Controlled Vocabularies

Cataloguing based on controlled vocabularies is fundamental for consistent object documentation.

This applies both to the recording of information as free text as well as to the recording in structured documents ready for indexation. In principle, controlled vocabularies are indispensable to any type of cataloguing. For this reason, the materials and information provided here are also helpful for the formulation of writing instructions.

To agree on a common controlled vocabulary is all the more important for the integration of heterogeneous metadata from different collections in one platform. Finally yet importantly, a common vocabulary will establish the best preconditions for search and retrieval.

The controlled vocabulary for the description of artistic technique and materials in cataloguing of drawings, prints and photographs, which is harmonized within the Graphik Vernetzt Working Group, currently contains the basic stock of terms used for joint indexing of graphic works and photographs from various collections in the Graphikportal.

The Graphikvokabular was developed in accordance to the Art & Architecture Thesaurus ® (AAT) of the Getty Research Institute. The Graphikvokabular includes terms that have their equivalents within the AAT Materials and Activities facets. In addition, in the area of artistic technique, it also contains individual terms from the AAT Object facet when they are media used in connection with a technique, such as burin, feather, etc. For exclusively English-language databases we recommend to use the AAT directly.

The vocabulary is under construction. It will continue to develop as long as graphic collections announce a need for more controlled terms The Graphikvokabular represents the current status of agreed terms as well as their equivalents in the AAT and in other controlled vocabularies, where applicable. The updated short list also includes additional terms currently in approval process and offers a good first introduction.