[Crm-sig] Equality and Respect Statement

Dominic Oldman DOldman at britishmuseum.org
Thu Oct 14 09:33:46 EEST 2021

Dear SIG members,

I respectfully submit a draft for comment towards a CIDOC CRM Equality and Respect Statement for the reference.



CRM SIG - Equality & Respect Statement

Version: First Draft

Date: 12 October 2021


The current CIDOC CRM reference says this:

“The CIDOC CRM is specifically intended to cover contextual information: the historical, geographical and theoretical background that gives museum collections much of their cultural significance and value”.

New wording:

The CIDOC CRM Special Interest Group (SIG) is a collaboration of people developing the CIDOC CRM (Conceptual Reference Model) standard. The CIDOC CRM standard is used by many Cultural Heritage and Humanities professionals and institutions across the world. It is committed to promoting equality of representation and participation in its activities, whether in relation to the standard itself, or supporting wider processes. As a standards committee, we will treat all people with dignity and respect in an environment free of discrimination. Our aim is to encourage open and constructive dialogues and provide an environment in which all participants feel comfortable to take part and contribute.

The CIDOC CRM itself is intended to support the development of contextual information in data: the social, historical, geographical, and theoretical background that gives historical collections, archives, and facts much of their significance and relevance. It also provides the means to include epistemological information through an argumentation extension. It allows and encourages data owners and users to widen the scope and sources of information that are used in datasets, which can be limited by some traditional practices that focus on intrinsic material and identity properties. This means that datasets can often omit relevant socio-historical and epistemological information from the data history record.

CIDOC CRM is not prescriptive in terms of the types of information that can be modelled and documented, and its design intention is to include a wider range of knowledge. It provides a scientific framework pegged to universally understood reality and therefore provides the opportunity - which corresponds to a responsibility - to record contextual information including the social relations which are part of history and heritage. In practice it provides the means to consider a wider and inclusive picture of historical information. The general trend of institutions publishing their data online, and allowing its reuse across other information structures, only increases the urgency of this issue.

The legacy of structured data in institutional databases based on intrinsic data schemas is historically ingrained not just in technology but also in practices. It is important to note that it is not simply the use of CIDOC CRM or other contextualising models that is important. Contextual and inclusive enrichment of data to provide equality of representation is part of a reform of institutional processes generally and is an ongoing responsibility. Institutions should be constantly aware of the wider significance and relevance of their data (and missing data) in terms of their internal processes and the tools they adopt to support them. The CIDOC CRM SIG is committed to providing examples and guidance that demonstrate how currently underrepresented or missing history can be addressed in structured data systems and is open to anyone requiring more information and advice.

Dominic Oldman
Head of ResearchSpace, Senior Curator
Dept. Egypt and Sudan
British Museum

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.ics.forth.gr/pipermail/crm-sig/attachments/20211014/ed4f3bed/attachment.html>

More information about the Crm-sig mailing list