international, non-governmental organisation of museums and museum professionals which is committed to the conservation, continuation and communication of the world's natural and cultural heritage. ICOM has 20,000 members in 140 countries and holds consultative status with the United Nations' Economic and Social Council.

CIDOC is the international focus for the documentation interests of museums and cultural heritage organisations. It is a committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) with over 750 members in 60 countries.

About ISO
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international, non-governmental organisation whose principal activity is the development of voluntary technical standards. With a membership of 148 countries, ISO promotes standards which provide a reference framework or common technological language to facilitate technological interoperability internationally.

About Cultural Heritage
"Cultural Heritage" is the general term used to refer to the broad scope of knowledge and material evidence relating to people and their environment. The "Cultural Heritage Sector" includes the range of institutions which acquire, conserve, study, and communicate information relating to material collections, sites and monuments, natural history, ethnography, political and technological history, archaeology, and collections of fine and applied arts.

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Last Updated: 05-12-2014