Two figures stand beside seated mother and child surrounded by gilded field of decorative gold.

Detail of Nicola di Maestro Antonio D’Ancona, Madonna and Child Enthroned with SS. Leonard, Jerome, John the Baptist, and Francis, 1472. Carnegie Museum of Art, Howard A. Noble Fund, 71.4.

Digital Provenance Symposium 2016

Carnegie Museum of Art hosted Digital Provenance Symposium 2016 to showcase innovative approaches to problems around the representation of events in digital collections and discussed standardization, collaboration, and communication across the cultural heritage field.

The session brought together provenance experts, art historians, and technologists to discuss the current work being done in digital provenance across the museum sector. Scholars from LACMA, the University of Glasgow, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and others joined CMOA’s staff for a day of sharing, discussion, and planning for the future.

Thank you to all the individuals and institutions who participated in making this event a success. See Digital Provenance Symposium 2017 for more information about the next edition in this series.


  • Louise Lippincott, Curator of Fine Arts at Carnegie Museum of Art, presented an Introduction to Art Tracks where she discussed the origins of the project and its potential impact on the field of art history, as well as its impact on her curatorial practice at CMOA.
  • David Newbury, formerly Lead Developer, Art Tracks at Carnegie Museum of Art, presented Art Tracks: A Technical Deep Dive, including details about the Elysa provenance management software and the Linked Open Data provenance standard.
  • Tracey Berg-Fulton, Collections Database Associate at Carnegie Museum of Art, introduced Needles and Haystacks: Finding the Northbrook Collection, a proposed multi-institution collaborative Linked Open Data provenance project focused on the Northbrook collection.
  • Jane Milosch, the director of the Smithsonian’s Provenance Research Initiative (SPRI), a pan-institutional program to facilitate provenance research at the Smithsonian, in the Office of the Provost/Undersecretary for Museums and Research. The presentation focused on the Smithsonian Provenance Research Initiative’s work with experts around the world to develop training opportunities, educational programs, joint research projects, and new technology to improve the sharing of provenance data among experts and the public, including a multi-year German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program that will launch in 2017, as well as a partnership with the University of Glasgow to create the first graduate studies program in provenance research, Art History: Collecting and Provenance in an International Context, starting fall 2016.
  • Jeffrey Smith, Assistant Registrar for Collections Information for the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler, presented Asian Art Provenance Connections Project. The Freer|Sackler is planning a search interface for Asian art provenance Linked Data, with an initial focus on WWII-era provenance. The site will be designed primarily for researchers, and is intended to scale to include data from other museums with Asian collections. The project’s focus is on aligning the processes of research, data entry, and linking of archival and other knowledge resources to create Linked Data for the research and museum community.
  • Ruth Cuadra, Business Applications Administrator at the Getty Research Institute, discussed Remodeling the Getty Provenance Index as Linked Open Data, including mapping auction sales catalogs to the CIDOC-CRM, developing a URI scheme, and reconciling these resources with the Getty vocabularies.
  • Emmanuelle Delmas-Glass, Collections Data Manager at Yale Center for British Art presented Zebras, Department Stores, and Washing Machines about current work on provenance and the CIDOC-CRM.


The Art Tracks Digital Provenance Project is made possible in part by a generous grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional research support provided by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation (external link), the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art (external link), and the Richard C. von Hess Foundation.

Institute of Museum and Library Service
National Endowment for the Humanities