Worlding Database

Our database shares curated data about how “global” narratives are being told and shared by exhibitions, academic courses, public events, and activist initiatives around the world. The database provides museum workers, scholars, teachers and students, and cultural activists with information that can help them when planning and organising activities or projects about global arts and culture.

Search people

Search for people contributing to events such as exhibitions or book publications. Also identify their connections with other people in specific roles.

Browse places

Search for events like exhibitions and the publication of books by geographical location on a map.

Browse dates

Search for events based on date.

Browse terminology

Browse the subject terms used in the database arranged in a hierarchy.


The WPC database holds records which are relevant to the WPC consortium and the concept of worlding. It consists of a selection of database fields which have limited capacity for representing complex ideas and social phenomena adequately. The database is a reduction of these phenomena to a selected set of data which has been considered useful by the WPC researchers for answering some of their research questions. The selection and inter-relation of these sets of data has been informed by the CIDOC-CRM.

What is the CIDOC CRM?

The CIDOC Conceptual Reference Model (CRM) is a theoretical and practical tool for information integration in the field of cultural heritage. It was established by the International Committee for Documentation (CIDOC) of the International Council of Museums (ICOM). The CIDOC-CRM is a living standard that is designed in such a way as to provide both high level information retrieval and the formulation and documentation of very specific data points and questions. It provides basic classes and relations devised for the cultural heritage world.

How are we using it and why are we using it?

The CIDOC-CRM specifies types of data (classes) and data relations (properties) which the WPC database has adopted. Adopting these classes and properties will make it technically easier for WPC data to be shared with other projects which adopt the CIDOC-CRM.

Each WPC content type is mapped to a CIDOC-CRM class. For example the content type ‘exhibition’ is mapped to the CIDOC-CRM class ‘E7 Activity’. Each WPC database field is mapped to a CIDOC-CRM property. For example the field ‘contributors’ in the content type ‘exhibition’ is mapped to the CIDOC-CRM property ‘P11 had participants’. This process of mapping is also known as ‘modeling’ and the resulting choices of CIDOC-CRM classes and properties as a ‘model’. The CIDOC-CRM specifies these classes and properties through the so-called ‘scope notes’ which are short texts explaining the nature of the class or property followed by examples.

While browsing the database, each content type and field is accompanied by the corresponding CIDOC-CRM class or property. Worlding notes about these classes and properties are available next to each field.

Why are these notes necessary? Why is the CIDOC CRM problematic?

The worlding notes accompanying each content type and field in the WPC database are produced from a postcolonial and decolonial perspective. The notes are the result of a close-reading exercise of the CIDOC-CRM scope notes and a reflection of the potential western-centric assumptions and exclusions of alternative epistemologies. The intention is to bring these discussions to the CIDOC-CRM special interest group and test the scope notes from a different perspective.