The Catalogus Professorum is a project by historians and AKSW research group from UniversitÃ¤t Leipzig to enlighten the academic history in Germany by representing information about professors, their professional, familiar and societal context in a comprehensive, semantically structured knowledge base. It currently features more than 1500 detailed biographies of academics with some ties to UniversitÃ¤t Leipzig, but due to the mobility of the academic community it gives also insights on the academic life in Germany and central Europe in general. The knowledge base allows historians to pursue various research questions by employing the Catalogus Professorum knowledge base. Of particular interest are currently the relationship between religious movements, political systems, family ties and academia. However, since the information is represented semantically independent of a particular usage scenario it can be easily used to facilitate the investigation of novel research questions. We believe, that the Catalogus Professorum can contribute to triggering a paradigm shift in historian research towards more collaborative work and easier reuse of previous results.
Catalogus Professorum is based on OntoWiki, the Semantic Data Wiki developed by AKSW research group. In addition, to a simplified Web interface for accessing the knowledge base by the general public, OntoWiki offers access to domain experts and knowledge engineers to the knowledge base in a comprehensive semantic collaboration platform.
Currently, the historical online database about professors of the University of Leipzig – Catalogus Professorum Lipsienses – has been featured in the media. First it was discussed in a feature by Leipzig’s university radio station Mephisto 97,6 and also the leading local daily newspaper Leipziger Volkszeitung wrote about the catalog last week.