Investigating and analyzing a wide range of online resources of varying quality and provenance has been an everyday feature of art-historical research for a long time. Specific research portals, library platforms, holding catalogues, and also cross-institutional image databases have become indispensable tools in both art history and Digital Humanities. The increasing pressure to publish research results as re-usable and interlinked data not only affects the nature of research itself, but also the relevance of online resources exploited as part of the research process.
High-quality, standardized and freely accessible (reference) data from trustworthy sources are essential in enabling researchers to analyze the constantly growing mass of available data according to scientific criteria and to collate data from various sources as efficiently as possible. In Linked Open Data (LOD)’s worldwide network, reference data on individuals, works of art, locations, institutions, genres and much more besides held in archives, libraries, museums and research institutes can be evaluated and combined across a broad spectrum of databases thanks to standardized ontologies (such as CIDOC-CRM). In this system of knowledge enhancement, the principle of “give and take” or “quid pro quo” plays a fundamental role in assuring the quality, integration and analysis of a highly diverse range of art-historical data sources.
The panel organized by the SARI (Swiss Art Research Infrastructure, University of Zurich in cooperation with Federal Institute of Technology Zurich) and SIK-ISEA (Swiss Institute for Art Research, Zurich and Lausanne) invites the various protagonists of the increasingly important discipline of digital art history to present their projects, methods and models, experiences and plans in terms of semantic data, linked open data and comparable themes, and to discuss these with a wide audience. Such a discussion aims to reveal synergies in processing, providing and sharing art- historical research and inventory data, and to encourage as open an exchange of information on current initiatives as possible.