A specialisation of the Europeana Data Model for the representation of manuscripts: The DM2E model

Evelyn Dröge, Julia Iwanowa, Steffen Hennicke


The RDF-based Europeana Data Model (EDM) (EDM Primer, 2013) is used by Europeana, the European Digital Library, for representing heterogeneous data coming from museums, libraries, archives and galleries. The model combines various standards and existing ontologies and is very generic to suit many different cases. In order to represent rich metadata, the EDM can be specialised for specific domains as done by the Digitised Manuscripts to Europeana (DM2E) project for the domain of handwritten manuscripts with the DM2E model.

Before creating the DM2E model, decisions on a general modelling approach had to be made including the method of reusing external resources (Dröge, Iwanowa et al., 2013), decisions on the granularity of the specialisation and instruments of documentation. Model-related research questions are: What is the best way for creating a shared ontology for representing manuscripts in a digital library and how can diverse ontology requirements be combined without leading to a model which is too general? The first step in the model creation was to analyse the metadata about manuscripts coming from different data providers and in different formats like TEI, METS/MODS, MARC21 or provider-specific schemas. Furthermore, it was investigated if the data meets the mandatory requirements of the EDM. Additional properties, classes, resource definitions, restrictions and recommendations were added to the EDM which resulted in the DM2E model. The first operational version of the model was created in April 2013 and since then iteratively refined. New functions of the model include the representation of uncertain timespans and hierarchical objects.

The DM2E model will be discussed in its current representation. First mappings from provided data to the model will be analysed. Data mapped to the DM2E model is dereferenceable and will not only be delivered to Europeana but also be available via a LOD access point (Heath & Bizer, 2011).


Keywords: DM2E Model, Europeana Data Model, Linked Data, Ontology Development, Digital Libraries.



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