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Information about generic concepts needed to catalog or describe the work, including the type of object, materials, activities, its style, other attributes, or the role of a creator.


  • Accommodate the continued use of licensed vocabularies in instances to describe
    • work and work component object types
    • artist roles and occupations
    • processes, materials, and techniques
    • styles, periods, and artistic movements
    • subjects
  • Allow users to compile authorized terms or headings used by a single organization or consortium in cataloging, indexing, or documentation (CDWA)
  • Establish the preferred term for a role, process, style, etc.
  • Establish the language of a term
  • Allow for the management of synonyms and related terms, including non-hierarchical "associative relationships" among authorities
  • Allow users to create hierarchies within authority records
  • Enable term control in intake records, object records, and other authorities
  • The authority should be compliant with ISO and NISO standards for thesauri (CDWA)

The licensed Getty vocabularies (Art and Architecture Thesaurus, Thesaurus of Geographic Names, and the Union List of Artist Names) are critical tools for maintaining descriptive consistency when data about works of art and architecture are being recorded by multiple data entry personnel. Continued use of these structured vocabularies is also must-have in order to be able to comply with national and international standards for descriptive metadata.

Standards, Guidelines + Use Cases

Categories for the Description of Works of Art - Generic Concept Authority


Wireframes - Concept Authority


Vocabulary Service


Concept Authority Schema
Concept Authority Search Schema


User Stories

User can create, edit, or delete a concept authority term

Unless otherwise noted, definition and requirements from:
Spectrum Version 3.1
Created and Maintained by CollectionsTrust