An increasing number of archival institutions aim to provide public access to historical documents.
Ontologies have been designed, developed and utilised to model the archival description of historical
documents and to enable interoperability between different information sources. However, due to the
heterogeneous nature of archives and archival systems, current ontologies for the representation of
archival content do not always cover all existing structural organisation forms equally well. After briefly
contextualising the heterogeneity in the hierarchical structure of German archives, this paper describes
and evaluates differences between two archival ontologies, ArDO and RiC-O, and their approaches to
modelling hierarchy levels and archive dynamics.