Semantic models for cultural heritage data.

From embedded markup to ontologies


Data for History – Workshop. A dialogue with DH.ARC

Bologna (Italy), 07-08 June 2022


Data for History is an international consortium founded on 24 November 2017 with the aim of improving geo-historical data interoperability in the semantic web. Its purpose is to establish a common method for modelling, curating and managing data in historical research. The consortium aims to build up an international community of historians and computer scientists to first develop and then maintain a common ontological model that would allow for domain specific, semantically robust data integration and interoperability. The consortium meets annually to discuss topics of common interest, such as datasets, ontologies, tools and environments in the context of the Semantic Web.

The consortium meets annually to discuss topics of common interest, such as datasets, ontologies, tools and environments in the context of the Semantic Web. In the two-days meeting hosted in Bologna, hosts and guests are going to show their main projects in a nutshell and open a discussion.

Students of the International degree programme in Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge (DHDK) of University of Bologna are invited to participate in the event by actively asking the hosts and guests questions. Students who are willing to participate in the event are kindly invited to fill out the online form available on this website.


07 June 2022 - From 2.30 pm to 6 pm.

08 June 2022 - From 9.30 am to 1.00 pm.


The meeting will be at: Aula Affreschi or online via Teams.


Dowload the programme in PDF format.

Discussion programme



2.30-2.40 pm Institutional greetings

Presentation and discussion

Each speaker will present its research focus in a 5 minutes presentations, followed by 15 minutes question-answering session.

CHAIR Martina Dello Buono

2.40-3.00 pm Francesca Tomasi

3.00-3.20 pm Aldo Gangemi

3.20-3.40 pm Paola Italia, Beatrice Nava, Roberta Priore, Ersilia Russo, Ilaria Burattini

3.40-4.00 pm Fabio Vitali

4.00-4.20 pm Coffee break

Presentation and discussion

4.20-4.40 pm Silvio Peroni

4.40-5.00 pm Marilena Daquino

5.00-5.20 pm Paolo Bonora

5.20-5.30 pm Final remarks

5.30-6.30 pm Data4History Committee Meeting


  • Francesca Tomasi
  • Aldo Gangemi
  • Paola Italia
  • Fabio Vitali
  • Silvio Peroni
  • Marilena Daquino
  • Paolo Bonora


University of Bologna, /DH.arc


University of Bologna, /DH.arc


University of Bologna, /DH.arc


University of Bologna, /DH.arc


University of Bologna, /DH.arc


University of Bologna, /DH.arc


University of Bologna, /DH.arc

Francesca Tomasi is associate professor in Archival Science, Bibliography and Librarianship at the Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies in the University of Bologna, where she teaches Digital Humanities and Knowledge Organization. Her research is focused on semantic digital editions, digital libraries and digital historical archives, with a special attention to metadata, controlled vocabularies and ontologies for cultural heritage in the Semantic Web. She has been President of the Italian Association on Digital Humanities (Associazione Italiana di Informatica Umanistica e Cultura Digitale - AIUCD) and President of the BDU (Biblioteca di Discipline Umanistiche), the library of the School of Humanities in the University of Bologna. From 2018 she is co-Head of the Advanced Research Center for Digital Humanities (DH.ARC) and Head of the international master degree, that she has also founded, in Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge (DHDK).
Aldo Gangemi is Full Professor at University of Bologna, and Director of the Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of the Italian National Research Council. He co-founded the Semantic Technology Lab (STLab) in 2008, and DHARC in 2018. His research focuses on Semantic Technologies as an integration of methods from Knowledge Engineering, Semantic Web, Cognitive Science, and Natural Language Processing. His interests include representation and discovery of knowledge patterns across data, ontologies, natural language, and cognition, using hybrid symbolic/sub-symbolic methods. Applications domains include Cultural Heritage, Robotics, Medicine, Law, eGovernment, Agriculture, Business. He features 250 papers in international journals, conferences and books (Scholar H-index=59), and sits as EiC or EB member of international journals (Semantic Web, Web Semantics, Applied Ontology), has coordinated consortia or research teams in 10 EU projects, and is the scientific coordinator of the H2020 SPICE project, and coordinates the HumanisticAI branch of AlmaAI. He sits in the Board of Directors at IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca.
Paola Italia teaches Italian Philology and Scholarly Editing at the University of Bologna. She has worked on various nineteenth- and twentieth-century authors and topics, with a particular focus on editions of paper and digital texts (Editing Novecento, Salerno, 2013; Editing Duemila, Salerno, 2020), authorial variants (What is authorial philology? OBP, Cambridge, 2021) and Creativity in Manuscripts (; Authors at Work, OBP, forthcoming). In Digital Humanities her domains of competence are in the field of Textual Theory, Text modelling and encoding, Variants Mining, Authorial Knowledge Sites (Wiki Gadda, Wiki Leopardi, Leopardi Ecdosys, Manzonionline). She founded and directs the site (more than 800.000 contact since 2010), and collaborates with DHARC, where she coordinates the scholarly digital editions of Manzoni, with Francesca Tomasi and Fabio Vitali (Philoeditor) and, with Dario Brancato, of VASTO.
Fabio Vitali is Full Professor in Computer Science at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (DISI) of the University of Bologna. He holds a PhD in Computer and Law from the University of Bologna and has been working for a long time on digital document formats, hypertext systems, web technologies and usability and user experience design. He has been part of the W3C Working Group on XML Schema and is currently co-chair of the OASIS TC on LegalDocML. He is the main author of Italian and international standards on legislative XML such as NormeInRete, CEN Metalex and Akoma Ntoso, which became an OASIS standard in 2018. He teaches Web Technologies as well as Usability and User Experience Design at the Computer Science School and at the graduate course on Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge of the University of Bologna.
I (ORCiD: 0000-0003-0530-4305) hold a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science and I am an Associate Professor at the Department of Classical Philology and Italian Studies, University of Bologna, where I teach Basic Informatics (Bachelor’s degree in Humanities), Computational Thinking and Programming, Data Science and Open Science (Master’s degree in Digital Humanities and Digital Knowledge). I am an expert in document markup and semantic descriptions of bibliographic entities using OWL ontologies. I am one of the main developers of the SPAR (Semantic Publishing and Referencing) Ontologies, Director (with David Shotton) of OpenCitations, and founding member of the Initiative for Open Citations (I4OC) and the Initiative for Open Abstracts (I4OA). Among my research interests are Semantic Web technologies, markup languages for complex documents, design patterns for digital documents and ontology modelling, and automatic processes of analysis and segmentation of documents. My works concern theoretical studies and technical implementation of tools to foster semantic interoperability of Open Science services and infrastructures, the empirical analysis of the nature of scholarly citations, bibliometrics and scientometrics studies, visualisation and browsing interfaces for semantic data, and the development of ontologies to manage, integrate and query bibliographic information.
Marilena Daquino is Assistant Professor at the University of Bologna and an active member of the Dh.arc research center. She has a PhD in Library and Information Science + Computer Science. Her research focuses on the application of Semantic Web technologies to art historical data. She collaborated with the Federico Zeri photo archive for several years and she has been active in international communities such as PHAROS and Currently, she is involved in the Polifonia H2020 project, wherein she contributes to the design and development of solutions for Linked Data production and Linked Data analysis, visualization, and storytelling.
Paolo Bonora graduated in Performing Arts from the University of Bologna and received his Master’s degree in Digital Humanities from the University of Florence. From 2016 to 2020, he attended the doctoral program in Cultural Heritage Studies at the University of Bologna where he wrote his dissertation on the adoption of Semantic Web technologies and Linked Data principles to manage historical information about opera. Since 2005, he has collaborated with the Corago project, the Italian Melodramma Digital Archive, supporting conceptual modelling and software development. In 2021 he was Digital Humanities Fellow at I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.

Selected scientific production

Daquino, Marilena, Martina Dello Buono, Francesca Giovannetti, Francesca Tomasi. 2020. Paolo Bufalini, Appunti (1981-1991) [Semantic Scholarly Digital Edition]. Digital Humanities Advanced Research Centre (/DH.arc).

Tomasi, Francesca. 2018. Modeling in the Digital Humanities: conceptual data models and knowledge organization in the cultural heritage domain, Historical Social Research Supplement 31, pp. 170-179.

Selected scientific production

Gangemi, Aldo, Valentina Presutti, Diego Reforgiato Recupero, Andrea Giovanni Nuzzolese, Francesco Draicchio, Misael Mongiovì. 2017. Semantic Web Machine Reading with FRED. Semantic Web Journal 8:6, pp. 873-893.

Gangemi, Aldo, Mehwish Alam, Luigi Asprino, Valentina Presutti and Diego Reforgiato Recupero. 2016. Framester: A Wide Coverage Linguistic Linked Data Hub. EKAW 2016: Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management. Lecture Notes in Computer Science 10024, pp. pp 239–254.

The Framester frame-based linguistic-factual knowledge graph

Carriero, Valentina Anita, Aldo Gangemi, Maria Letizia Mancinelli, Andrea Giovanni Nuzzolese, Valentina Presutti, Chiara Veninata. 2021. Pattern-based design applied to cultural heritage knowledge graphs. Semantic Web, 1-45.

The Ontology Design Patterns research programme

The DOLCE foundational ontology

DOLCE-Ultralight (DUL) in OWL

Selected scientific production

PhiloEditor v6.6. Digital Humanities Advanced Research Centre (/DH.arc), 2020. Presented by Ersilia Russo and Ilaria Burattini.

Dario Brancato (curated by). 2020. Progetto VaSto-'Storia Fiorentina' [Digital Edition-Pilot version]. Digital Humanities Advanced Research Centre (/DH.arc). Presented by Beatrice Nava and Roberta Priore.

Selected scientific production

Daquino, Marilena, Valentina Pasqual, Francesca Tomasi, e Fabio Vitali. 2022. «Expressing Without Asserting in the Arts.» IRCDL Conference Proceedings. 237-67.

Aydogan, Selda Ulutas, Sander Münster, Dino Girardi, Monica Palmirani, e Fabio VItali. 2022. «A Framework to Support Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage Studies Research.» Research and Education in Urban History in the Age of Digital Libraries. Springer Verlag.

Selected scientific production


SPAR Ontologies (Semantic Publishing and Referencing Ontologies)

Selected scientific production

Carriero, Valentina, Marilena Daquino, Aldo Gangemi, Andrea G. Nuzzolese, Silvio Peroni, Valentina Presutti, Francesca Tomasi. 2020. The landscape of ontology reuse approaches. In Cota G., M. Daquino, and G. Pozzato (eds.), Applications and Practices in Ontology Design, Extraction, and Reasoning. IOSPress, pp. 21-38.

Daquino, Marilena, Valentina Pasqual, and Francesca Tomasi. 2020. "Knowledge representation of Digital Hermeneutics of archival and literary sources." 10:3, pp. 59-76.

Selected scientific production

Bonora, Paolo, Angelo Pompilio. 2021. Corago in LOD. The debut of an Opera repository into the Linked Data arena. JLIS.It, 12:2, pp. 54–72.

Bonora, Paolo, Angelo Pompilio. 2022. RePIM in LOD: semantic technologies to preserve knowledge about Italian secular music and lyric poetry from the 16th-17th centuries. AIUCD 2022 - Proceedings. 193-95.

RePIM - Repertorio della Poesia Italiana in Musica 1500-1700 (auth requested).

  • Francesco Beretta
  • Torsten Hiltmann
  • Arianna Ciula
  • Simon Donig
  • Werner Scheltjens
  • Vincent Alamercery
  • Sebastiaan Derks
  • Charles van den Heuvel




Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Digital History


King's College London, King's Digital Lab


Herder Institut, Marburg, Neoclassica


Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, Digital History


École normale supérieure de Lyon, LARHRA

Francesco Beretta is CNRS research fellow since 2005. He co-founded and headed from 2009 to 2020 the Digital History Research Team within the Laboratoire de recherche historique Rhône-Alpes (LARHRA CNRS UMR 5190 – Universités de Lyon et Grenoble). Specialist in the history of Roman Inquisition, in the intellectual history of catholicism and the history of science, he has taught at different universities in Fribourg (Switzerland) (venia legendi 1999), Lausanne, Paris (EPHE, EHESS), Lyon. In digital humanities, his domains of competence are in the field of data modeling, ontologies, relational databases, GIS and semantic text encoding in XML/TEI. He is lecturer in digital methodology for historical research at University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland). He contributed significantly to the establishment of the and Data for History projects and is co-founder of the KleioLab company that has developed Geovistory, a virtual research environment for the humanities and social sciences. Some recent publications are listed on HalSHS.
Torsten Hiltmann is professor of Digital History at Humboldt-University zu Berlin since 2020. His research focuses on the integration of Machine Learning and Semantic Web Technologies into historical studies and on the epistemological change of historical research through the application of digital methods, the critique of digital methods as well as on visual communication in the late medieval and early modern period. As a trained medievalist, his dissertation dealt with heralds’ compendia on courtly culture from Late medieval France and Burgundy. He heads the research project "Coats of arms in practice" which currently develops an ontology for medieval heraldry and its use in different contexts.
Arianna is Director (2022-2026) and Senior Research Software Analyst (2017-present) at King’s Digital Lab (KDL). KDL is a Research Software Engineering (RSE) team of 13 staff hosted by the Faculty of Arts & Humanities at King’s College London (KCL < UK). In operation since 2015, the Lab is one of a handful of digital humanities labs with significant research software engineering capacity worldwide. Arianna has broad experience in digital humanities research and teaching, research management, and digital research infrastructures. She holds a PhD in Manuscript and Book Studies (digital palaeography, University of Siena), an MA in Applied Computing in the Humanities (KCL) and a BA Hons in Communication sciences (computational linguistics, University of Siena). Her personal research interests focus on the modelling of scholarly digital resources related to primary sources. She was co-PI in the project ‘Modelling between Digital and Humanities: Thinking in Practice’. See list of publications.
Simon Donig is the head of Digital Research- and Information Infrastructures at the Herder Institute for Historical Research on East Central Europe, Marburg. He has studied history and political science at the Universities of Hamburg and Konstanz. He obtained his PhD in Eastern European History at the University of Passau with a thesis on memory and generational relations among noble displaced persons from Silesia and noble material culture in communist Sliesia after 1945. Simon developed the Neoclassica project ( combining a top-down modelling of Neoclassical material artefacts with a bottom-up data-driven approach through image classification aiming at segmenting artefacts in historical depictions of interiors. His most recent work includes the semantic modelling of classifications of professions and types of businesses in the German national census of 1933, as well as questions of the epistemology of digital archives in the field of Webarchive Analytics.
Werner Scheltjens studied East European Languages and Cultures at the University of Louvain. He obtained his PhD in History at the University of Groningen in 2008 and held postdoctoral positions in Maritime and Early Modern History at the University of Nice/ENS de Lyon and at the University of Groningen. He was appointed Assistant Professor at the Chair of Social and Economic History of the University of Leipzig in 2013 and obtained his Habilitation in Economic History and East European History in 2020. In 2021 he was appointed Professor of Digital History at the University of Bamberg. He specializes in digital research methods for non-narrative historical sources such as customs registers, all kinds of lists, dictionaries and newspapers (especially advertisements).
Vincent Alamercery is research assistant at École normale supérieure de Lyon, co-head of the Digital history research team of Laboratoire de recherche historique Rhône-Alpes (LARHRA). He studied history at Université Lumière Lyon 2 and holds a master degree in early and late modern history. He specialises in the development of tools and methods adapted to historical research in the context of the digital transition, around the central issue of geohistorical data modelling and ontologies. He is project manager of the ontology management environment OntoME ( and one of the LARHRA representative in the CIDOC CRM special interest group together with Francesco Beretta.
Sebastiaan Derks is Head of the Department of Data Management at the Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands. In this role, he directs a range of projects that focus on providing online resources and tools for humanities scholars. He studied Early Modern History at the Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. His research interests lie in the political culture of sixteenth-century Europe. He has held fellowships at the Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome and at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, University of California, Los Angeles. He is the co-editor of The Key to Power. The Culture of Access in Princely Courts, 1400-1750 (Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2016).
Charles van den Heuvel is Head Research of the Department Knowledge and Art Practices of the Huygens Institute in Amsterdam and professor Digital Methods and Historical Disciplines at the University of Amsterdam. He has a background in history of art specialized in the history of town planning, fortification, and architecture of the Early Modern Period (16th-17th Centuries) and worked in several cultural heritage institutions. Recent research interests are digital humanities, history of knowledge (in particular of knowledge circulation in the Republic of Letters) and history of library and information sciences. Currently, he is the principal investigator of the NWO-Large Investment Project: Golden Agents: Creative Industries and the Making of the Dutch Golden Age, The NWO-Smart Culture, Big Data and Digital Humanities Project: Virtual Interiors as Interfaces for Big Historical Data Research and the NWO-NWA science communication project: Through the lens of Antoni: How do you represent what you cannot see?

Selected scientific production

Beretta, Francesco, Geroge Bruseker. 2022. CRMsoc v 0.2; A new foundational perspective. 52nd CIDOC CRM and 45th FRBR CRM.

Beretta, Francesco. 2021. A challenge for historical research: Making data FAIR using a collaborative ontology management environment (OntoME). Semantic Web 12:2, pp. 279‑294.

Semantic Data for Humanities and Social Sciences (SDHSS) CIDOC CRM Extension

Selected scientific production

Hiltmann, Torsten, Thomas Riechert. 2020. Digital Heraldry - The State of the Art and New Approaches Based on Semantic Web Technologies. Digitizing Medieval Sources – L’édition En Ligne de Documents d’archives Médiévaux, pp. 143-171.

Hiltmann, Torsten, Jan Keupp, Philipp Schneider, Melanie Althage. 2021. Digital Methods in practice. The Epistemological Implications of Applying Text Re-Use Analysis to the Bloody Accounts of the Conquest of Jerusalem (1099). Geschichte und Gesellschaft 47, pp. 122-156.

Hiltmann, Torsten. 2022. Vom Medienwandel zum Methodenwandel. Die fortschreitende Digitalisierung und ihre Konsequenzen für die Geschichtswissenschaften in historischer Perspektive, Döring, K. et al. (Hg.), Digital History. Konzepte, Methoden und Kritiken digitaler Geschichtswissenschaft, Berlin/Boston

Selected scientific production

Ciula, Arianna, Miguel Vieira, Ginestra Ferraro, Tiffany Ong, Sanja Perovic, Rosa Mucignat, Niccolò Valmori, Brecht Deseure, and Erica Joy Mannucci. 2021. Small Data and Process in Data Visualization: The Radical Translations Case Study. In 2021 IEEE 6th Workshop on Visualization for the Digital Humanities (VIS4DH), pp. 1–6.

Radical Translations: The Transfer of Revolutionary Culture between Britain, France and Italy (1789-1815) - still ongoing project

Selected scientific production

Donig, Simon, Mari Christoforaki, e Siegfried Handschuh. 2016. «Neoclassica - A Multilingual Domain Ontology. Representing Material Culture from the Era of Classicism in the Semantic Web.» In Computational History and Data-Driven Humanities. CHDDH. Springer, pp. 41–53.

Donig, Simon, Maria Christoforaki, Bernhard Bermeitinger, Siegfried Handschuh. 2020. «Towards a Classification of Neoclassical Objects in Interior Scenes.» In Bilddaten in den digitalen Geisteswissenschaften, herausgegeben von Canan Hastik und Philipp Hegel. Episteme. Wiesbaden: Harrasowitz, pp. 150–67.

Simon Donig, Maria Christoforaki, Bernhard Bermeitinger, Siegfried Handschuh. 2019. «AI for the Historical Disciplines? Epistemological Value, Methodological Challenges, Perspectives and the Transformation of Research Practices – the Neoclassica Experience.» Digital Hermeneutics: From Research to Dissemination; German Historical Institute (GHI), Washington D.C., USA, 17.

Selected scientific production

Scheltjens, Werner, Christoph Schlieder. 2022. Scenario-based planning for the semantic digitization of historical reference works. DHd 2022 Kulturen des digitalen Gedächtnisses. 8. Tagung des Verbands "Digital Humanities im deutschsprachigen Raum" (DHd 2022), Potsdam. POSTER

Scheltjens, Werner, Christoph Schlieder. 2022. Scenario-based planning for the semantic digitization of historical reference works. DHd 2022 Kulturen des digitalen Gedächtnisses. 8. Tagung des Verbands "Digital Humanities im deutschsprachigen Raum" (DHd 2022), Potsdam. PAPER

Selected scientific production

Digital history research team. Ontology Management Environment (OntoMe). LARHA.

Beretta, Francesco, Vincent Alamercery, Sebastiaan Derks, Lodewijk Petram, Jonas Schneider. 2019. Geohistorical FAIR data. Data integration and interoperability using the OntoME platform, Time Machine Conference 2019, Dresden.

Selected scientific production

GLOBALISE: Bringing the history of early globalisation and colonialism at the fingertips of researchers and the wider public. Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, Amsterdam.

REPUBLIC: De online toegang tot de resoluties van de Staten-Generaal (1576-1796). Huygens ING.

Petram, Lodewijk, Jelle van Lottum, Rutger van Koert, Sebastiaan Derks. 2018. Small Lives, Big Meanings. Expanding the Scope of Biographical Data through Entity Linkage and Disambiguation. In Biographical Data in a Digital World 2017: Proceedings of the Second Conference on Biographical Data in a Digital World 2017, 2119, pp. 22-26.

Nijenhuis, I. J. A., Sluijter, R. G. H., Scherer, M., Derks, S., Ravenek, W., & Hoekstra, F. G. 2016. From Handwritten Text to Structured Data: Alternatives to Editing Large Archival Series.

Selected scientific production

Leon van Wissen, Veruska Zamborlini, Charles van den Heuvel. 2022. Modeling Provenance and Uncertainties in the Use of Archival Sources of the Dutch Golden Age. In The 68th Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America. Dublin, Ireland. RSA.

Charles van den Heuvel, Veruska Zamborlini. 2021. Modeling and Visualizing Storylines of Historical Interactions. Kubler’s Shape of Time and Rembrandt’s Night Watch. In Richard Smiraglia and Andrea Scharnhorst (eds.), Linking Knowledge. Linked Data for Knowledge Organization and Visualization. Baden-Baden: Ergon Verlag, pp. 99-141.

Attendees registration

We kindly ask you to complete the following form to register your presence at the meeting.

Form reserved for students

The meeting aims to be a space for discussion and debate on the topics of interest. The presence of DHDK students at the meeting, together with the reading of at least two papers by two different authors and the preparation of at least two questions to ask the speakers, gives the right to 2 cfu in Laboratory (1) (LM) - 6 cfu. We therefore kindly ask you to complete the form to send the requested questions to get the 2 cfu.


We remain at your disposal for any request. You can contact us at any time by leaving us a message, we will strive to provide you with accurate answers. In addition, we will not disclose your personal information.

Leave us a message without fearing for your privacy! Privacy is very important to us and we are committed to not disclosing your information. For more information you can see our privacy policy.

Leave a message to