From TEI to CIDOC-CRM with LINCS XTriples: Preserving Meaning across formats?

Authors: Crompton, Constance / Defoure, Alice

Date: Wednesday, 6 September 2023, 9:15am to 10:45am

Location: Main Campus, L 2.202 <campus:measure>


This demonstration paper will introduce the Linked Infrastructure for Networked Cultural Scholarship (LINCS) project’s beta XTriples tool. LINCS XTriples converts TEI to CIDOC-CRM. The original XTriples, developed by Torsten Schrader from the Academy of Sciences and Literature, Mainz, was designed to convert XML to RDF (both ttl and XML), provided that users could create configuration files that describe the mapping between their input files and desired output. A complement to more sophisticated mapping tools, such as FORTH’s 3M Editor, our version of XTriples has been redesigned for TEI users who are unlikely to have a deep knowledge of CIDOC-CRM but who would like to contribute their data to LINCS or who would like CIDOC-CRM for their own projects. We have stripped out the mapping functionality, but offer a series of XSLTs that do the mapping work, pulling in URIs from TEI created in LINCS’ LEAF-Writer to produce CIDOC-CRM that conforms to LINCS’ application profiles (Jakacki and Brown).

LINCS XTriples follows on a long tradition of work to create RDF from TEI (Eide et al., Tomasi et al., Šimek). The challenge in this work comes from RDF’s flatness relative to TEI-encoded documents. The meaning of TEI-encoded text comes from the hierarchical nature of the language. Any one element in TEI may be drawing its meaning from its relationship to a grandparent well up the XML tree. RDF, by comparison is fairly flat, and when working with a reasonably tight ontology, it offers usefully narrow sets of meaning for each element and attribute value. In addition to our demonstration of the conversion of TEI to CIDOC-CRM, we will discuss the challenge of moving from TEI’s relatively simple ISO encoding of time to CIDOC-CRM’s rich, nuanced, and URI-dependant approach to time.


Eide, Øyvind, et al. Encoding Cultural Heritage Information for the Semantic Web. Procedures for Data Integration through CIDOC-CRM Mapping. 2008 pp. 47–53.

Jakacki, Diane, and Susan Brown. LEAF-Writer: Low-Barrier Text Encoding for Teaching and Editing. MLA, 2023.

Šimek, Jakub. Referencing an Editorial Ontology from the TEI. An Attempt to Overcome Informal Typologies.

Tomasi, Francesca, et al. Dialogue and Linking between TEI and Other Semantic Models. TEI Conference 2013.

Contribution Type