Abstract Knowledge constantly grows in scientific discourse and is revised over time by different stakeholders, either collaboratively or through institutionalized efforts. The body of knowledge gets structured and refined as the Communities of Practice concerned with a field of knowledge develop a deeper understanding of the issues. As a result, the knowledge model moves from a loosely clustered terminology to a semi-formal or even formal ontology. Change history management in such evolving knowledge models is an important and challenging task. Different techniques have been introduced in the research literature to solve the issue. A comprehensive solution must address various multi-faceted issues, such as ontology recovery, visualization of change effects, and keeping the evolving ontology in a consistent state. More so because the semantics of changes and evolution behavior of the ontology are hard to comprehend. This paper introduces a change history management framework for evolving ontologies; developed over the last couple of years. It is a comprehensive and methodological framework for managing issues related to change management in evolving ontologies, such as versioning, provenance, consistency, recovery, change representation and visualization. The Change history log is central to our framework and is supported by a semantically rich and formally sound change representation scheme known as change history ontology. Changes are captured and then stored in the log in conformance with the change history ontology. The log entries are later used to revert ontology to a previous consistent state, and to visualize the effects of change on ontology during its evolution. The framework is implemented to work as a plug-in for ontology repositories, such as Joseki and ontology editors, such as Protege. The change detection accuracy of the proposed system Change Tracer has been compared with that of Changes Tab, Version Log Generator in Protege; Change Detection, and Change Capturing of NeOn Toolkit. The proposed system has shown better accuracy against the existing systems. A comprehensive evaluation of the methodology was designed to validate the recovery operations. The accuracy of Roll-Back and Roll-Forward algorithms was conducted using different versions of SWETO Ontology, CIDOC CRM Ontology, OMV Ontology, and SWRC Ontology. Experimental results and comparison with other approaches shows that the change management process of the proposed system is accurate, consistent, and comprehensive in its coverage.