DPRR: RDF Services Documentation

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DPRR RDF: Documentation

Welcome to the set of documents that describe DPRR's presentation as RDF.

As is the case with RDF materials in general, you will need to understand the formalities of RDF and its related technologies to make use of DPRR's RDF data, and there is no introduction to these basic principles of RDF here. However, even if you are already familiar with RDF and Semantic Web basic technologies if you intend to use DPRR's RDF facilities you will still need to understand how the DPRR data is presented as RDF and what tools are available to process it. Providing this information is the purpose of these pages.

There are three sections to this front page for DPRR's RDF materials: A Quick Start section (below) allows those who wish to get directly into the data without much preamble to do so. However, the pages available here also have a somewhat more in-depth discussion of the issues that arise in DPRR's RDF. A few pointers to them are given in the Exploring the DPRR RDF documentation section below. Finally, the Acknowledgements section acknowledges various partners and players who have participated in the construction of this RDF server.

I hope you find DPRR's RDF materials interesting and useful. I'd welcome your thoughts. Please contact me at


Quick Start

  • DPRR's RDF are structured according to a rudimentary OWL ontology which you can find at http://romanrepublic.ac.uk/rdf/ontology#. It is described in some detail in http://romanrepublic.ac.uk/rdf/doc/ontology.html.
  • DPRR's RDF server is constructed using parts of rdf4j's workbench and, as such, provides a good basis for exploring DPRR's RDF data via a web browser. A good starting point for exploration is the "Types" display (see the tab to it in the Server's left-side menu) or click here to go to it directly). DPRR's specific types that are shown there are described in the page dedicated to its ontology.
  • DPRR's URIs for its entities all start with http://romanrepublic.ac.uk/rdf/entity/ followed by the name of the type of entity (e.g. "Person/") followed by a number or name to identify a particular instance. Any of these URI's can be given to the WWW, and will cause the server to generate the RDF statements that are connected to it. To get the response as RDF data specify a suitable RDF mime type in your http request, or append the "format" parameter, specifying the suitable RDF mime type there. For more information, see the section "Entity URI support" in this web site's "Using the Server" page.
  • An browser-friendly version of DPRR's SPAQRL processor is presented to the user at http://romanrepublic.ac.uk/rdf. A data-oriented SPARQL processor is available at http://romanrepublic.ac.uk/rdf/endpoint/. See the description of it in the section "DPRR rdf SPARQL Endpoint" on the Using the Server page.
  • A small example of using RDF data to generate a display can be found in the timeline demonstration. The materials for it can be found at http://romanrepublic.ac.uk/rdf/timeline.

Exploring the DPRR RDF documentation

The pages that describe DPRR's RDF services in some depth are all available via the tabs showing at the top of all the RDF documentation pages, including this one. The tabs are:

  • Home: this page.
  • Why RDF: describes why the DPRR project is well suited to have its contents represented as RDF. It explores why DPRR should connect well to the Linked Open Data initiative (LOD), and opens a discussion of how one gets from DPRR's data to RDF. This discussion is continued and expanded in the "Building the Server" tab.
  • Using the Server: This tab takes you to a page that describes how to use the various services that make up DPRR's RDF server. All of the server is built upon the rdf4j platform, and much of it is based closely on rdf4j's workbench environment, which provides a light-weight HTML-friendly presentation of RDF materials. However, one can interact in a data-oriented fashion instead. See the section "Services available that generate raw data" near the end of this page.
  • DPRR Ontology: DPRR's RDF data is formally organised around a computer ontology that was developed for it. The tab "DPRR ontology" takes you to the page that describes it.
  • Building the Server: DPRR was originally created using a relational database. Getting from the data in the database into the RDF form you see here was a multi-step task. It is described here.


DPRR started in the Department of Digital Humanities (DDH), and was completed at King’s Digital Lab (KDL). Both the browser-oriented site at http://romanrepublic.ac.uk and this RDF server site are currently maintained by KDL under Service Level Agreement (for more details see https://www.kdl.kcl.ac.uk/how-we-work/kdl-designed-developed-and-maintained/).

The data for DPRR was prepared under a grant from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. DPRR's team page identifies the major players in the DPRR project, and the technical overview describes the non-RDF components of the project. Also, see here for acknowledgements about the data that DPRR publishes online.

This RDF server is based on the rdf4j workbench, with a few changes and extensions created by John Bradley, one of the DPRR's co-investigators.

In partnership with DDH, KDL is working on increasing the availability of project data that could be of use to the wide community of academics, students, cultural sector professionals and the general public. This will improve the scholarly value of collective projects, and strengthen KDL ongoing efforts to justify investment in their long-term sustainability. Exposing the DPRR RDF triple store is part of this ongoing initiative.