Centre for Cultural Informatics (CCI)

Honorary Head of Center: Dr. Martin Doerr
Head of Center: Prof. Yannis Tzitzikas

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Information management for cultural and scientific heritage supports the documentation, exchange, presentation and preservation of historical sources, facts, human memories and the evidence of material culture spanning all areas of human activities, including sciences. It supports the scholarly and scientific discourse reconstructing and interpreting possible pasts. The discourse in cultural heritage is particularly rich, ranging from physical investigation methods (e.g. radiocarbon analysis) to analysis of historical sources and philosophical considerations, and arguments combining all those aspects. Therefore the cultural heritage domain provides a particular challenge for knowledge representation and the design of effective information systems supporting this discourse. It extends seamlessly into the recent and past record keeping of all kinds of knowledge creation processes of observation, evaluation and hypotheses building in other sciences. It provides both a rich application field for the research results of ISL and advanced research questions of its own, particularly in ontology engineering and discourse analysis.

The Information Systems Laboratory (ISL) addresses these challenges through a specialised unit, the Centre for Cultural Informatics (CCI), which is currently the most extensive facility of ISL in terms of manpower and external funding. The Centre for Cultural Informatics pursues a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary approach to supporting the entire lifecycle of cultural information and documentation procedures for the benefit of study, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage. Special focus is laid on semantic interoperability, information integration and integrated access. The cross-disciplinary mission of the Centre is underpinned by maintaning rich co-operations with cultural institutions and scientists from the humanities, that range from pure research, community work on documentation methods and standards down to rich application development and consulting.

The operation of the Centre brings together skills in knowledge representation, ontology engineering, knowledge organisation systems, database technology and web technology with expertise in archaeology, museum documentation and management, sites and monuments management, art conservation, archives and libraries, thesaurus and dictionary management and other cultural disciplines.


R&D Activities

The activities of the Centre unfold in three directions:

1. Targeted research with focus on the formal representation of information structure and scientific discourse in the humanities, in the machine - supported communication and in the semantic interoperability.
2. Community building for the promotion of standards, complementary skills and know-how in the creation, processing, integration and presentation of cultural information for the benefit of quality, accessibility and exploitation of digital cultural content.
3. Targeted development of advanced information systems that provide a scientific challenge or a proof -of -concept in real settings.

Results of these activities include:

Besides others, the Centre works as competence center for the CIDOC-CRM (ISO 21127), by building up and exchanging application know-how, consultancy to implementers and researchers, and contribution to the dissemination, maintenance and evolution of the standard itself (related press release).

A list of  products and services provided by the Center for Cultural Informatics can be found here.


Training Activities

As part of its activities, the Center for Cultural Informatics organizes educational seminars on Cultural Informatics, Data Modeling, Data Models and Standards, Monuments' and museums' information systems, Source Material Management, Terminology systems, etc. More information can be found here.



  • CCI and the Germanisches National Museum - Nuremberg maintain a general collaboration on cultural-historical information processing and interdisciplinary research
  • CCI provides an administrational home to the CIDOC-CRM Special Interest Group
  • CCI has provided services to Institutions such as the Deutsches Museum – Munich, the Institut für Museumskunde – Berlin, the National Documentation Center – Athens and the European Centre of Byzantine & Postbyzantine Monuments (EKBMM) – Thessaloniki



Board Members