Getty Research Institute’s Vocabularies

September 29, 2015

The Getty vocabulary databases contain terms, names, and other information about people, places, things, and concepts relating to art, architecture, and material culture. Produced and maintained by the Getty Vocabulary Program, they are compliant with ISO and NISO standards for thesaurus construction and can be accessed online free of charge by clicking on the links below.

The Getty vocabularies can be used in three ways: at the data entry stage, by catalogers or indexers who are describing works of art, architecture, material culture, archival materials, visual surrogates, or bibliographic materials; as knowledge bases, providing information for researchers; and as search assistants to enhance end-user access to online resources.

The Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)®
The AAT is a structured vocabulary of around 34,000 concepts, including 131,000 terms, descriptions, bibliographic citations, and other information relating to fine art, architecture, decorative arts, archival materials, and material culture.

The Union List of Artist Names (ULAN)®
ULAN is a structured vocabulary containing around 127,000 records, including 375,000 names and biographical and bibliographic information about artists and architects, including a wealth of variant names, pseudonyms, and language variants.

The Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN)®
The TGN is a structured vocabulary containing around 895,000 records, including around 1,115,000 names, place types, coordinates, and descriptive notes, focusing on places important for the study of art and architecture.

The Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA)TM
CONA is a new Getty vocabulary currently under development. We hope to introduce it to the contributor community in 2011. It will include authority records for cultural works, including architecture and movable works such as paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, manuscripts, photographs, ceramics, textiles, furniture, and 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.

Core Fields


Getty Research Institute’s Vocabularies