The main building blocks in the interpretation process of history and collection objects are historical events and the relations between these events and the objects. A collection object on its own, has no meaning; by adding events to the object’s description we provide its historical context. This gives the object meaning and makes it possible to interpret it. A single historical event often gives only a part of the whole historical context of an object, therefore narratives are important in the interpretation process. A narrative is formed by a chain of historical events. In principle, any sequence of historical events can form a narrative, however, we define a set of event-event-relationships from which nar- ratives follow that are meaningful from a historical perspec- tive. We call these narratives proto-narratives, as they are key to the interpretation process of users.

In this paper we aim to answer two questions: (i) what object-event-relations and event-event-relations support and enhance access to and interpretation of cultural heritage col- lections? and (ii) how can we model historical event descrip- tions to facilitate this access and interpretation?

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