Wikipedia:Arbeitsgemeinschaft Kunstwissenschaften + Wikipedia/Provenance loves Wiki/Documentation

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Collaborative document

Since June 2023, there are two new properties in Wikidata for the documentation of provenance events: and

The community discussion on the proposal for these properties provides information on the possibilities and difficulties of documenting provenance in Wikidata:

Project Links
Links are listed in random order. We collect links to relevant projects.


Here attendees can find the participants´ answers to our „Call for Problems"
In advance and during the conference, we use a collaborative padlet for cooperation

For Provenance Scientists:
»Problems/Needs That You Already Faced By Working Systematically With Provenance Data«

»Accesibility of obtained data, Privacy issues.«

»Connected data and collaborative work.«

»No standards, semantic modeling of gaps in provenance information is unsatisfactory.«

»Digitisation and accessibility of autographs and taking into account the protection of third party rights. Digitisation and accessibility of auction catalogues with annotations.«

»Problems to uniform data entries for standardised readout from collection database, taking into account the diverse, differentiated provenance cases, most of which cannot be named uniformly. At least they cannot be entered into the databases in a sufficiently differentiated and standardised manner.«

»Digital/Data Literacy.«

»Establishing standards for (our) provenance data and documentation in order to exchange data; how to work with WikiData / needs of Wikidata.«


»Personennormdaten in der Provenienzforschung.«

»Unreliable and deceptive provenance texts, missing entities, unreliable authors, the need to contextualise names and sources, the issue of uninformative "placeholder" labels, and the limits of both Cidoc-CRM and Wikidata in coding deceptive provenances and their debunking as they evolve over time.«

»Data scattered across different projects/ databases; difficulty accessing/locating archival documentation; intermittent funding/interrupted projects.«

»From the perspective of our Database of Manuscripts, which is primarily used as a provenance research tool, there are many manuscript owners in the database that are only known through inscriptions found in manuscripts that have recorded in auction and sale catalogs. The database provides these names with a digital record, but our problem is what to do next in order to get these names out in the larger research environment. In the last few years, we have begun contributing our name authority records to Wikidata and are doing the same with the Digital Scriptorium name authority in order to build a digital presence for these names in a linked data environment in the hopes of attracting more researchers with more information about them and also to use Wikidata to build links between people/institutions and manuscripts for richer, deeper research than is available just in our database or Digital Scriptorium search interfaces. The challenges are many, not the least of which is identifying a protocol for description using Wikidata properties. I am currently involved in an international working group of project directors, researchers, and semantic web specialists to study how names related to premodern manuscript studies operate in the Wikidata environment and how research can be improved by developing a protocol for description.«

»I would like to find a way to share my data (dealer archive) with a larger information network.«

»Which vocabularies to use preferentially is unclear for many terms.«

»I would linke to discuss the question of data modelling. Models based on Cidoc tend to be too complex and do not always fit for provenance data (or make queries frustrating).«

»Structuring vague data and deal with disambiguities and gaps.«

»Linked open data.«

»We have a lot of persons without identifers in our database.«

»Wish to provide informations based on machine legibility. Information lost caused by cursory data.«

»Datenschutzrechtliche Hürden bei der Veröffentlichung von Provenienzdaten (DSGVO) und Zugangsbüchern. Wie können wir als Institution zur Datenvernetzung beitragen? Begrenzte Kapazitäten & Ehrenamtlichenengagement, Edit-a-thon Provenienzdaten, MK&G vs. DSGVO.«

»Publishing provenance information as linked open data requires balancing quantity and quality. Therefore, at the Provenance Lab, we address the problem of automatic extraction of provenance data through artificial intelligence (AI) by addressing natural language processing tasks. However, an AI approach is limited compared to the complexity of historical information recorded in provenance texts. In particular, we have identified 4 types of information requiring awareness in data recording and modelling. We classified these information types under the acronym VISU (from Latin, with your own eyes): - Vagueness (spatiotemporal approximation) - Incompleteness (historical gaps) - Subjectivity (hypothesis formulation and contradictoriness) - Uncertainty (varying degrees of confidence in making assumptions).«

»Structuring provenance data.«

»Too many different data formats when working with collections of multiple institutions. Problem of sometimes non-exiting digital data for collections.«

»We are looking for a tool/database that helps us to manage large amounts of provenance data.«


  • to explain and demonstrate that the history of object migration through provenance information can be represented and analyzed on the basis of graph-theoretical concepts
  • to interlink and display sources in Asia (e.g. Chinese and Japanese characters) allowing for a comparison of different cross-cultural networks purely over graph-theoretical measures of their provenance structure
  • to model the meta-structure of multiple object relations and their global movements
  • to integrate the logic of data bases (e.g. CrossAsia, eMuseum data bases)«

»Authority data (especially for works); item vs. event-centered methods; limitations of cataloguing-standards (MARC).«

1) The provenance team works with Word Documents. Part of the data from the DOCXs needs to be entered into the collection management database (MuseumPlus) -> how can we do that without manual work? Is there a way to prepare Word Documents/Templates accordingly? Or what program/software environment could the provenance team use instead (needs to allow fast work!)?
2) How could the possibilities of digital technology be used to assist provenance research? E.g. Linked Open Data/a Knowledge graph that links the data from different resources such as Wikidata, GND, ULAN/AAT etc., Getty Provenance Index, Lost-Art Datenbank, etc. (see also:, which fastens the search and shows related information from different sources but also allows to use existing data through linking to it?«

»The inconsistency of the data that we have received from museums, which highlights the need, above all, for not only standardisation but also the so-called 'Expert-in-the-Loop'.«

»Mass, reliability, connectivity.«

»As a recent addition to the Provenance Index at our institute, I have been privy to the challenges the team has faced as it works to remodel the entire Index, transforming it from a flat database into linked open data. Perhaps the largest challenge has been how to model uncertainty, which is inherent to art history generally, and provenance research specifically, while it is generally eschewed by semantic modeling. I hope to explore this difficulty further, especially as it pertains to art not yet represented in the Index for this very reason (and others), such as antiquities and non-western art markets. I am interested in how Wikidata and its practices might generate ideas to mitigate these difficulties.«

»Data modelling.«

»Darstellung der Provenienzlücken.«

»Eurocentrism, misrepresentation of acquisition, bias.«

[please add - thank you]

Topics discussed during PLW 2024 conference

In or off sessions
Listed in random order – please add to the list
Data security, standards, data modelling, how to map provenance events to wikidata, chances of artificial intelligence, the Wikimedia tool ecosystem, gaps and uncertainties in provenance data (how to visualize gaps), how to deal with sensible content and vocabularies in databases, Wikibase as a collection management solution for galleries, libraries, archives, and museums, Wikibase for the management of cultural heritage data, how to transfer collection data into wikidata properties (in bulk), challenges of a macro-historical study of colonial plunder in German colonial contexts in Africa, the sum of all paintings project, wikidata queries, cultural heritage in warzones, nanopublications


manifesto 24

Manifesto 24

on the handling of provenance data
International suggestions on the handling of provenance data
  • FAIR data principles
  • International collaboration
  • Quality of data
  • Commitment to transparency
  • Commitment to share knowledge, skills and expertise

Provenance Loves Wiki 2024 Conference Slides



  • to create: asymmetrical war
    there is asymmetric warfare (Q752673)


  • to create: asymmetrical war






  • kuwiki Living Handbook: add session findings to handbook sections (Session with Lambert Heller, Session with Michael Müller)


"Provenance Research in 2024: Part of a Global Cultural Commons?", panel discussion, Technische Universität Berlin, January 12th, 2024




After the Conference

Follow Up Projects & Research

Template for Provenance Information (Wikipedia/de)

wikigroup coordinator: MichaelMBerlin

The idea in a nutshell: We could create a template that can be used by Wikipedians to document provenance information in a form that is well organized, easy to understand, and in line with the standards of current provenance research. The starting point would be the German Wikipedia. Contributions from other communities are, of course, always welcome.

Follow Up Meetings

AI x AH / Artificial Intelligence meets Art History

AI x AH, April 9, 2024, 19.00-20.30, online
with contributions by Ruth von dem Bussche „Neue Herausforderungen für die Kunstgeschichte: Datengenerierung mit KI“ and Fabio Mariani „Provenance Language Processing: A Human-in-the-Loop Perspective“


Guestbook / Notes to the Participants or Conference Team

(have you lost your keys at the venue?
do you need an address or can´t find a link to a database?

[herzlichen Dank für den großartigen Event! es ist mir zudem ein Bedürfnis, die ausgezeichnete Qualität des Caterings zu loben! liebe Grüße! Katinka]