Making the medieval mining’s history available for all (Wikidata, Wikibase, and Wikisource opportunities)

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Medieval mining?

In a digital era context, when we read or hear about mining, it could recall us to data mining or bitcoin mining. However, there is some knowledge missing or less considered when we talk about mining that is medieval mining. It might be because, medieval mining knowledge is still not well represented on the Web, or it is not easy to find information about medieval mining on the free knowledge ecosystem.

In this context, the University of Innsbruck has been working on a project called “Text Mining Medieval Mining Texts”, where the Linguistics Department processes historical mining sources, which are stored by the Tyrolean Regional Archive Innsbruck in Austria. Those sources are very important for describing the late medieval mining in the mountain regions of Schwaz and Rattenberg in Tyrol (Austria).

They did an enormous work to process the sources. First, by identifying information about persons (e.g., name, last name, title, occupation, etc.), places (e.g., country), mines (e.g., names and categories), dates (day, month, year, datePhrase), and the relationships between them. Second, by extracting and representing annotations. And third, by describing space and time information. The resulting datasets are available as annotations via zenodo.6276685 and accessible as a knowledge graph at

Yet not only that, they are working on the integration of Prehistoric Mining Archaeology sources that they made accessible as a knowledge graph via, where they describe mining, technology transfer, and trade connections in prehistoric times. Last but not least, they worked hard on semantically enriching the AlpenWort corpus by describing places, persons, and first ascent events.

What now?

For some causality, I (Elwin Huaman) was reading articles about knowledge graphs in the alpine ecosystem, and I found them. They generated various knowledge graphs that (in my opinion) deserve to be disseminated and linked to the free knowledge ecosystem on the Web. So, I contacted them, and we took part in a common interest meeting. During the meeting with Andrea Mussmann, Elisabeth Gruber-Tokić, Gerhard Rampl, Gerald Hiebel, and Milena Peralta, who took part in the projects mentioned above, they show their interest in powering their knowledge graphs. For instance, by linking to Wikidata and being linked from Wikidata. Moreover, they would like to present their knowledge graph in a more user-friendly interface and make it (even) more accessible to all.

Meeting with Andrea Mussmann, Elisabeth Gruber-Tokić, Elwin Huaman, Gerhard Rampl, Gerald Hiebel, and Milena Peralta
From left to right Milena, Elisabeth (video call), Elwin, Gerhard, Gerald, and Andrea. © Elwin Huaman, CC BY-SA 4.0

What are the opportunities?

The opportunities that I can observe in the projects and possible future collaborations are:

  • Wikibase: Since they want to have a wiki theme presentation of their knowledge, would be the best match.
  • Wikisource: There are a lot of historical resources digitized, annotated semantically, and made accessible online. From my perspective, those might be valuable sources for the Wikisource community.
  • Wikidata: So far, there are just a few entities describing medieval mining on Wikidata, and I think the knowledge graphs mentioned above can support and enrich the Wikidata free knowledge. 

The reason for this post, and my illusion, is that at some point we could connect all communities from all subjects to the Wikimedia ecosystem. You could contact them if you want to help them or just know how they are progressing.

Tupananchiskama (Quechua)

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