What is the CRMsoc?

CRMsoc is a formal ontology for integrating data about social phenomena and constructs that are of interest in the humanities and social science based on analysis of documentary evidence. The scope of CRMsoc is the following areas of analysis:

  • Characteristics of human beings, as individuals or groups
  • Social relations, including between people, between people and groups, and between groups
  • Rights and duties
  • Economic activities, including relations between people and things, such as financial transactions leading to ownership
  • Plans, including expressing proposed activities and legislation
  • Evaluations, including assessing risks and estimating the value of things

CRMsoc uses and extends the CIDOC CRM (ISO21127): a general ontology of human activity, things and events happening in space-time. It uses the same encoding-neutral formalism of knowledge representation (“data model” in the sense of computer science) as the CIDOC CRM, which can be implemented in RDFS, OWL, in an RDBMS and in other forms of encoding.

What is the idea?


The CIDOC CRM is a general ontology whose classes and properties primarily reflect common concepts used in documentation systems of memory institutions. These systems primarily revolve around collections. Social and historical research documentation systems also include concepts about our understanding of complex social constructs and relationships which are not necessarily linked to collections but which are essential for their interpretation. To maintain the generic nature of the CIDOC CRM these concepts have been formalised as classes and properties in CRMsoc. CRMsoc is harmonised with the CIDOC CRM and it defines how the two are connected.

CRMsoc can be used to describe economic transactions, rights held by people and groups, historical phases and the description of plans. As a high level conceptual framework for data integration the CIDOC CRM and the CRMsoc extension will provide interoperability of existing models devoted to specific historical subdomains (e.g. political, intellectual, social, economic history).


Text status: 
Work in progress