Digital Hermeneutics: Agora and the Online Understanding of Cultural Heritage

author: Marieke van Erp, Faculty of Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
author: Chiel van den Akker, Faculty of Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)
published: July 19, 2011,   recorded: June 2011,   views: 3648


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Cultural heritage institutions are currently rethinking access to their collections to allow the public to interpret and contribute to their collections. In this work, we present the Agora project, an interdisciplinary project in which Web technology and theory of interpretation meet. This we call digital hermeneutics. The Agora project facilitates the understanding of historical events and improves the access to integrated online history collections. In this contribution, we focus on de ning and modeling prototypical object-event and event-event relationships that support the interpretation of objects in cultural heritage collections. We present a use case in which we model historical events as well as relations between objects and events for a set of paintings from the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam collection. Our use case shows how Web technology and theory of interpretation meet in the present, and what technological hurdles still need to be taken to fully support digital hermeneutics.

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