Issue 496: Types for p2 has type

Starting Date: 
Working Group: 

Posted by Martin on 25/6/2020

Dear All,

I'd like to raise a new issue, how to make recommendations for the types we recommend in scope notes. Should we create a terminology file in SKOS, which may be incorporated in whatever vocab?


Current Proposal: 

In the 48th CIDOC CRM and 41st FRBR CRM sig meeting (virtual), the sig reviewed MD's HW and questioned about making recommendations specifying the minimal vocabulary to be used in each case. 
Finally the sig  decided to assign HW to sig members –interact with Linked Art and other communities using the CRM, to formulate the minimal requirements for restricting the appropriate types. HW assigned to  GB communicate with RS / Linked Art and point to the direction of what has been decided so far. TV &, MD will contribute too.

October 2020

Post by Rob (8 June 2021)


I think my part of the homework for #496 is to describe the Linked Art requirements, process and decisions.

First - Linked Art is conceived of as an application profile for art-related descriptions that uses CRM as its core ontology. It selects as minimal as possible a subset of the classes and relationships needed to fulfil the use cases. It draws mostly from CRM base, with a few select terms from sci and dig. There is also a Linked Art extension that defines a small number of terms that aren't available in any other extension (but typically align with the direction that soc is taking). You can see Linked Art's documentations here:

We also need to select vocabulary to use with P2_has_type and rely heavily on the Getty AAT thesaurus. We divide the vocabulary into three conditional, disjoint buckets:


  • Terms that MUST be used for the description to be able to be understood. 
  • Terms that SHOULD be used for the description to be easily interoperable across institutions
  • Terms that MAY be used, as assistance to the community rather than requiring them to look them up independently

We try to keep the MUST bucket as small as possible, and based on cross-domain and universal use cases. Examples include:

  • Primary Name (A classification on an appellation that it is the "main" name of the entity) vs Display Name (classification on appellation that it is the human readable representation of an entity like a TimeSpan)
  • Activity Classifications: We need to distinguish Provenance, Publishing, Promise and Exhibitions as having particular recommended structures. 
  • Meta types: We don't require any particular types for even things like Painting, but we do require types on those types so we know what sort of thing they are. For example, there is an "object type" which is required on the object's type. Meta types include object type, nationality, culture, gender, statement type, color, shape. Example:

E22 (the painting) p2_has_type E55 (painting) .  <-- painting is recommended
E55 (painting) p2_has_type <aat:300435443> (type of work) .  <-- type of work is required

Now we can slot anything in to the "painting" slot and know that it's the type of the work rather than some other classification... like shape or color.

Thus we also require aat:300191751 for permanent transfers of custody or location, and aat:300221270 for temporary transfers of custody or location, per the recent decision to not add has_permanent_custodian to manage it at the property level.

The SHOULD bucket is on the order of 100 terms for common requirements, but ones that would reduce the ability to easily compare across institutions' datasets, rather than ones that would make the data almost useless if they weren't present.  These are things like the common types of statement about an entity, the common types of Place, Group, or Object. Also the types of comparable structure like Dimension, Appellation and Identifiers. Then the common Measurement Units, Currencies, Languages. We use AAT for all of these.

The MAY bucket is just things that we've found ourselves looking up and want to make it easier for others to find.

Hope that helps,


Post by Franco Niccolucci (8 June 2021) 

Dear Robert

dealing with vocabularies, we noticed (in ARIADNE) that named time periods may have some ambiguity as the same name may refer to different time spans depending on the location. It is a well-known fact firstly evidenced in the ARENA project with an interesting comparative diagram among several EU countries. This is more evident in archaeology, where e.g. "Iron Age” has a different meaning in Ireland and in Italy. I use to make a joke on this, telling the story of a time traveller who travelled in the year 50 AD from Roman Age back to Iron Age, while he simply went from Ronan Gaul (then in the Roman Age) to Ireland, which was never invaded by Romans and at the time was still in its Iron Age. I think that this may be also relevant to Art, for example a “Renaissance painting” is dated to rather different time periods according to its provenance. The solution we found to the issue is TeriodO a gazetteer of periods which may assign different time spans to the same name according to location. If this is interesting I can provide further details on how we successfully managed the issue.

regards Franco

Post by Thanasis Velios (11 June 2021)


Dear all,

To follow up with this, and with the usual apologies for potentially misunderstanding the objective of the issue, I have done a quick scan of the CRM document to identify where these recommendations for types are done. Some are rather implicit but may be worth considering:

* E4: type of period
* E10: type of transfer of custody
* E15: type of identifier assignment
* E34: type of alphabet
* E56: type of language
* E57: type of material
* E58: type of unit
* E90 / P3.1: type of encoding

All the best,


Meetings discussed: