Data Ontologies: designing digital encounters with cultural heritage through the lens of kinship

Cara Krmpotich and Heidi Bohaker

University of Toronto, Canada

05 February 2024, 16.30-17.30 GMT

Since its founding, the Great Lakes Research Alliance (GRASAC) has sought to digitally reunite Great Lakes Indigenous heritage items dispersed across museums and archives globally with the peoples and knowledge systems of the Great Lakes. In 2023, we transformed our database into an open access Knowledge Sharing Platform guided by Great Lakes kinship ontologies in which artifacts (as well as plants, animals and political allies) can be considered relatives. In this talk, we share some of the features of the Platform that embody this kinship ontology as well as innovative data fields that extend traditional cataloguing practices. We offer critical reflections on our practices of reparative description and data stewardship, confront some of the technological challenges, and offer observations on why and how heritage data matters.

About the presenters

Cara Krmpotich (she/her) is Co-Director of GRASAC and Associate Professor of Museum Studies at the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto.

Heidi Bohaker (she/her) is Co-Director of GRASAC and Associate Professor of History at the University of Toronto.