Keyword-orientated searching is an integral component of research information strategy in the arts and humanities – as organic as looking up a word in a dictionary or browsing the index of a book. The situation is further complicated when keyword-orientated searching is applied to bespoke databases, accessed through application-specific interfaces. The process is commonly described as the 'mining of knowledge' as distinct from the 'retrieval of data' of the kind achieved by keyword-orientated searching. The datasets that accumulated to create the 'haystack' were, in this respect, very typical of what might expect to find among the various distributed resources available in electronic media in a particular historical or archaeological domain. In reality, there are very few bespoke ontologies for any arts and humanities domains. VICODI is the exception, specifically developed for ontology mapping of European history from its origins to the present.