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RiC-O projects and tools

Last updated on September 13, 2021

Since RiC is a recent standard, and remains a draft (version 1.0 will be released at the end of 2021), there are still few concrete uses for it. In addition, RiC-CM and RiC-O are freely usable, so it is impossible to know all the uses. The list below has been drawn up on the basis of a survey carried out mainly among all members of the EGAD group. We invite people with knowledge of other projects to contact us (egad at ica.org) to have them listed.

Proofs of concept and research programs

In Belgium, representatives of the State Archives, Libis-KU Leuven (the department responsible for IT solutions and developments at the Catholic University Leuven), KBR (the Royal Library of Belgium), the Royal Museums of Art and History and a private company joined their forces to carry out a proof of concept. The aim is to explore, using RiC-CM and RiC-O as the main conceptual model and ontology, the feasibility of transforming into an entity graph and interconnecting a consequent selection of heterogeneous metadata sets from the partner institutions, then to assess the implications and benefits of this development, for these institutions and for the end users. The partners of the project, called RICFAIRData, are working further on the project and are seeking for structural funding.

As part of her doctoral thesis in information and communication from the Université libre de Bruxelles on “La gestion des données d’autorité archivistiques dans le cadre du Web de données” (“The management of archival authority data within the framework of the Linked Data web”), available at http://hdl.handle.net/2013/ULB-DIPOT:oai:dipot.ulb.ac.be:2013/315804, defended in December 2020, Anne Chardonnens set up, for the CegeSoma research center (Study and Documentation Centre War and Contemporary Society) at the State Archives of Belgium, a first version of a Wikibase knowledge base, for the management of authority data coming from heterogeneous resources and relating to people linked to the Second World War. This prototype is available at https://adochs.arch.be. Like any Wikibase instance, it is searchable using the SPARQL protocol and exposes the data in RDF. In the context of this work, its author established mappings between the properties of this knowledge base, the Wikidata properties and RiC-O properties (see the appendix 6 of the thesis).

The Atlantic Slave Trade on Linked Open Archives research project of the LABOGAD laboratory (Laboratório de Preservação e Gestão de Acervos Digitais) of the State University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil aims to interconnect and publish, using the semantic technologies and RiC-O, archival metadata sets describing documents relating to the Atlantic slave trade, kept in Brazil, then subsequently in Angola and Portugal.

In Germany, RiC-O is being used as a source of inspiration for the ambitious SoNAR (IDH) re-search project (Interfaces to Data for Historical Social Network Analysis and Research; https://sonar.fh-potsdam.de/), for the creation of the generic graph model which is at the heart of the prototype under construction.

Current and future implementations in archival information systems

In France :

It will probably take the FranceArchives team two years to develop the web application and all the tools and workflow needed for producing and maintaining the RDF datasets.

All this work fits more broadly into the strategic plan of the National Archives for the years 2021-2025. It is closely linked to metadata quality improvement programs, and to actions aiming to break down the barriers between the internal metadata repositories, to build shared authority data. The final target is to publish the ANF RDF/RiC-O metadata sets as Linked Open Data. See also (in French): a presentatio dated 2020, January 28; this article written by Florence Clavaud: Transformer les métadonnées des Archives nationales en graphe de données : enjeux et premières réalisations, in Les Archives nationales, une refondation pour le XXIe siècle, La Gazette des Archives, n°254 (2019-2), Association des Archivistes Français, Paris, 2019, p. 59-88.

In the Netherlands, the Amsterdam City Archives (https://amsterdam.nl/stadsarchief) is working together with developer Picturae (https://picturae.com/en/) in developing a new version of its collection management system called Memorix, based on Linked Data. The City Archives uses RiC-O to turn its descriptive metadata into Linked Open Data, a step-by-step process. The City Archives publishes about RiC and the status of the implementation on its website (Dutch only): https://www.amsterdam.nl/stadsarchief/organisatie/blog-bronnen-bytes/.

In Switzerland, a new version of the Memobase portal (http://memobase.ch) was released in May 2021. This portal, a flagship achievement of Memoriav, the Association for the Safeguarding of Swiss Audiovisual Memory, aggregates metadata on the audiovisual archives of more than 80 Swiss organizations. The University Library Basel (https://ub.unibas.ch/) and docuteam company (https://www.docuteam.ch/fr/) were commissioned to produce the new version of Memobase, whose data model uses RiC-O (for descriptive metadata), and the more specialized ontologies (PREMIS, http://www.loc.gov/standards/premis/ontology/index.html; and Ebucore, https://www.ebu.ch/metadata/ontologies/ebucore/) for the technical metadata of audiovisual documents.

In the United States of America, the Social Networks and Archival Context Cooperative (SNAC) (https://snaccooperative.org/) plans to implement a subset of RiC-O primarily focused on the description of Agents (corporate bodies, persons, and families), Activity, Place, and Record Resource. SNAC emphasizes the description of Agents in providing essential context for discovery and understanding Record Resources. The descriptions of Agents in SNAC are detailed, the descriptions of Record Resources are summary descriptions with links to full descriptions in the catalogs of holding repositories. In anticipation of exposing a subset of SNAC description using RiC-O, work is underway to revise the Relations in SNAC to conform to RiC-O though extending the Relations with more specific classes to accomodate more detailed description of Agent identities. For example SNAC will use the Relations “is identity place of” and “is ancestry place of” as subclasses of “is associated with place”. When the work is completed, the SNAC social-document network or graph will be exposed as a SPARQL endpoint.


The Archives nationales de France (ANF) and a small private company (Sparna) have developed a free software, RiC-O Converter, for converting into RDF datasets conforming to RiC-O 0.1 the whole of the ANF EAD 2002 findings aids (about 29.000 XML files for now) and EAC-CPF authority records (about 15.000 XML files for now). This tool is easy to install and use, fast and efficient. Its source code and documentation, that include mappings between EAD and EAC-CPF, and RiC-O were made available on GitHub in April 2020: see https://github.com/ArchivesNationalesFR/rico-converter. You can also download RiC-O Converter v1.0 release from here: https://github.com/ArchivesNationalesFR/rico-converter/releases. A version 2.0 of RiC-O Converter will be released in 2021, which will be compliant with RiC-O 0.2.

Under the aegis of the Access To Memory foundation (https://accesstomemoryfoundation.org/), which was created in 2018 with the aim of supervising and financing the development of a version 3 of the free software AtOM and which brings together about thirty archives, libraries and universities in America, Europe and Australia, the company Artefactual Systems, main developer of the software, and docuteam, are working on the development of AtOM 3, which will include a SPARQL endpoint publishing RiC-O compliant archival metadata sets.

The Swiss company docuteam is currently developing, with the company Zazuko (http://zazuko.com/), a software prototype for the description of archives, which uses semantic technologies, and RiC-O and PREMIS as reference ontologies.