The intention of matterhorn.tools is to unite all information about Matterhorn METS and the Matterhorn RDF Data Model in one central location. The two models for archival metadata have been co-developed by the Valais State Archives and docuteam. The goal of the models is to improve contextualisation in archival description by implementing the archival standards of the International Council on Archives (ICA) and the OAIS data model within the same metadata model. The Matterhorn data models are solely based on already existing norms and standards; we seek to improve and recombine existing work and don’t want to reinvent the wheel.

The work for Matterhorn METS started in 2008 with the goal to substantiate and implement the OAIS information model and the ICA-standards for archival metadata in one model. This model should be generic enough that it could be used not only in archival contexts but also in libraries, museums and for archiving research data. The result of this work was a specification (currently in german only) and a formal METS-Profile which was registered at the Library of Congress in 2012. The model could be presented at numerous conferences in Europe and is currently used by about 30 institutions in Switzerland, Germany and France.

The design work for the Matterhorn RDF Data Model started in 2015 when it became clear that an XML-based standard is not sufficient to model the relations between the different ICA-standards ISAD(G), ISAAR(CPF) and ISDF. We saw the relations between the content-, agent- and business process-description as the crucial part for improving the contextualisation of archival description. Furthermore an XML-notation for ISDF was completely lacking and we saw no group in the international archival community working on this topic. This lead us to the conclusion that we had to move on to a model that was based on semantic technologies. As it was the case with Matterhorn METS we decided again to not develop our own standard or ontology, but to rely on classes and properties of already existing, widely used and well maintained ontologies. This was a different approach as the Expert Group on Archival Description (EGAD) decided to take at about the same time. Their new model „Records in Context“ is implemented in a completey new ontology called the „RiC-O“.

Nevertheless Matterhorn RDF had to be formalized in one way or another. In 2017 the W3C published their recommendations about the „Shapes Constraint Language (SHACL)“. SHACL is a language „for validating RDF graphs against a set of conditions“. These conditions are expressed in so called „Shapes“ and if a graph fits into a shape it’s a valid statement. We decided to use SHACL Shapes for the formalization of Matterhorn RDF since such shapes are at the same time human- and machine readable. The formulation of the SHACL Shapes for all classes and properties of Matterhorn RDF is the work that currently fills our nights.

Contact: Alain Dubois (State Archive of Valais), Tobias Wildi (docuteam)

Matterhorn METS

Matterhorn METS is a METS-Profile registered in 2012 at the Library of Congress. It combines METS, PREMIS and EAD:

Presentations of Matterhorn METS:

Links to related ressources:

Matterhorn RDF

The current conceptual model and the class model of Matterhorn RDF can be found on this Wiki page:


Presentations of Matterhorn RDF:


Since we don’t create our own ontology there is no necessity to define a namespace for Matterhorn RDF. If nevertheless there is a necessity to define our proper namespace it would look like this:


As a preferred abbreviation we would suggest „matter“.