Presenting at the Metadata Models for Digital Archiving of Intangible and Experiential Cultural Entities workshop at IFDIK 2023

The Workshop on Metadata Models for Digital Archiving of Intangible and Experiential Cultural Entities organized by Shigeo Sugimoto took place on the 4th of December in Taipei at the International Forum on Data, Information, and Knowledge for Resilient and Trustworthy Digital Societies (IFDIK 2023). IFDIK 2023 brought together three major conferences: the 25th International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries (ICADL 2023), the 11th Asia-Pacific Conference on Library Information Education and Practice (A-LIEP 2023) and the AP-iConference 2023 (the annual meeting of Asia-Pacific chapter of iSchools, AP-iSchools).

We were very happy to be able to participate in this specialist workshop focusing on some of the immediate concerns of the JVMG project, namely discussing “digital archiving and metadata issues for various cultural entities in new domains, such as intangible cultural heritage, video games, animations, comics (Manga), performing arts, social events, and disasters.”1

Photo by the organizers, used with permission.

The first presentation of the workshop Content Descriptions for Cultural Heritage by Robert B. Allen focused on how we could draw inspiration from existing thesaurus for describing culture, such as the Art & Architecture Thesaurus, and the work of anthropologists and sociologists, who engage with describing culture, to better capture the nuances of intangible cultural heritage for documentation and cataloging.

Then, Tetsuya Mihara and Kazufumi Fukuda’s presentation Media Art Database (MADB) in Japan: Development and Lessons Learned introduced the latest developments of the Media Arts Database. The discussion of the ontology development taking place in the MADB was particularly exciting for us, especially in relation to how the MADB data model can be mapped onto our own. (Presentation embedded below with the permission of the authors.)


Next up, Magnus Pfeffer discussed the progress of the JVMG project in his presentation The Japanese Visual Media Graph project – lessons learned from four years of work.


This was followed by Zoltan Kacsuk introducing the details of the challenges faced by the JVMG ontology development process in Working with vagueness: A pragmatic incremental approach to ontology development in the Japanese Visual Media Graph project.


Following the break the next two presentations focused on the question of describing intangible cultural heritage. First, Akihiro Kameda offered a critical examination of the way intangible cultural heritage is handled in Wikidata in his presentation Wikidata as an intangible cultural heritage dictionary. Second, in her presentation Confucius Ceremony as Cultural Memory: Integration of the Intangible and Tangible Human Cultural Assets in the Semantic Data Model Shu-Jiun (Sophy) Chen introduced an “event-based ontology for describing ritual activities associated with intangible cultural heritage”2 through the example of the Confucius Ceremony.

The last two presentations of the workshop turned towards more general questions of data modeling for media works and intangible and experiential cultural entities tying together the various themes of the workshop. Marcia Lei Zeng offered an “analysis of the benefits, issues, and best practices in the usages of representative visual resources of res in KOS vocabularies”3 in her presentation Incorporating representative visual resources in a KOS vocabulary for digital archiving of intangible and experiential cultural entities. And then, Shigeo Sugimoto in Modeling Tangible and Intangible Entities for Digital Archiving – from intangible cultural heritage to media artworks and disaster records offered “a generalized data model of metadata for digital archiving of intangible and experiential entities”4 to help capture the way the relationship between intangible entities and archived digital objects is far less straightforward than in the case of tangible objects.

Following the morning presentations the afternoon session centered around the discussions in two break-out groups. Group 1 on Intangible Cultural Heritage and Experiential Cultural Entities was lead by Marcia Zeng and Natalie Pang, and Group 2 on Artworks of Popular Culture and Media Arts was lead by Magnus Pfeffer and Zoltan Kacsuk. Our work in Group 2 revolved around very productive discussions of the new data model in the Media Arts Database, the new JVMG search interface and the merged data points in our knowledge graph, as well as Taiwanese and Chinese data sources on anime, manga, video games and VTubers.

Photo by the organizers, used with permission.

All in all this workshop was an excellent event for working together with our colleagues on the most pressing questions of how to develop our data models on intangible cultural entities and popular culture. We would like to kindly thank Shigeo Sugimoto for organizing the workshop and the NTNU Library for hosting the event. We look forward to continuing our work and collaborations with our colleagues from the domain of library and information science in 2024.