1. Controlled Vocabularies in Context
2. What Are Controlled Vocabularies?
3. Relationships in Controlled Vocabularies
4. Vocabularies for Cultural Objects
5. Using Multiple Vocabularies
6. Local Authorities
7. Constructing a Vocabulary or Authority
8. Indexing with Controlled
9. Retrieval Using Controlled Vocabularies
Appendix: Selected Vocabularies and Other Sources for Terminology
Selected Bibliography
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Introduction to Controlled Vocabularies

Patricia Harpring
book cover

An online publication that defines the characteristics, scope, and uses of controlled vocabularies for art and cultural materials, and explains how vocabularies should be integrated in cataloging systems and utilized for indexing and retrieval.

Introduction to Controlled Vocabularies (updated edition) is available in paperback from the Getty Bookstore.

Cover image: The story of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) was an allegory to explain why different societies spoke different languages (in addition to the obvious warnings against pride toward the deity and urban evils). Babel was a city in Babylon, where after the great flood, humanity was united in one large urban center, speaking a single language. In their pride, the inhabitants began construction of the Tower of Babel, with the intention of reaching the clouds of heaven. Their arrogant plan was foiled by God, who scattered them across the earth and confused their language so they could no longer understand each other.

Draftsman: Lieven Cruyl (Flemish, ca. 1640–ca. 1720); etcher: Coenraet Decker (Dutch, 1651–1685); Tower of Babel; etching; folio height 39 cm (153/8 inches); in Athanasius Kircher (German, 1601/1602–1680); Athanasii Kircheri e Soc. Jesu Turris Babel; published: Amsterdam: Ex officina Janssonio-Waesbergianna, 1679; Research Library; The Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles, California); 85-B16716-pl.[2].

© 2010 J. Paul Getty Trust

Published on www.getty.edu in 2010 by the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles

The Getty Research Institute Publications Program
Thomas W. Gaehtgens, Director, Getty Research Institute
Gail Feigenbaum, Associate Director

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