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Art Architecture Thesaurus The Getty- for free


The Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) is a structured vocabulary, including terms, descriptions, and other metadata for generic concepts related to art, architecture, conservation, archaeology, and other cultural heritage. Included are work types, styles, materials, techniques, and others.

This controlled vocabulary may be used by someone cataloguing or indexing a collection as it provides preferred names or terms and synonyms for people, places, and things. It may also be helpful in retrieval of information from documentation systems and research into collections as it shows links and paths between concepts. Some collections management systems have the AAT built in to their system to aid cataloguing. You can read background information about the AAT at this link.


What is the Getty Vocabulary?

  • The Getty Vocabulary contains structured terms for art, architecture, decorative arts, archival materials, visual surrogates, conservation, and bibliographic materials.
  • It conforms to international standards and provides authoritative information for catalogers, researchers, and data providers.
  • The Getty Vocabulary strives to be multilingual, multicultural, and inclusive.
  • The Vocabulary grows through contributions from the institutions and projects that makeup its expert user community.
  • In a newly linked and open environment, the Getty Vocabulary will be a powerful conduit for the study and discovery of digital art history.

What is the Getty Vocabulary?

  1. The Getty Vocabulary represents more than 35 years of continuous international collaboration.
  2. From its inception, the Getty Vocabulary has been designed to link to each other and to the broader cultural heritage information domain.
  3. For example, in the AAT, concepts are linked to each other through hierarchical and associative relationships.
  4. With the release of the Getty Vocabulary as Linked Open Data (LOD) several years ago, the Getty has become a leader in advancing the potential of technology to enable the study and discovery of information about art, architecture, conservation, and other cultural heritage.  
  5. The Getty Vocabulary is entering a new world of unlimited possibilities in digital scholarship.

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