Archives and the semantic web: Contextualising the record

Mr Owen Oneill1, Mr Nick Fahey1

1Public Record Office Victoria, North Melbourne, Australia, 


Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) is the archive of the State of Victoria. PROV is responsible for preserving and facilitating access to the permanent records of the Victorian Government. The collection is used by a very broad range of users including Government, academic researchers and the public.

Users of the collection may also create contextual information, including the definition of relationships to external knowledge/data sources. By structuring and describing the collection using semantic web technologies, PROV is keen to support the reuse of this valuable contextual information by enabling it to be more explicitly linked to the collection using machine readable and persistent methods. This will enable the  accumulation of this knowledge of the collection to be assembled built upon more easily. It will also enable the PROV collection to be more actively linked to other sources of knowledge.

PROV has developed and is progressively implementing a data model for associating contextual information to records in its collection. PROV  has implemented that data model using RDF and a Fedora Commons repository. Records are further disaggregated to their component parts using the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) specification. This approach facilitates external users to curate, cite and reference the collection.


Owen ONeill is responsible for a program of work at Public Record Office Victoria (PROV) to implement a number of key software systems for preserving, managing and facilitating access to the PROV collection.  He is an IT professional with experience working on a number of eResearch and digital preservation projects.

Recent Comments