Linking historical collections in an event-based ontology

Qing Zou (McGill University, Montreal, Canada)
Eun G. Park (McGill University, Montreal, Canada)

Digital Library Perspectives

ISSN: 2059-5816

Publication date: 12 November 2018



This study aims to explore a way of representing historical collections by examining the features of an event in historical documents and building an event-based ontology model.


To align with a domain-specific and upper ontology, the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) model is adopted. Based on BFO, an event-based ontology for historical description (EOHD) is designed. To define events, event-related vocabularies are taken from the Library of Congress’ event types (2012). The three types of history and six kinds of changes are defined.


The EOHD model demonstrates how to apply the event ontology to biographical sketches of a creator history to link event types.

Research limitations/implications

The EOHD model has great potential to be further expanded to specific events and entities through different types of history in a full set of historical documents.


The EOHD provides a framework for modeling and semantically reforming the relationships of historical documents, which can make historical collections more explicitly connected in Web environments.



Zou, Q. and Park, E. (2018), "Linking historical collections in an event-based ontology", Digital Library Perspectives, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 262-275.

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