“Introduction to Controlled Vocabularies” available online

Some time ago Getty Foundation have released a free book [1] “Introduction to Controlled Vocabularies – Terminology for Art., Architecture and Rother Cultural Works” written by Patricia Harpring. Author is a managing editor for Getty Vocabulary Program which includes three vocabularies: Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN), Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) and the Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT). She is also one of the creators of “Categories for the Description of Works of Art” (CWDA) metadata standard [2].

Book features a straightforward explanation of what controlled vocabularies are in the context of work of arts, museums, archival collections, libraries and scholars. Apart from this reader would also find there descriptions of existing controlled vocabularies and thesauruses including AAT, TGN, ULAN, CT, LCSH, TGM, IconClass. Author explains in which parts of metadata it is reasonable to use controlled vocabularies with some suggestions regarding to usage of existing vocabularies.

Apart from this what was already mentioned there is also chapter dedicated to creation of controlled vocabularies and some examples showing how to catalogue works of art. In the final chapter of the book author discusses issues associated with retrieval using controlled vocabularies.

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