The Getty
Research Home Search Tools & Databases Learn about the Getty Vocabularies Editorial Guidelines Cultural Objects Name Authority Online
Cultural Objects Name Authority Online
3. Editorial Rules






Hierarchical Relationships

Included in this chapter






Parents (required)



The broader context(s) for the concept record; parents refer to Hierarchical Relationships, which are broader/narrower, reciprocal relationships between records.




  • 1. Parent: The parent_key is the numeric Subject ID of the preferred parent (e.g., 100001). The records for the child and parent are linked by their ID. When an editor places a record in a hierarchy in VCS, she/he chooses the correct parent and the system makes the link using the two IDs.

  • 2. Preferred Parent Flag: Indicates if this is the preferred parent or a non-preferred parent. Each concept may have only one preferred parent. Values are P[referred] and N[on-preferred].

  • 3. Parent String: A display generated by the system by concatenating the descriptors of the immediate parent and other ancestors, used to give context to the concept's descriptor in horizontal displays (as opposed to vertical, hierarchical displays).



Values are concatenated automatically by the system, using the preferred name, qualifier (if any), and appropriate indentation.    

Sources: Warrant for hierarchical placement
A repository's hierarchical arrangement of its works is warrant for hierarchical placement in CONA.

  • Lacking this, decisions regarding the employment of hiearchical whole/part relationship should be made by the editor or cataloger based on analysis of various factors discusse below.



In the Getty vocabularies, each record is linked to its immediate parent by means of a numeric ID. The hierarchy is constructed through these links.

  • Hierarchical relationships form the structure of CONA, even though the data may be displayed as a list.

  • The hierarchy in CONA refers to the method of structuring and displaying the work records within their broader contexts. Relationships in the hierarchy are indicated with indentation.

  • The following facets provide a basic logical division of the works:

         Built Works
         Movable Works
         Visual Surrogates
         Conceptual Works
         Unidentified Named Works

  • Hierarchical relationships between works in CONA are generally whole/part (rather than genus/species or instance). They are used to link parts to a whole, such as items in a group or set, parts of an architectural structure (such as a dome, that has an architect and dates separate from those of the building as a whole), prints in a volume, works in a series, etc.

    The type of hierarchical relationship between a facet and a work is instance. For example, the work Taj Mahal is an example of a Built Work.

  • CONA is polyhierarchical, meaning that concepts can belong to more than one parent. This would most often happen when recording historical relationships (as when a print was historically part of a now dispersed volume). In another example, a print may be a physical item under the facet Movable Works, but linked to a conceptual work in Conceptual Works facet.

  • Hierarchical relationships are referred to by genealogical terms: child, children, siblings, parent, grandparent, ancestors, descendents, etc.





Hierarchy display
In VCS, the hierarchical relationships are visible from the Hierarchy View window and also from the Subject Edit full record window, under Hierarchies (where it displays in a horizontal string). Hierarchical relationships are created in the Hierarchy Display of VCS or by loading candidate data.

  • Root of the hierarchy: CONA root, named Top of the CONA hierarchy (subject_id 700000000), is the highest level of the hierarchy (the so-called root). The facets are located directly below the Root. In thesaurus displays, facets may have intervening levels and guide terms. Currently CONA does not employ these levels.

  • Hierarchical displays are system-generated from the preferred title and other information comprising the Label.

  • In VCS, the plus sign indicates where more levels may be visible (click on the plus sign in VCS to view the children under any level). In the online display, click on the hierarchy symbol.





Major subdivisions: The facets

>>Built Works

    For CONA, built works include structures or parts of structures that are the result of conscious construction, are of practical use, are relatively stable and permanent, and are of a size and scale appropriate for, but not limited to, habitable buildings. Models and miniature buildings are not built works (they are movable works).

    Most built works in CONA are manifestations of the built environment that are typically classified as fine art, meaning it is generally considered to have esthetic value, was designed by an architect (whether or not his or her name is known), and constructed with skilled labor. However, other structures that do not fall under this definition may also be included.

>>Movable Works

    For CONA, movable works include the visual arts and other cultural works that are of the type collected by art museums and special collections, or by an ethnographic, anthropological, or other museum, or owned by a private collector. Examples include 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.

    Are monumental works “movable works”? For stained glass windows, architectural sculptures, frescoes, freestanding monumental sculptures, furniture, and such other large works, the works should be cataloged as movable works, because their characteristics (types of artists, materials, designs, etc.) have more in common with movable works than with architecture; such works should be linked to the built work with which they are associated, if any.

>>Visual Surrogates

    This facet contains records for images and three-dimensional works intended to be surrogates for the works depicted, for example study photographs.

>>Conceptual Works

    This facet contains records for series as a concept, conceptual records for multiples, records for a conceptual group as for an architectural competition, and other similar records. Physical works, such as prints that belong to a series, may be linked to the conceptual record for the series or other conceptual works.

    Historical works, or works that were planned but never executed, are placed in the Movable Works or Built Works hierarchies, because they were, or were intended to be, physical entities, not merely conceptual in nature.

>>Unidentified Named Works

    This facet contains records for works described in archival inventories or other sources, but their identity is not established.





Background on hierarchical relationships
Works of art or architecture may be considered a single item, or they may be made up of many physical parts or arranged in separate physical groupings expressed through hierarchical relationships.

The purpose of making separate records for the parts, rather than to squeeze all information into a single record, is to present the information clearly and distinctly for each part, and to provide effective access to the parts as well as to the whole.

  • Catalog Level: Make sure that the work record has a Catalog Level designation appropriate to the hierarchical divisions: item, volume, group, subgroup, collection, series, set, multiples, component, etc.See discussion at Catalog Level.

  • Multiple-part works and sets
    The whole/part designation is used to link parts of an item to the whole item, or to link an item to the sets or other object groupings of which it is a part. For example, sets of furniture, such as a dining table, chairs, and case pieces, may all be described separately and then linked to a record for the set as a whole; a single item may comprise multiple parts, such as a bowl and its lid, which are described separately and the parts linked to a record for the whole bowl-and-lid. In another example, an older work incorporated into or hidden by a newer work, such as a painting discovered under a newer painting, may be described and linked through whole/part relationships.

  • Historical whole/part relationships
    Historical whole/part relationships should be recorded as hierarchical relatonships. The whole/part designation of a type of work may be relative and changeable; for example, when polyptych is held by one owner in its entirety, it will probably be described as a single object by the repository. If the polyptych has been dismantled and dispersed, the many parts of the same original work will now be recorded as separate works. Because there may be multiple interpretations of what the original whole comprised, one item may belong to multiple historical broader wholes.

    The ability of CONA to bring together metadata from different sources and to record historical relationships is among the most important features allowing CONA to reconstruct disassembled and lost works in research and discovery in digital art history.

  • Parts of parts
    If a work is made up of many components, the components may also have parts; these relationships should be indicated. For example, in the complex of St. Peter's in the Vatican, the basilica is a part of the complex. The basilica itself may have parts that are described separately, such as the dome.

  • Archival groups
    Hierarchical relationships in CONA are used to document archival groups and their parts. Archives typically catalog (or "describe") on the group level, because they collect large bodies of objects that can be readily broken into intellectual and physical groups. A defining characteristic of group-level cataloging is that the objects in a group can be described meaningfully as an aggregate, generally because they share a common purpose or origin; however, a group often contains many different types of objects (e.g., drawings, books, models, and correspondence). Groups may be linked to subgroups, items, if cataloged separately, may be linked as whole/part.

  • Museum cataloging
    Museums traditionally favor item-level cataloging rather than group-level cataloging, assigning accession numbers and other catalog information to every individual object in their collections. However, items in a museum may be linked to a group record for the items, for example, photographs as part of an album.

  • Library cataloging
    Libraries traditionally catalog volumes as individual items and typically do not catalog individual prints or illustrations in the pages of a volume. However, special collections or collections of rare books typically catalog their works in a more detailed way, similar to museum cataloging.



Hierarchical relationship or associative relationship?

Ideally, works that are related as siblings having a whole/part relationship to a parent (broader context) should be linked through hierarchical relationships. Examples of such siblings would be members of the same set or parts of the same historical whole.

However, if a record for the parent is not available in the data, the siblings may be linked to each other through Associative Relationships instead. Why must this happen? Often the record for the parent is not provided by a contributor, thus the hierarchical relationship cannot be made. This occurs for many reasons: when the repository itself does not maintain whole/part relationships in their data, when the whole/part relationship is historical, when the sibling to the contributed work is in another repository, or when the parent is a series or other conceptual, non-physical entity that is not recorded by the repository.

Siblings may be linked through associative relationships in CONA when necessary. Note that over time, the associative relationship may be deleted, replaced with a more appropriate hierarchical relationship where a parent is created and linked to its children (siblings of each other) as whole/part.





RULES for creating hierarchical relationships





Minimum requirements

Required: It is required that each record in CONA have a hierarchical position. In many cases, the hierarchical parent is a facet. The parent is generally determined automatically, when the data is loaded. Editors may change hierarchical positions when they move contributed records from candidate (temp.parent) facets into the published hierarchies as they are processed.

The records for the facets of CONA may not be edited, merged, or moved without the permission of your supervisor. You may not add a new Facet, Hierarchy, or Guide Term to CONA.



When to make hierarchical relationships

When the information for the whole varies significantly from information for the part, create a work record for each part as well as a work record for the whole.

>>Components comprise an item

If components of a movable work warrant creating separate records, link them to the parent record record as whole/part.

  • Example
    [two parts of a composite item]
  • Top of the CONA Hierarchy
    .... Movable Works (CONA facet)
    ............ Apulian Black Hydria with Gilding and Black Stand
              (composite object; unknown South Italian (Apulian);
              ca. 340 BCE)

    ................ Apulian Black Hydria with Gilding
    ................ Apulian Black Stand

Another example of a whole/part relationship would be if an older work is included in a newer work, even if the older work is not visible to the naked eye. An example would be a Rembrandt portrait under which an earlier portrait is found. The earlier portrait could be described as a separate work if necessary, linked to the extant visible work through whole/part relationships. Having a separate work record for the hidden painting allows it to be more fully described than if it were simply mentioned in the original record.

  • Example
    [older work under a newer work]
  • Top of the CONA Hierarchy
    .... Movable Works (CONA facet)
    ............ Old Man in Military Costume
                  (painting; Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch,
                  1606-1669); ca. 1630-1631)

    ................... Portrait of a Man, probably Self-Portrait
                      (painting; Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn (Dutch,
                      1606-1669); 1620s)

>>Components are part of a building

If components of a built work warrant creating separate records, link them to the parent record record as whole/part. In the example below, the dome of St. Peter's had a building campaign, dates, and architects that are different from the basilica.

  • Example
    [parts of built works are cataloged separately and linked to the whole]
  • Top of the CONA Hierarchy
    .... Built Works (CONA facet)
    .......... Vatican Complex (building complex; various creators;
                mid-15th-17th centuries)

    ............. Basilica di San Pietro in Vaticano
    ................. Dome of Saint Peter's

>>Items are part of a whole

For items that comprise a whole, link as whole/part. Examples include photographs in an album, panels that are part of an altarpiece, and illuminated folios in a manuscript.

  • Example
    [folios linked to the manuscript of which they are parts]
  • Top of the CONA hierarchy
    ...Movable Works (CONA Facet)
    ..... Arenberg Hours (illuminated manuscript; Willem Vrelant
                and workshop (Flemish, died 1481; early 1460s;
                 cover, early 19th cent.; Bruges (Belgium)
    ........ A Cross in a Landscape
    ........ Adam and Eve Eating the Forbidden Fruit
    ........ All Saints
    ........ All Saints
    ........ A Man Chopping a Tree; Zodiacal Sign of Pisces
    ........ A Man Hawking; Zodiacal Sign of Gemini
    ........ A Man Knocking Acorns from a Tree
    ........ A Man Mowing; Zodiacal Sign of Cancer
    ........ A Man Praying to the Holy Spirit
    ........ A Man Reaping; Zodiacal Sign of Leo
    ........ [etc.]

>>Items in a set or grouping

If multiple items were designed or historically combined through compilation in a set or object grouping, link them with whole/part relationships.

  • Example
  • Top of the CONA hierarchy
    .... Movable Works (CONA facet)
    ........Traveling Tea Service (tea service; probably
             by Martin Berthe, master in 1712; various materials;

    ............Tea Caddy
    ............Sugar Bowl
    ............Tea Bowl
    ............Silver-mounted Scent Flask
    ............Wooden Box

>>Archival groups and subgroups

For archival groups, link groups and subgroups. If the items are also cataloged, link the item records to the groups or subgroups through whole/part relationships.

  • Example
  • Top of the CONA Hierarchy
    .... Movable Works (CONA facet)
    ............ Julius Shuman Photography Archive 1935-2009
    ................ Series III.A. Case Study Houses, 1945-2004
    .................... Job 2622: Case Study House No. 21 (Los
                           Angeles, Calif.), 1958, 1959
    ........................... Case Study House No. 21: 2622-32.
                                Reflecting pool, carport, entrance to kitchen
                               and study/bedroom (photograph)

>>Historical relationships

Historical relationships are included in the Movable Works or Built Works facets, whichever is appropriate. Even though a work and its relationship are no longer current, it is not placed in the Conceptual Works facet because it was, or was intended to be, a physical entity, not merely a conceptual entity.

Create whole/part relationships to link parts of disassembled works that are brought together intellectually for research.

  • Example
    [parts of an altarpiece are virtually reconstructed]
  • Top of the CONA hierarchy
    ..... Conceptual Works (CONA Facet)
    ............ Adoration of the Magi altarpiece (reconstruction; Bartolo
                       di Fredi (Sienese painter, died 1410); original
                       location: Siena, Italy; late 14th century)

    ........................Adoration of the Magi (altarpiece panel;
                           Pinacoteca Nazionale di Siena (Siena, Italy);
                           no. 104)

    ........................Crucifixion (predella; Lindenau-Museum
                           (Altenburg, Germany); no. 50)

    ........................Saints in Adoration (panel; University of Virginia
                           Art Museum (Charlottesville, Virginia))

    ........................Assumption of the Virgin (panel; Musée Île-de-
                           France (Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, France))

    ........................Saint Peter (panel; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
                           (Kansas City, Missouri) no. 5.13)

    ........................Saint Paul (panel; Musée des beaux-arts
                           (Quimper, France))

>>Conceptual relationships

For multiples, series, and other conceptual entities, create a record and link children and whole/part. Examples are a series and the works made in a series, prints or other multiples, architectural drawings in a commission where the commission is considered a conceptual group.

  • Example
    [multiples, conceptual relationships between prints and the series; the physical prints, individual impressions held at a given repository, are linked to the conceptual record for the print]
  • Top of the CONA hierarchy
    ..... Conceptual Works (CONA Facet)
    .......... Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji: First Series (color
                  woodcuts; Katsushika Hokusai (Japanese,
                 1760-1849); between 1826 and 1833)

    ............... Great Wave off Kanagawa (multiples)
    ............... Fine Wind, Clear Morning (multiples)
    ............... Rainstorm Beneath the Summit (multiples)
    ............... Under Mannen Bridge at Fukagawa (multiples)
    ............... Surugadai in Edo (multiples)
    ............... Cushion Pine at Aoyama in Edo (multiples)
    ............... Senju in Musashi Province (multiples)
    ............... Tama River in Musashi Province (multiples)
    ............... Inume Pass in Kai Province (multiples)
    ............... Fuji-View Fields in Owari Province (multiples)
    ............... Honganji Temple at Asakusa in Edo (multiples)
    ............... Tsukuda Island in Musashi Province (multiples)
    ............... [etc.]

For physical works belonging to the series, link them to the corresponding multiples record with non-preferred [N] hierarchical links, relationship type Instance. The physical prints in this non-preferred relationship are examples of the conceptual multiples.

  • Example
  • Top of the CONA Hierarchy
    .... Conceptual Works (CONA facet)
    ............ Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji: First Series
    ................ Great Wave off Kanagawa (multiples)
    .................... L'arc de la vague au large de Kanagawa [N]
                          (woodcut; Bibliotheque Nationale (Paris,
                          France); Notice n°: FRBNF15780765)

    .................... The Great Wave [N] (woodcut; British
                         Museum (London, England); 2008,3008.1.JA)

    .................... The Great Wave off Kanagawa [N] (woodcut;
                          Honolulu Museum of Art (Honolulu, Hawaii; 13695)

    .................... The Great Wave off Kanagawa [N] (woodcut; Los
                          Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles,
                          California; M.81.91.2)

    .................... Under the Wave off Kanagawa [N] (woodcut;
                         Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New
                         York; JP2569)

    .................... Under the Wave off Kanagawa [N] (woodcut;
                         Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New
                         York state; JP2972)


>>Relationships to visual surrogates

Visual surrogates may be parts of larger groups. For the relationship between the surrogate and the work depicted, use Depicted Subject.

  • Example
  • Top of the CONA Hierarchy
    .... Visual Surrogates (CONA facet)
    ............ Study photographs of Dutch paintings and drawings
                         (post-1600) (photographic prints; undetermined
                         photographers; various individual contributors
                         and contributing collections as originators;
                         ca. 19--?; 76.P.60; 1384-251; ND644; MMS
                         ID 9922433930001551)

    ................ Equestrian Portrait of Philip IV (study photograph;
                         unknown photographer)

Multiple parents
CONA is polyhierarchical. Records in CONA may be linked to multiple broader contexts (i.e., multiple parents). Example of use would include when describing historical groups or components. Another example is when linking items to reconstructed wholes, where there are multiple proposed reconstructions.

  • In consultation with your supervisor, assign multiple parents to records in CONA as necessary.

   » Preferred parent

One parent must be flagged as preferred. Make the preferred relationship to the parent that is currently the larger context for the part. Historical relatonships should be non-preferred.

  • Children displaying with a non-preferred parent are flagged with an upper-case N (for non-preferred) in square brackets in the hierarchy display.


Positioning under a Candidate level/Temp. parent

   » Incomplete warrant or unknown scope

If you do not have enough information to publish a work record, put the record under a candidate level (temp.parent) pending further research. The examples below have insufficient warrant.






   » Using temp.parent only when absolutely necessary

All records placed under a temp.parent are candidates; i.e., they will not be published. Therefore, if your assigned task is to place/move works in the hierarchy, endeavor to correctly position records in the publishable facet.

   » Spelling temp.parent

Note that the spelling and punctuation of "temp.parent/" must be consistent. This phrase is used by VCS and extraction routines to identify candidate records.

   » Candidates loaded under temp.parents

Note that the Loader positions candidate records under temp.parents. Editors then move the records from temp.parents to the correct position in the hierarchy.

  • Caveat: If you create a "temp.parent" that should not be published in the Candidate Report for contributors on the Web (e.g., if the children are intended for testing, deleted records, or otherwise should not be visible to contributors) set the Problem flag to Yes.


Order among siblings

   » Alphabetical order vs. forced order

Within a given level (i.e., among siblings), records are usually arranged alphabetically by the descriptor. In some cases, however, the order may be "forced" in order to display records by chronological or another logical order. See Sort Order below.

  • Caveat: Consult with your supervisor before applying a forced order.


Views of the hierarchy by language

   » Vernacular view

The default view of CONA will be with the preferred title, generally an English-language title. Another possible default is the title preferred by the repository, which is not necessarily English.

Implementors may display the records by a title in another language, provided the language is flagged to support this display.






Sort Order (required-default)


Number indicating the order in which a subject record will sort among siblings in the hierarchy.





  • For alphabetical sorting, leave the Sort Order as 1 for all siblings.

  • For forced sorting, move the siblings up and down the list so that they will sort in the correct order. Numbers must be sequential.





Historical Flag: Current or Historical parents and other flags (required-default)


Flag indicating the historical status of the parent/child relationship, or another characteristic of the relationship.


Hierarchical relationships are usually current or historical (flagged C or H), although others may occasionally apply.

    C - Current,
    H - Historical,
    B - Both,
    N/A - Not Applicable
    U - Undetermined


Values are chosen by the editor from a controlled list.


In CONA, the default is set to Current.



  • Choose the flag appropriate to the relationship. The default flag for the relationship is Current. If the relationship is not current, change it to the appropriate flag, which will typically be Historical.

    • Current: For relationships that still exist, even though they may have been established long ago, use Current. Most records in the CONA have the flag set to Current.

    • Historical: For a historical relationship that no longer exists. Consult with your supervisor before using this flag.

    • Both: For a relationship that existed in the past, the relationship was severed, and then established again. Consult with your supervisor before using this flag.

    • N/A: Consult with your supervisor before using this flag.

    • Undetermined: This flag is used primarily for data that is loaded into VCS.






Dates for relationship to parents


Dates delimiting the relationship between the child and its parent. There are three fields: Display Date, Start Date, and End Date.


Display Date is a free-text field; values are Unicode text and numbers.

Start Date and End Date contain numbers representing years. Years BCE are indicated with negative numbers.


The dates should be determined using the same standard reference works that supply other information in the record.


The Display Date usually refers to a period or date, however, it may sometimes contain notes that do not explicitly make reference to a date. In such cases, the note should implicitly refer to a date or datable condition or event, because you are required to include a Start Date and End Date with every Display Date.

  • Display dates are indexed with Start Date and End Date. Start and End Dates are controlled by special formatting; dates BCE are represented by negative numbers.



Indicate dates for the hierarchical relationship, as appropriate.

  • Dates are not required. However, if you enter data in any of the three fields, you must enter data in all three of the fields.

  • The dates appear on reciprocal links. That means that the same dates will appear in both records. Write the Display Dates and assign Start and End Dates so that they will be correct and unambiguous in both records. Repeat the names of the places in the Display Date when necessary to avoid ambiguity.

  • A brief set of rules for Dates appears below. See also Appendix B: Dates and Dates for Titles in Chapter 3.3 Titles/Names.

Display Date

  • Follow the style of Display Dates in Appendix B.

    • Example
    • Display Date: added as a base to this work ca. 1875
      Start Date: 1875 End Date: 9999

  • Do not use an initial capital, unless the word is a proper name.

  • Do not use full sentences; do not end the display date with a period or any other punctuation.

  • Ideally, the display date should refer, explicitly or implicitly, to a time period or date associated with the link between child and parent.

  • If a date is uncertain, use a broad or vague designation (e.g., ancient) or words such as ca. and probably.

  • In some cases, the Display Date may be used to record unusual or important information about the hierarchical relationship (see the example below), not even referring explicitly to a date. However, dates should be implicit in the condition or event mentioned and you should have a period or date in mind, because - if you record a Display Date - Start and End dates are required.


Start Date and End Date
Use dates that most broadly delimit the span of time of the relationship referred to in the display date. In many cases, the years will be approximate years. When in doubt, it is better to estimate too broad a span rather than too narrow a span. See the Date Authority in Appendix B for approximate dates of historic events and entities.

  • Dates must be expressed in the proleptic Gregorian calendar, which is the Gregorian calendar projected back in time before it came into existence.

  • Express dates BCE by negative numbers, using a hyphen before the number. Do not use commas or any other punctuation.

  • For current relationships, use the End Date 9999.

  • For very ancient dates, expressed as years ago or before present in the Display Date, translate these dates into approximate years in the proleptic Gregorian calendar for the Start and End Dates.





Parent String (required-default)



A listing of parents that may be used in displays to give context for parts, enclosed in parentheses following the title and other information.



Preferred name and other names from the parents' records.



Values are automatically generated by the system.



The Parent String is automatically concatenated by VCS or another application by an algorithm. Although the editor does not directly create parent strings, note that the choices you make for the preferred name, preferred English name, and Display Name affect the way in which parent strings are created.




  • The rules for creating the Parent String and Label are applicable to the automated process only. Editors need be concerned only with creating records that will have the correct data required for the algorithm to create parent strings and labels.





Facet or Hierarchy Code



A special thesaurus code; not used in CONA.



Empty in CONA.





Hierarchical Relationship Type (required-default)


Indicates the type of relationship between a hierarchical child and its parent, expressed in the jargon of controlled vocabulary standards.

An example of a whole/part relationship is View of Siena is a part of Album of Drawings of Italian Hill Towns (CONA); Tuscany is a part of Italy (TGN).

An example of genus/species relationship is calcite is a type of mineral (AAT).

An example of the instance relationship is Eiffel Tower is an example of a Built Work (CONA); Rembrandt van Rijn is an example of a Person (ULAN).



    G=Genus/Species (generic)
    P=Whole/Part (partitive)


Automatically generated by the system; edited by Vocabulary editor if necessary.





In CONA, records under the facets have an instance relationship to the facet.

In CONA, hierarchically related work records should have whole/part relationships between each other.

Below are definitions of all types of hierarchical relationships, for your information.

  • Whole/part relationships: Also called a partitive relationship. A whole/part relationship is a hierarchical relationship between a larger entity and a part or component. In the context of cataloging art, it typically refers to a relationship between two work records (e.g., an illuminated folio is part of a manuscript) or two records in a thesaurus (e.g., in TGN Florence is part of Tuscany).

    Whole/part relationships are typically applied to works of art, geographic locations, parts of corporate bodies, parts of the body, and other types of concepts that are not readily placed into genus/species relationships. Each child should be a part of the parent and all the other ancestors above it.

  • Genus/Species relationships: The genus/species or generic relationship is the most common relationship in the AAT, and in other many other thesauri and taxonomies, is the Genus/Species relationships.  All children in a genus/species relationship should be a kind of, type of, or manifestation of the parent (compare instance relationships below).

  • Instance relationships: In addition to the whole/part and genus/species relationships, some vocabularies may utilize a third type of hierarchical relationship, the instance relationship. This is most commonly seen in vocabularies where proper names are organized by general categories of things or events.

    In CONA, the works of art have an instance relationship to their facet (e.g., the Mona Lisa is an example of a Movable Work). The instance relationship is also utilized for the facets of the ULAN. In TGN, the children under facets are a part of the parent (e.g., Thailand is part of Asia).



  • Alter the default hierarchical relationship type only in consultation with your supervisor.





Qualifier for Hierarchical Relationship



Alphanumeric indicator or phrase that qualifies the relationship between the parent and child in a hierarchy. May also contain other codes or qualifying text about the relationship.

  • Examples

  • folio 25
    page 190
    folio 8v


This is not a controlled field. However, consistent use of capitalization, punctuation, and syntax is recommended. This is particularly important for the Qualifers for siblings.


Use the same authoritative sources used for the rest of the record.


It is often important to indicate the sequential position between siblings that are or were part of a whole, such as the folio or page number in a volume, the act and scene number of a cel that is part of an animated film, or the position of a particular print in a series of prints.

Other sorts of positional or chronological codes or notes may be included.

Keep in mind that this Qualifier note is reciprocal and symmetric, in that it displays in both records. Therefore, phrase it so that it works for both records.




Minimum Requirements

Optional: Record a phrase or number that concisely describes the physical or intellectual position of this work in relation to other related works.

Use consistent syntax and punctuation. Doing so will allow this field to be used to sort related siblings or other works in a logical order.


[1]Required-default" indicates that a default is automatically set, but should be changed by the cataloguer as necessary.


Last updated 30 September 2015
Document is subject to frequent revisions


Back to Top

The J. Paul Getty Trust
The J. Paul Getty Trust
© J. Paul Getty Trust | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use