How many terms are in CONA and in IA? Tell me about the scope, contributions, and how to obtain the data.
CONA and IA grow by thousands of records every year through contributions by the expert user community. As of March 2023, CONA contains 86,229 records, 107,759 titles/names. IA contains 6,492 records, 8,675 names. CONA and IA are not intended to be comprehensive. Although coverage is multilingual, multicultural, inclusive, and global, the scopes of CONA and IA are tailored to the needs of the Getty Vocabularies' core audience. CONA focuses on architecture, multiples (e.g., prints), lost works, and works depicted in other works. It is a thesaurus that includes unique IDs, titles, artist attribution, creation dates, relationships, and location for works both current and historical, documented as items or in groups, whether works are extant, destroyed, or planned but never built. IA is a thesaurus that includes proper names, relationships, and dates for iconographical narratives, religious or fictional characters, historical events, names of literary works and performing art. IA has a special focus on non-Western topics, with coreferences to other resources including Iconclass for overlapping Western themes. Read about the Scope of CONA, including what is omitted and who is the intended audience. Read about the Scope of IA.
CONA and IA, as with the other Getty Vocabularies, are unique in their global coverage of the defined domain, in citing published sources and contributors and their preferences, in allowing interconnections among historical and current information, in accommodating the sometimes debated and ambiguous nature of art historical information, and in allowing complex relationships within and between Vocabularies. That is, they are not simple 'value vocabularies'; they are also rich 'knowledge bases' in themselves.
Contributions: CONA and IA, as with all Getty Vocabularies, are compiled resources that grow through contributions from the expert user community, which comprises various Getty projects, and outside institutions and individuals; please see our Contributions page. Contributors to the Getty Vocabularies include museums, special collections, visual resources collections, art libraries, archives, bibliographic and documentation projects, large translation projects, and individual experts and scholars. A list of contributors is available on this site.
Obtaining the data: CONA and IA can be obtained a) on the Getty Web site, free of charge, for searching and displaying individual records, b) and by Web services. All formats of the Vocabularies are provided by the J. Paul Getty Trust under the Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC-By) 1.0. The data in the online Search is refreshed every month. Other formats are refreshed throughout the year.
ul Getty Trust under the Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC-By) 1.0. The data is refreshed every month.
Which fields are required for a CONA contribution?
Although each CONA record may contain rich data in dozens of fields, relationships between work records, links to the other Getty vocabularies, and links to outside resources, the minimum fields for contribution include title/name, work type, creator, date, current location, dimensions, materials, and subject depicted. Default values are provided for fields that are required but for which the contributing institution has no data. The CONA ID, certain flags, and other required values are provided when the data is loaded into CONA; these data are not provided by the contributor.
The minimum fields and editorial rules of CONA are in compliance with CDWA and CCO. Works are identified with a unique and persistent numeric ID. In addition, given that CONA should be reliable and authoritative, it is important that records contain enough other minimum information to allow users of CONA to clearly identify each work uniquely, in order to prevent users from unintentionally linking to the wrong work. A brief description of the fields for CONA is included at About CONA: Information in a CONA record.
What are the relationships in CONA?
As are all Getty Vocabularies, CONA is a thesaurus. The defining characteristic of a thesaurus, that which distinguishes it from a flat list of titles/names is the network of relationships among its titles/names and works/concepts. These relationships are semantic relationships, based on logical connections, such as among a final work and studies for it, between parts of an architectural work and the whole architectural complex, or between works made from the same plate or mold. Thesaurus construction standards identify three kinds of relationships, all of which are included in CONA: Equivalence, Hierarchical, and Associative relationships. Additional relationships exist between CONA and the other Getty Vocabularies.
- Equivalence Relationship. Multiple titles or names may refer to the same work. The relationship between titles/names that represent the same entity in CONA is the equivalence relationship. Among names that refer to a single CONA entitiy, one is chosen as the record-preferred title. Other titles for the CONA entity are synonyms, including historical titles, variant spellings, longer or abbreviated forms of titles, titles in other languages, or inverted or natural-order forms of titles. Each title in the record (i.e., "subject_id") is identified by its own unique identifier, the "term id." Users may choose or link to any title/name in the record. For example, an image cataloger may wish to link to the historical name for the work corresponding to the historical image, rather than creating an anachronistic entry by linking to the modern name.
Some users will wish to consistently use the same title/name for a given work in all circumstances. They may choose the Record-preferred title, which is a default title comprising the title as most often found in English-language sources. Users could also look to language preference flags, preferences on sources, or preferences of a particular contributor to isolate a title/name consistently. The Library of Congress preferred title/name, as used in LOC headings, if any, is picked out also by a special flag, the "LC flag" (also called "AACR flag"). In the example below, all names refer to the same building, Hagia Sophia mosque, formerly church, in Istanbul.
- Hierarchical Relationship. The hierarchy in CONA refers to the method of structuring and displaying CONA entities within their broader contexts. Most hierarchical relationships in CONA are whole/part relationships, as when structures or parts of structures are part of the full structure or complex, indicated with indention in the example below.
- Associative Relationship. Associative relationships are relationships between work records in CONA, other than hierarchical relationships. For example, one building may be the predecessor of another, for example, Old Saint Peter's preceded the current St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. An architectural drawing may be a study for a built work. Relationships are reciprocal and clearly defined by Relationship Types.
- Inter-Vocabulary Relationships. Although not thesaural relationships, CONA includes important relationships to the other Getty Vocabularies, AAT, TGN, ULAN, and IA. For example, the dedication of a temple in CONA may be linked to its named dedication deity in IA. These relationships are one-way (non-reciprocal) and clearly defined, for example Depicted Subject relationships. A sampling of fields linked to the other Vocabularies are included in the example for a Chat Noir poster.
Which fields are required for an IA contribution?
Although each IA record may contain rich data in dozens of fields, relationships between iconographical entities, links to the other Getty Vocabularies, and links to outside resources, the minimum fields for contribution include name/title, broader context, and scope note. Default values are provided for fields that are required but for which the contributing institution has no data. The IA ID, certain flags, and other required values are provided when the data is loaded into IA; these data are not provided by the contributor.
The minimum fields and editorial rules of IA are in compliance with the CDWA and CCO Subject Authority. A brief description of the fields for IA is included at About IA: Information in an IA record.
What are the relationships in IA?
As are all Getty Vocabularies, IA is a thesaurus. The defining characteristic of a thesaurus, that which distinguishes it from a flat list of terms is the network of relationships among its terms and concepts. These relationships are semantic relationships, based on logical connections, such as between legendary characters and the iconographical narrative in which they perform, between a deity and their consort, or two narratives that are part of the same larger story. Thesaurus construction standards identify three kinds of relationships, all of which are included in IA: Equivalence, Hierarchical, and Associative relationships. In addition, relationships exist between an IA record and other Getty Vocabularies records.
- Equivalence Relationship. Multiple terms may refer to the same iconographical topic. The relationship between terms that represent the same concept in IA is the equivalence relationship. Among terms that refer to a single IA entitiy, one is chosen as the record-preferred term. Other terms for the IA entity are synonyms, including historical terms, variant spellings, longer or abbreviated forms of terms, or terms in other languages. Each term in the record (i.e., "subject_id") is identified by its own unique identifier, the "term id." Users may choose or link to any terms in the record. For example, an image cataloger may wish to link to the French term for the concept rather than the Record-preferred English term.
Some users will wish to consistently use the same term for a given iconographical concept in all circumstances. They may choose the Record-preferred term, which is a default term comprising the term as most often found in English-language sources. Users could also look to language preference flags, preferences on sources, or preferences of a particular contributor to isolate a term consistently. The Library of Congress preferred name for the concept, if any, is picked out also by a special flag, the "LC flag" (also called "AACR flag").
In the example below, all names refer to the same iconographical concept, Avalokiteshvara.
- Hierarchical Relationship. The hierarchy in IA refers to the method of structuring and displaying IA entities within their broader contexts. Most hierarchical relationships in IA are genus/species (type of) or instance (example of) relationships, for example Agastya is an instance of (example of) the concept Hindu characters; an episode in a story may be a part of the broader narrative.
- Associative Relationship. Associative relationships are relationships between iconographical concept records in IA, other than hierarchical relationships. For example, a character may be an actor in a narrative legend. Relationships are reciprocal and clearly defined by Relationship Types.
- Inter-Vocabulary Relationships. Although not thesaural relationships, IA includes important relationships to the other Getty Vocabularies, AAT, TGN, ULAN, and CONA. For example, the role or generic group associated with a named entity in IA may be recorded, as the Persian angel Dobiel in IA is linked to the generic concept of angels in AAT. The Maya underworld Xibalba in IA is linked to the place Coban, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala in TGN. These relationships are one-way (non-reciprocal) and clearly defined, for example Generic Concept Relationship Types.
Where may I find detailed information about fields and editorial policy?
CONA is compliant with the CDWA (Categories for the Description of Works of Art) and CCO (Cataloging Cultural Objects), both of which are standards for cataloging works of art and architecture. These standards are based upon consensus and best practice at major cataloging institutions and repositories worldwide. In most cases, rules are also aligned with library cataloging standards, where this is possible. CONA is a thesaurus in structure, compliant with ISO and NISO standards for thesaurus construction. CONA is mapped to CIDOC CRM as well.
IA is based on the Subject Authority of the CDWA standard, intended for iconographical subject content that cannot be controlled by AAT, TGN, or ULAN. The fields and editorial rules of the IA are derived from the CDWA Subject Authority.
You may consult online extensive discussions of the fields and rules at Editorial Guidelines for CONA and Editorial Guidelines for IA.
Training presentations on Introduction to CONA and Introduction to IA give basic overviews. Additional traning materials on all Getty vocabularies are also available.
Search tips for online CONA and IA query form.
Brief tips: CONA
Use any of the 10 fields in this form to search for CONA records. Multiple terms may be entered in most fields in the form. Assume Boolean or between values within one field and Boolean and between fields. You may type search terms directly into the form. Alternatively, use the Lookup option to find terms in AAT, TGN ULAN, or IA. Choose terms and click Return to CONA. In a Lookup search window, use Boolean uppercase OR or AND.
Brief tips: IA
Use the bottom field of the CONA search screen (the IA is a separate authority, however, currently the IA data is searchable within the CONA data model). Currently in IA, searches may be made only on title. (We plan to allow searching on additional fields via this form in the future.) Keyword searching is the default. If you wish to search for an exact match, use quotation marks [e.g., “Buddha”]. Use Boolean uppercase OR or AND [e.g., Life AND Saint]. The wildcard is asterisk (*) [e.g., Africa*].
More tips: For the CONA search, multiple terms may be entered in most of the 10 fields in the form. Assume Boolean "or" between values within one field and Boolean "and" between fields. You may type search terms directly into the form. Alternatively, use the "Lookup" option to find terms in AAT, TGN ULAN, or IA. Choose terms and click Return to CONA.
In a Lookup search window, use Boolean uppercase OR or AND (e.g., in the AAT Lookup: dyptych OR predella); use quotation marks to find exact matches rather than keywords (e.g., in the AAT Lookup, "altar" will bring back a short list of AAT records having a normalized term matching your query, but will not bring back "altar frontal"). Choose the Lookup terms you wish to use, and pass them back to the CONA query form.
Searches from the CONA form will look for all synonyms for the term in the linked vocabulary (e.g., altar-altaar-ara and other AAT synonyms for "altar (religious fixtures)" would be used in the search). Searches using AAT and TGN Lookup will include all narrower contexts of the term in the search (e.g., "arula," a narrower context of "altars (religious fixtures)" would be returned on a search using the latter term).
For locations, note that repositories are not included in a geographic search. For example, if you use the Lookup to search for TGN geographic place "Florence (Italy)," it will not retrieve records in repositories located in Florence. However, it will include records for works linked directly to the geographic place, for example, those noted as created in Florence (if this information is included in the work record). [In future, we intend to allow geographic searches for repositories.]
To search in the Iconography Authority (IA), use the field at the bottom of the form. This field searches within the separate IA authority. To search for object records having an iconographic subject, you must use the subject search fields for CONA itself.
Go to the general F.A.Q. for the Getty Vocabularies.