BiographySampo – Publishing and enriching biographies on the semantic web for digital humanities research

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • HELDIG - Helsinki Centre for Digital Humanities
  • Finnish Literature Society


This paper argues for making a paradigm shift in publishing and using biographical dictionaries on the web, based on Linked Data. The idea is to provide the user with enhanced reading experience of biographies by enriching contents with data linking and reasoning. In addition, versatile tooling for (1) biographical research of individual persons as well as for (2) prosopographical research on groups of people are provided. To demonstrate and evaluate the new possibilities, we present the semantic portal “BiographySampo – Finnish Biographies on the Semantic Web”. The system is based on a knowledge graph extracted automatically from a collection of 13 100 textual biographies, enriched with data linking to 16 external data sources, and by harvesting external collection data from libraries, museums, and archives. The portal was released in September 2018 for free public use at


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Semantic Web - 16th International Conference, ESWC 2019, Proceedings
EditorsAmrapali Zaveri, Alasdair J.G. Gray, Karl Hammar, Pascal Hitzler, Vanessa Lopez, Krzysztof Janowicz, Miriam Fernández, Armin Haller
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventExtended Semantic Web Conference - Grand hotel Bernardin, Portorož, Slovenia, Portorož, Slovenia
Duration: 2 Jun 20196 Jun 2019
Conference number: 16

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume11503 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


ConferenceExtended Semantic Web Conference
Abbreviated titleESWC
Internet address

ID: 34716808