92981 - Knowledge Organization and Cultural Heritage (1) (LM)

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

The course aims to introduce the issue of organizing knowledge in archives, libraries and museums. In particular at the end of the course the students will be able to: use the standards of the domain for data description; manage the practices oriented to the enrichment of data through semantic strategies (ontologies and controlled vocabularies); create complex metadata for digital objects in the cultural heritage domain.

Course contents

The course wants to focus on three strictly related topics:

  • the study of international standards in the (G)LAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museum) domain (metadata element sets and value vocabularies);
  • the reflection on the concept of KO (Knowledge Organization) and in particular on the role of ontologies as conceptual models;
  • the analysis of semantic (digital) activities in (G)LAM through KO methods.

In particular the course will give to students the skills for creating LOD (Linked Open Data) in the (G)LAM domain.

In detail lessons will be organized with the following structure (5 modules, 6 hours each):

  1. Introduction to Digital Humanities and Cultural Heritage: projects, initiatives, methods (6 hours)
  2. Metadata standards for describing documents in historical archives, bibliographic data, digital objects (6 hours)
  3. Introduction to Knowledge organization principles (6 hours)
  4. Semantic Web principles and Linked Open Data projects, methodologies and languages (6 hours)
  5. Ontologies, Vocabularies and Metadata element sets for Linked Data in the Cultural Heritage domain (6 hours)


Students are required to read, before attending the course: DH101, an Introduction to Digital Humanities (the pdf is available on Virtuale).

For the preparation for the final examination, students are required to read:


Readings, together with the slides of the course, are also available on Virtuale.

Teaching methods

The course is composed of traditional lectures and practical exercises.

Some experts will be involved for presenting LODLAM projects, initiatives and methodologies.

Assessment methods

The final examination is based on the evaluation of both a practical and theoretical activity.

In detail, students are required to realize an original project related to KO, LOD and (G)LAM that will be presented during an oral colloquium (and possibly published on Github).

The project will be based on specific guidelines that will be presented and discussed during the course and will be available on Virtuale.

Some examples of previous years projects could be browsed here: <https://projects.dharc.unibo.it/dhdkey/projects> (filter: Knowledge organization course). Get inspired, but don't copy!

Students are asked to organise themselves in team for designing the project (max 3 people).

The personal contribution of each member of the group, and the personal knowledge of the course subjects, will be assessed during the oral colloquium.

Not attending students (students who attend at least 75% of the lessons are considered to be attending) will be also evaluated on the contents of the readings/bibliography.

The method used for the assessment will be based on the following parameters:

  • Ability to choose an appropriate topic for the project (15%)
  • Use of a tecnical language related to the domain (25%)
  • Correctness of the implementation (25%)
  • Knowledge about standards, ontologies, vocabularies and metadata element sets (25%)
  • Completeness of the required levels of the project in relation to the guidelines (10%)

91-100% will lead to a excellent final grade
71-90% will lead to a good final grade
51-70% will lead to a sufficient/fair grade.
<50% will lead to a failure in passing the exam


Teaching tools

Classes are held in a classroom equipped with personal computers connected to the Intranet and Internet.

Office hours

See the website of Francesca Tomasi