CLAROS is an international interdisciplinary research federation using the latest developments in Information and Communication Technologies to bring the art of the world to everyone. It is led by the University of Oxford and based in its e-research centre, OeRC. It is a federation that welcomes collaboration.

CLAROS began in 2000 as CLassical Art Research Online Research Services with Europe’s leading research centres for the art of ancient Greece and Rome. Since 1979 these centres, in the universities of Oxford, Cologne, and Paris, have been creating scholarly databases about the art of classical antiquity. Well studied, highly classified, and appreciated by a global community, they have provided an ideal foundation.


Podcast of CLAROS launch event, May 2011, Wolfson College, Oxford

Podcast from Humanities ResearchShowcase at Oxford (2011/11/07): Humanities in Partnership withe Science: The World of Art on the Web

ClarosWiki - technical information about ClarosWeb


Technical research centres participating in CLAROS (as of spring 2011)

University of Oxford

University of Cologne



Since 2007 CLAROS has been using semantic web technologies to make the geographically separate scholarly datasets ‘interoperable’ and accessible to a broad range of users. While each content provider retains his data, formats and website, the user can search all datasets as one by text or by image.

By 2010 CLAROS more than 20 million records had been made ‘interoperable’ using CIDOC-CRM, a programme designed at the behest of UNESCO for ICOM. In 2011 it was ready to move from the research institutes to museums and from classical art to the art of the world.

CLAROS has already introduced image recognition technologies, which remove language barriers, and are ideal for art on the web. It will introduce Artificial Intelligence to extract information automatically from the web, and it will encourage public participation.


Technical Overview

Visual Searching

Accessing the CLAROS data directly