Monday, November 19, 2012

Getty Institute compiles a Cultural Objects Name Authority online

The Getty Institute is compiling a Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA) online, a new authority file for works of art and architecture.
CONA is a structured vocabulary containing authority records for cultural works, including architecture and movable works such as paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, textiles, ceramics, furniture, other visual media such as frescoes and architectural sculpture, performance art, archaeological artifacts, and various functional objects that are from the realm of material culture and of the type collected by museums. The focus of CONA is works cataloged in scholarly literature, museum collections, visual resources collections, archives, libraries, and indexing projects with a primary emphasis on art, architecture, or archaeology.

CONA is not exactly an authority file as we think of one, however, but a database that gives works of art and architecture unique numerical IDs, linking these IDs to all kinds of information.
The focus of each CONA record is a work of art or architecture. In the database, each work's record (also called a subject in the database, not to be confused with iconographical depicted subjects of art works) is identified by a unique numeric ID. Linked to each work's record are titles/names, current location, dates, other fields, related works, a parent (that is, a position in the hierarchy), sources for the data, and notes. The coverage of CONA is global, from prehistory through the present. Names or titles may be current, historical, and in various languages.
Fields in the authorty record will give information about alternate titles, LC Authority File headings, history, date of creation, size, provenance. A sample record for van Gogh's Irises is provided in the description linked above.

From Catalogablog

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