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Cultural Objects Name Authority Online
3. Editorial Rules, continued






Titles and Names [1]

Included in this chapter







Term ID (required default)



Number identifying a title/name in CONA.



Numbers are system-generated in the following range: 1000000000 - 1999999999.




  • Term IDs may not be edited by the editors.

  • The system assigns unique, consecutive numbers to titles/names as they are created or loaded in CONA. Numbers of deleted terms are not re-used.

  • Each term in each subject record has a different term ID. Homographs do not share the same term ID.






Titles/Names (required)





Titles, identifying phrases, or names given to a work of art, architecture, or material culture. For complex works, series, or collections, the title may refer to a discrete unit within the larger entity (a print from a series, a photograph in a collection, a panel from a fresco cycle, a building within a temple complex) or it may identify only the larger entity (series, collection, cycle) itself.

      • Examples

Venus and Cupid

Portrait of Napoleon

Adoration of the Magi

Still Life with Flowers and Fruit

L'Adoration des Mages

Velvet Jacket

Eight Scenes of the Xiao-Xiang Rivers

Amish Tree of Life Quilt

Site Plan for the Opera at the Place du Palais Royal, Paris

Model for the Façade of San Lorenzo, Florence

Abstract Composition

Large Arch



Lidded Bowl on a Stand

Cane Back Rocking Chair

Empire State Building

Akashi-Kaikyō Bridge

Hagia Sophia

The Pantheon

MS Ludwig XV

Lawrence Alloway Papers





Titles/Names is a free-text field; values may be ASCII characters (including numbers). No special characters or diacritics are allowed; diacritics must be expressed according to the codes in Appendix A. Note that this rule will change when CONA and the other Getty vocabularies become fully Unicode compliant in the future.





Sources are discussed in a separate section, Sources for titles/names below.





The Titles/Names in CONA are analogous to the terms in AAT and the names in ULAN and TGN.

   » What is a title or name?

The titles/names field is required, even when a work has no title or only a name and no proper title, because it is critical to always have a title or name by which to refer to the work in displays and other contexts. The category is also useful for retrieval, even though it is a free-text field.

  • This field records both titles and names that serve as titles. It records titles in the traditional Western sense, that is, descriptive phrases that refer to the iconographical subject or theme of the art work, such as Adoration of the Magi or Portrait of Thomas Jefferson. It also records names of objects, architecture, or groups that do not have a title per se. Such titles/names could include the object type of the work (e.g., Ceramic Bowl) or the dedication or name of a building (e.g., Saint Paul's Cathedral). Titles and names may be referred to as simply "titles" in this manual, but in such cases both titles and names are intended.










Minimum requirements
Record at least one title or name for the work, group of works, collection, or series. If a work has been known by multiple titles or names, include them in repeating instances of this subcategory.

  • Warrant: You must find the preferred title in at least one authoritative source. The repository's records are considered an authoritative source. See Sources for Terms below.

  • List as many variant or alternate titles as have at least one legitimate source. It is not required to add alternate/variant titles, however, you should consult sources to gather additional titles/names as time and editorial priorities allow.

  • While a title having warrant is preferred, a constructed descriptive title may be created by an expert editor if necessary. All constructed titles should be flagged.

  • Specificity and brevity: Titles should generally be concise and specific to the work. A preferred descriptive title should be concise (e.g., from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Maiolica Plate with Profile Bust), but an alternate/variant title may include more details (e.g., Maiolica Plate with Running Plant Border and Profile Bust of a Man in Armor).





Alphabet and diacritics

   » Roman alphabet

Use the Roman alphabet to record the preferred title. The preferred title should be in English, if applicable. Alternate/variant titles may be in other alphabets and writing systems. Unicode is used in CONA.

  • Transliterations
    For alternate/variant titles in a language that is not written in the Roman alphabet (e.g., Greek, Chinese, Cyrillic), record a transliteration of the title in the Roman alphabet. For at least one alternate title, you should ideally use a source that has a transliteration derived by applying pertinent ISO standards. Variant transliterations should be included, if known.

      • Example

      • Hagia Sophia
      • Ayasofya
      • Santa Sofia
      • Ἁγία Σοφία
  • Diacritics
    Do not include diacritics or special characters in the titles/names field. Indicate diacritical marks by using the diacritical codes in Appendix A. This rule will change when full Unicode compatibility is implemented in CONA and the other vocabularies.
  • If you are cutting and pasting titles from an online source, to avoid accidentally pasting special characters and html codes in the titles/names field, do the following: Paste the title into Notepad text editor, delete diacritics and replace them with the codes from Appendix A, then copy the term and paste it into VCS. (Notepad will automatically remove many special characters, but you will have to manually replace the diacritics.)





Capitalization, form, and syntax
In general, record titles and names in title case, not sentence case.

  • For constructed titles in English, capitalize the first word and all nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives, and subordinate conjunctions; use lower case for articles, coordinate conjunctions, and prepositions, unless they are the first word of the title. Capitalize proper names in the title. For titles in other languages, follow capitalization rules of that language. For titles derived from authoritative sources, follow the capitalization and punctuation of the source.

      • Examples

      • Queen Dedes as Prajnaparamita
      • Portrait of a Young Girl
      • Petal, a Beagle
      • Red-Figure Vase
      • Asante Figurative Goldweight
      • Sears Tower
      • Virgin of the Rocks
      • La vierge à l'hostie
      • Noli me tangere
      • Großer schlafender Satyr

   » Mixed case

Titles and other information in the record should be expressed appropriately in mixed case, as dictated by the rules for each field (i.e., not in all-upper case). If your source lists the title in all caps, transcribe it in title case.

  • If the title repeats the Work Type value, although the term may be in lower case in the Work Type field, record it in title case in the Titles/Names field (e.g., Work Type: ceramic bowl, but Titles/Names: Ceramic Bowl).

  • Use all caps only for an abbreviation, codes, or other rare case when the artist's title is explicitly expressed in all capitals (e.g., HALT!).

   » Other languages

  • For titles/names in languages other than English, follow the capitalization rules of that language (e.g., Les adieux d'Hector et d'Andromaque in French, but The Farewell of Hector and Andromache in English).

  • For the preferred title, avoid abbreviations (e.g., View of Mount Etna). Include common abbreviations in alternate/variant titles to provide access (e.g., View of Mt. Etna).

  • Generally avoid using an initial article, unless it is commonly used for a given title, particularly when confusion could result if it were omitted (e.g., La Vierge, where the article is used to indicate the Virgin Mary, rather than a generic virgin).





Preferred titles/names

One title for each work must be flagged as preferred. The preferred title should be a concise descriptive title in English, if possible. As first options for the preferred title, use a recent title provided by the owning institution or a title supplied by the artist.

As a policy, we give precedence to owning institution's and artist's titles when choosing a preferred title. However, if these titles are not descriptive, they should be flagged as preferred, but a separate non-preferred descriptive title should be created and flagged Descriptive.

  • For the preferred title for movable works, generally use the title or name preferred by the repository or assigned by the artist, if applicable. Repositories typically defer to the artist's title, if one exists; thus there is rarely discrepancy. If they differ, prefer the title assigned by the repository, but include the artist's title as a variant title.

  • It is required to have a descriptive title for each work. Whenever possible, the preferred title should also be a descriptive title.

  • Exception: If the work is commonly known by a title, use that title as preferred, even if it is not descriptive. If for any reason the preferred title is not descriptive, a non-preferred descriptive title should be constructed by the cataloger and flagged as descriptive title using Other Flags.

  • Each record must have a title in English. If the preferred title is not in English, an English translation should be included, with Other Flags set to translated title and Language set to English, language preference for English set to Preferred.
  • If the repository title for a movable work is not known, and for architecture, determine which title/name is most commonly used by consulting standard art or architecture encyclopedia, textbooks, dictionaries, and authoritative Web sites. See Sources for titles/names for a list of standard sources.

  • If a title or name canot be found in standard sources, consult specialized books, journal articles, and other published sources.
  • Include any inscribed title, provided it is concise and clearly intended as a title, rather than as an explanatory inscription or description.





Types of titles
Not to be confused with Term Type, described below. Include the following types of titles, if pertinent to the work being described. Label the types of titles appropriately using Other Flags.

  • Descriptive title: Each CONA record must include a descriptive title in English. The descriptive title must convey to the user what the work is or what its subject is about. (Also record the subject in Depicted Subject, because it is not controlled for retrieval in the Titles/Names field.) If the repository title, artist's title, inscribed title, or other title found in an authoritative source is descriptive, the cataloger need not construct one.

    Displays: If the preferred title is not descriptive and in English, it is required to display both the preferred and the descriptive title to end-users.

  • Artist's titles: Include any titles assigned to the work by the creator.

  • Repository titles: Include any titles assigned to the work by the owner of the work, usually the repository.

  • Inscribed titles: Include any title that was applied to the work by the creator with the apparent purpose of giving it a title. If the inscribed title is not descriptive, it need not be the preferred title, but it should be included as a variant title.

    For prints and books, record any title inscribed in the printing plate or on the title page (e.g., Cabinet des Beaux Arts). For books, it is customary to make the inscribed title preferred; however, if the inscribed title is not descriptive, a desctiptive title should also be included.

    The inscribed title may also be recorded with other inscriptions in the Inscriptions field; record any long inscriptions in the inscriptions field, not in the Titles/Names field.

  • Collective titles: In general, avoid putting two titles in the same titles/names field. If the work is part of a series, collection, group, or other larger whole, if possible catalog both the parts and the whole separately; link them through associative relationships (Related Works). Such a link between the two related records would allow for a display of both titles in the record for the part.

    For a series, collection, or group where it is not possible to catalog both the parts and the whole separately, include the title for the larger whole in the title for the part (e.g., Le Cheval Rayé from the Les Anciennes Indes). In most cases, avoid using parentheses in the titles/names field.

    For multiple-part works that are not a series or collection, if the parts of the work are not cataloged separately, include the titles of two or more parts in the same title field (e.g., Two Standing Male Figures (vessel); A Reclining Female Figure (stand)).

    If a group or collection is cataloged as a whole, but the parts are not cataloged separately, the title should be a general description of the group (e.g., Views of Paris and Chartres).





Non-Preferred titles/names
At minimum, endeavor to include important alternate and variant titles that appear in major published sources and represent significant differences from the preferred title in form, spelling, or content. As time and editorial priorities allow, check additional repository or scholarly Web sites, catalogs, dictionaries, encyclopedia, and text books; include additional alternate and variant titles, even if the differences in spelling and punctuation are minor.

  » Preferences for title/names

There may be several flags called "preferred" for each title. There is only one overall preferred title per record, but there may be multiple titles flagged as preferred for a given language, for a given contributor, and for a given source.

  • Preferred and non-preferred, in brief: Every CONA record must have one preferred title, which should be in English if applicable. This one preferred title is a default title for record, in this manual referred to as the overall record-preferred title. All titles that are not the overall record-preferred title are non-preferred, referred to as variant titles in this manual. There is no distinction between alternate (or alternative) and variant titles in CONA.

  • Separate from the overall record-preferred title, the work may then have additional titles in other languages; one title in each language may be flagged as preferred for that language (flagged separately from the overall record-preferred flag).

  • Two other separate "preferred" flags may be applied: to the title that is preferred by a given contributor, and to the title as preferred in a given source.





Spelling variants
Include variant titles that differ in spelling, diacritics, capitalization, or punctuation (e.g., View of West Lake, Essex is a spelling variant for the preferred title View of Westlake, Essex).





All titles must refer to the same work. In the case where scholars are uncertain if a historically documented title refers to a given extant work, make two records: one for the historically documented work and another for the known extant work. Link the two records using Related Works (associative relationships).



Only one title per field
A single Titles/Names field should not contain multiple titles. With few exceptions, do not include paranthetical titles in the same field; record them in a second instance of the titles/names field as variant titles. For example, rather than record a paranthetical title Menelaus Blue Morpho (formerly Iridescent Blue Butterfly), include the second title as a former title in a separate field.

      • Example
      • Menelaus Blue Morpho (preferred title, repository title)
        Iridescent Blue Butterfly (variant, former title)

  • Exception: For collective titles, paranthetical titles may be included. Ideally, the larger context for the part would be cataloged separately, with all titles and other information for the series included in the separate record; then the part and the whole would be linked through Related Works (associative relationships). However, contributors may not always follow this practice, and collective titles will be required. For example, where the name of the series is recorded with the title for the member of the series, parentheses may be used to designate the series title.

      • Example
      • Great Wave at Kanagawa (Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji)


A homograph is a title or name for one work that is spelled like the title or name for another work. Homographs are common in cataloging art and architecture. In CONA, homographs are disambiguated in displays by including the title with other critical information that will uniquely identify the work to the end user. (The records are uniquely identified for technical purposes through the unique numeric Subject_ID in CONA.) Below are examples of labels for works having homographic titles, including the title in bold to illustrate this point.

  • Examples
  • Saint Cecilia Master (Italian, active 1290-1320); Madonna and Child; ca. 1290/1295; tempera and gold leaf on panel; 85 x 66 cm (33 1/2 x 26 inches); J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles, California); 2000.35.

  • design by Alessandro Algardi (Italian, 1598–1654); Madonna and Child; executed mid-17th century; ivory; height: 17.8 cm (7 inches); Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New York); Bequest of Caroline W. Funk, in memory of her brother, George, 1969; 49.30.


Guide terms
Guide Terms may be used in the future to provide structure to the CONA hierarchy. Do not add Guide Terms unless instructed to do so by your supervisor.


Language of the titles/names
For the preferred title, use English, except when the title is commonly expressed in another language (e.g., Noli me tangere as an iconographic subject – here used as a title – is usually expressed in Latin). In such cases, include an English title as an alternate/variant title, if possible (e.g., Mary Magdalene with the Risen Christ).

  • For the preferred title, record the title most commonly used in published sources in American English. Include variant titles in British English when the spelling differs.

  • As variant titles, include titles in different languages, if found in an authoritative source.

  • Note that a language designation on a title indicates that this is the title used in a particular language. This does not necessarily designate the language of origin of the words in the title, particularly when the title contains proper names (e.g., the preferred title Mona Lisa in the example below).

      • Example

      • Mona Lisa (preferred, English-preferred, Italian-preferred, Spanish-preferred, German-preferred)
      • La Gioconda (Italian)
      • La Joconde (French-preferred)
      • Portrait de Lisa Gherardini, épouse de Francesco del Giocondo (French)
      • Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, wife of Francesco del Giocondo (English)
      • Das Porträt der Lisa del Giocondo (German)
      • Мона Ліза (Ukrainian)
      • モナ・リザ (Japanese)
      • 蒙娜丽莎 (Chinese)
      • Monna Lisa (historical)
      • Madonna Elisa (historical)

 » Variant transliterations

For titles from languages using non-Roman alphabets, include variant transliterations, if known.


Natural order and inverted titles/names
Titles of works of art and architecture are rarely displayed in inverted order. However, if an authoritative source includes an inverted version of the preferred title, include it as an alternate/variant title.

  • Label the inverted title with the Display Flag set to Index. See Display Term Flag below.


Initial articles
Avoid including initial articles in titles (e.g., Empire State Building, not The Empire State Building).

  • Exceptions occur when the initial article is consistently used in authoritative sources as a part of the title itself or when the meaning of the title would be changed by omitting the article.    

For the preferred title/name, avoid abbreviations, initialisms, acronyms, and codes, unless the abbreviation is better known and more often used than the full term. Include variant titles having abbreviations.

      • Example
      • Saint John the Baptist (preferred)
        St. John the Baptist


Historical titles/names
Include historical titles, if warranted. Titles of works change over time, often due to changes in interpretation of the iconography of a movable work or ownership of a building, which may be referenced in a title.

  • Example

  • Portrait of a Halberdier (preferred, repository title)
    Portrait of Cosimo de' Medici (former title)
  • Willis Tower (preferred)
    Sears Tower (former title)


Published misspellings may be included as variant titles, provided the title is found in a major published source. Do not include misspellings found in archival documents, since they often impair the utility of the titles in general retrieval (although they may be useful in local retrieval of the specific documents in which they are found).

  • Do not refer to historical terms as "misspellings" in the Display Date. Be sure to flag them as Historical.


Constructed titles/names
A constructed title is created by the editor, rather than being transcribed from a source or from an inscription on the object. For example, if a repository title is not sufficiently descriptive for a movable work, a descriptive title may be created. If a title must be constructed, include the following types of content, as relevant:

NOTE: As with all fields in CONA, you may not enter data without published warrant or expertise. Do not construct a title unless you have authoritative warrant as to the subject matter, work type, or owners. Do not guess. Do not translate a title unless you are expert in both languages.

  • Iconography: Where appropriate, list named religious, mythological, literary, historical, or allegorical themes or subjects (e.g., Battle of Little Big Horn or Shiva and his Consorts).

  • Proper names: Include named or anonymous figures, other works, or places depicted in the work, using proper names, if known (e.g., Plan and Elevation of the Houses of Parliament, London or Portrait of Abraham Lincoln ).

  • Work type: For decorative works, utilitarian works, archaeological works, architecture, or groups of works that do not have a title per se, repeat the Work Type as title (e.g., Bannerstone), or include a descriptive phrase or name based on work types or a brief physical description the work (e.g., Silver Chocolate Pot). The work type may be combined with the names of iconographical or other themes (e.g., Vessel with Zeus Chasing the Trojan Prince Ganymede).

  • Owners: Where appropriate, record a title that includes the names of current or former owners, a current or former location, or other historical references (e.g., Bayeux Tapestry).

  • Architecture: For architecture, record a descriptive name, a name that refers to the owner, a dedication (e.g., for a church), or a street address, as appropriate. Many buildings do not have names, in which case the title may refer to the work type (e.g., Amphitheater) or it may be a longer descriptive phrase (e.g., Case Study House No. 21).

  • Manuscripts: The preferred title should be descriptive (e.g., Harley Golden Gospels). For manuscripts or other works, if appropriate, record an appellation based on a particular numbering system, such as a "shelfmark" (e.g., British Museum Harley 2788).

  • Unknown titles: For works for which a title must be constructed, but where the work type and purpose are unknown, construct a descriptive title using any generic information available (e.g., Abstract Composition).

    • NOTE: Do not use the word Untitled as a title unless the work has intentionally been called Untitled by the creator.

    • If there is not other title available, and if it is impossible for an editor to construct a title, enter the value "unknown" in the title field, pending resolution at a later date.

  • Source for constructed titles: The source for a constructed title is the following:

    Brief Citation: Getty Vocabulary Program rules
    Full Citation: Getty Vocabulary Program. Term warranted by CONA Editorial Guidelines.


Flag the language of the title, if known, by choosing a language from the controlled list of languages. See Language for titles/names below.


Order of the titles/names
The titles must be organized according to a set of rules. Number the terms as instructed in Sequence Number below.


Editing contributed titles
Editors should not edit titles that have been loaded into VCS from a contributor's database or the online contribution form, except for minor edits to punctuation and typos. If you add a date or a source to the title, add the initials VP as an additional contributor for the title and its related information.

  • If directed to do so by your supervisor, you may occasionally delete contributed titles that are inappropriate for CONA.





Preferred Flag (required-default)


Flag indicating whether or not the title is the preferred title for the record.



The flags are controlled by a pick list in VCS: P - Preferred, V - Variant


For a discussion of how to determine which term should be the preferred term, see Preferred titles/names above.


Every record must have one preferred title to use as a default in displays. For further discussion, see Preferred titles/names above.



  • The title in sequence number 1 is automatically flagged "preferred" by the system. If this is not correct, change the Preferred Flag to "Variant" and alter the sequence numbers accordingly.







Word or phrase used primarily to distinguish between homographs in a thesaurus; currently not used in CONA.




Minimum requirements
Qualifiers are currently not used in CONA. Do not enter qualifiers unless instructed to do so by your supervisor.





Sequence Number (required-default)


The display order number (or sort order number) indicating the sequence of the title in relation to the other titles in the record.


System generated as titles are entered, but the numbers may be changed by the editor. Values begin with 1 and are numbered sequentially; there is no upper limit imposed by the system.


Most records have only 1 to 5 titles. If you need to add more than 15 titles, consult your supervisor.



  • Number the titles in sequence. Do not skip numbers. Arrange the titles in a logical order.

  • The title in sequence number 1 must be the overall record default Preferred title.

  • After the Preferred title, list other titles grouped by language or another logical order.

  • Position all historical titles at the bottom of the sequence, after all of the current titles.





Historical Flag (required-default)


Flag indicating the historical status of the title.


Values are derived from a controlled list: C - Current, H - Historical, B - Both, NA - Not Applicable.


Editors should use standard, authoritative sources in determining whether or not a title is historical or currently in use.



  • Current: The default flag is Current. Most titles in CONA will be current. If the title is currently in use, the flag should be set to Current. Titles found in catalogs and reference books are almost always Current, unless otherwise indicated.

  • Historical: If the title was used in the past but is not used currently, set the flag to Historical.

  • Both: A title may occasionally be Both historical and current. If you feel you have such a situation, consult with your supervisor.

  • N/A: Not applicable. Use when a historical designation is inappropriate or unknown.





Term Type (required-default)


Indicates the type of title, described with specialized terminology used in thesauri. Currently not used in CONA.


Values in CONA are U - Undetermined or N/A - Not applicable.



  • This field is currently not used in CONA. The default is set to Undetermined.




Part of Speech (required-default)


Indicates the category into which the title would be placed relative to its normal function in a grammatical context; currently not used in CONA.


Values are derived from a controlled list:

U = Undetermined
N = Noun
A = Adjectival/Possessive
N/A = Not Applicable



  • This flag is currently not used in CONA. The default is set to Undetermined.




Vernacular Flag (required-default)


Flag indicating whether or not the title is in the "vernacular" language. Most terms in the AAT are set to Undetermined.


Values are derived from a controlled list: V - Vernacular, O - Other, U - Undetermined.



  • Vernacular: Currently not used in CONA.

  • Other: Currently not used in CONA.

  • Undetermined: This is the default setting for CONA titles. Do not change it without consulting your supervisor.





Language for titles/names (required-default)


The language of the title or name.



  • 1. Language: Word or words referring to the language of the title.

  • 2. Language Code: Unique code for the language in VCS. Related languages have codes within a given range, to allow retrieval of related languages.

  • 3. Language Preferred Flag: Indicates whether or not this title is the preferred way to refer to the work in that language.


Controlled by the Languages file (see example below).

      • Example


New languages may be added to the controlled list only as absolutely necessary. Be certain that the language you need is not already entered in a synonymous form in the controlled list. If you still feel you need to add a language, consult with your supervisor.

  • The primary source for language names in CONA is the following, which reflects ISO languages:

      • Brief Citation: Ethnologue (2000)
        Full Citation: Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 14th edition. Barbara F. Grimes, ed. Dallas, Texas: SIL International, 2000.

  • If you wish to add a language found in another source, consult with your supervisor.



  • The flag is by default set to Undetermined. Change the flag to indicate the appropriate language for every title, as far as your expertise, time, and editorial priorities allow.

  • American and British English: Flag both the American English and British English spellings, if they differ. The preferred title should be the American English spelling. If American and British spellings are identical, flag the title simply English.

  • Other languages: For titles in other languages, flag them with the name of the correct language. Note that the title may be spelled the same in multiple languages, and thus there may be multiple languages linked to one title.


Label a language only if your source indicates what it is. Do not guess.

  • If you are uncertain regarding a specific language, use the broader designation. For example, if your source does not specify if the title is Ancient Latin, Medieval Latin, or Liturgical Latin, but you are positive that it is Latin, use the more general designation Latin.


Transliterated titles
For many languages in the language list, there are different designations for the transliterated language and the language expressed in its native alphabet , logography, syllabary, or other writing system. Choose the designation for transliteration when appropriate.

  • For example, if the title is in Chinese characters, but you are not sure of the type of script, use the more general 72550/Chinese designation. If you know that the script is traditional script rather than simplified, use the more specific 72551/Chinese (traditional).

  • Likewise, if you are entering a transliterated Chinese title, but you do not know the transliteration method, use the language designation 72581/Chinese (transliterated). If you know that it is a Pinyin transliteration, use the more specific 72583/Chinese (transliterated Pinyin).





Preferred Flag for Language (required-default)


Flag designating whether or not the title or name is preferred in that language.


Controlled by a pick list: N - Non Preferred, P - Preferred, U - Undetermined



  • The default for this field is Non-preferred. If you have enough information to know a title is preferred for a given language, change the flag to Preferred for the most commonly used form of the title in that language; flag the other titles in that language as Non-preferred for that language.

  • There may be only one preferred title per language.




Language Status (required-default)


Indicates if the title is borrowed from another language.



  • LanguageStatus: Flag indicating the status of the title is borrowed from another language.



  • Controlled values: U = undetermined, N/A = not applicable, L = Loaned title. In CONA, the default for this field is Undetermined.



  • This flag is used to indicate why the preferred title as used in English or another language is not actually composed of words in that language (e.g., Noli me tangere as an English title is borrowed from a Latin phrase).

  • When in doubt, do NOT flag the title as a loaned title.




Contributor for Titles/Names (required-default)


A reference to the institution or project that contributed the title or name.



  • Brief Name: An acronym, initials, or abbreviated name of the institution.

  • Full Name: A full version of the name of the contributing institution or project.



Controlled by a link to a file of controlled terminology; the list changes as new contributors are added.

      • Example


Use correspondence with an official representative of the institution or current, official publications of the contributing institution, including the official Web site of the institution.

  • If the institution does not have an official acronym, consult with your supervisor when creating a Brief Name.

  • Make sure that the Brief and Full Names for the same contributor are the same in all three Vocabularies. Give the contributors the same or similar numeric codes in all four vocabularies (the CONA codes may cover a different range than AAT, ULAN, or TGN, but the last 3 or 4 digits should be the same in all three databases).


The Brief Name (acronym, initials, or abbreviated term of the institution) appears in the place record. The Full Name is linked to the Brief Name in displays for the end users.



  • The following are rules for assigning a contributor to a title (not for adding contributors' names to the controlled Contributor list).

  • The default Contributor is VP (Vocabulary Program). Editors may change contributors' initials only in very rare cases. If you feel it is necessary to change a link from one contributor to another, consult with your supervisor.

  • If you are adding data by hand, even if the data was given to you in a printout or other form by an institution or project for entry into VCS, the contributor for the title should be VP (not the contributor's acronym), because the Vocabulary Program is actually entering the data (and thus some amount of interpretation is going on). To give credit to the contributing project, for the Source of the term, link to a citation for the contributing institution or project.

  • For data that is loaded into VCS, contributors' names will be linked to the title and other data in the record at the time when the data is loaded into VCS; the link to the contributors' acronym in such cases virtually never needs to be changed.





Preferred Flag for Contributor (required-default)


Flag indicating whether the title or name is the one preferred by the contributor or a non-preferred title or name from the contributor.


The values are derived from a controlled list: P - Preferred, N - Non-preferred.


Titles added to a new VCS record in sequence number one are flagged Preferred for the contributor VP. Other contributors' data is loaded with the appropriate name linked to their titles.



  • Flag one and only one VP-preferred title for each record. Each contributor may have only one preferred title per record.

  • The VP-preferred title should be the same title as the overall Preferred term (in English) for the record.

  • The default flag for a new variant title in VCS is Non-preferred. If you are adding the preferred term for VP, change the flag to Preferred (which swaps the term to the Preferred position, sequence no. 1).

  • For contributed data, the flag is set when the data is loaded. Editors rarely have to change this flag for data loaded from contributors. If you feel you should do so, please consult with your supervisor. Note that there may be one and only one preferred title for each contributor per record.





Sources for Titles/Names (required)


A reference to the sources used as warrant for the title or name, typically a published source.



  • Brief Citation: A brief reference to the source. See Appendix C: Citations.

  • Full Citation: A full citation for the source, including the author's name, title, and place and date of publication. See Appendix C: Citations.


Sources for the citations are the title pages of the works.

  • Values are controlled by the Sources file in VCS. A source must be added to the Source file in order to be used in (linked to) the Subject (place) record. For a discussion of how to add sources to the Sources file, see Appendix C: Citations.

  • For a discussion of which sources are considered authoritative as warrant for specific types of titles, see the discussion of titles above.


The sourcs are linked to Titles/Names, the Descriptive Note, and the Subject overall. The source entered here should refer to "work record as a whole"  (called a "subject" in the CONA data model) – not be confused with the depicted iconographic subject. It is a source for any information in the record other than Titles/Names or Descriptive Note.

  • Sources for titles include authoritative publications, repository Web sites, university Web sites, and contributor databases. Other sources may be other published catalogs, books on the history of art and architecture, journal articles, newspaper articles, and inscriptions on art objects.



  • It is required to cite the sources used for the title.

  • The preferred title must have an authoritative source. For movable objects, this is ideally official documentation produced by the repository.

  • In the Page Field, it is required to cite the page number, volume, date of accessing a Web site, or other appropriate indication of the specific location where the title was found in the source.

  • If there are multiple editions or multiple publication dates for a source, link to the specific source that you are using.

  • Link to the source only if the title is transcribed exactly as found in that source, including word order and punctuation.

    • For rules for constructing Brief and Full Citations, see Appendix C: Citations. The Brief Citation should be a short reference to the source. The Full Citation is full reference to the published or unpublished work.


Preferred sources
Published sources of information for concepts in this authority are the same as those listed for titles below.

   » How to choose the preferred source

Sources for titles in CONA should be chosen in the following general order of preference:

    • Web sites, databases, and published catalogs of the repository.

    • Grove Art Online and other art dictionaries and encyclopedia.

    • Text books, art encyclopedia, and specialized books on a given artist or period of art history.

    • Inscriptions on art objects.
  • For the preferred title and other information, prefer the most current and authoritative sources in a given situation.

   » Constructed titles

Occasionally, titles are constructed by the Vocabulary Program. The source for constructed terms should be the following:

Brief Citation: Getty Vocabulary Program rules
Full Citation: Getty Vocabulary Program. Term warranted by CONA Editorial Guidelines.

   » Titles from a database

If titles are loaded from a contributor's database, special citations are used to refer to the database. Generally, these citations are attached to titles when the records are loaded, thus the editors need not be concerned with them.

  • However, if you are entering titles by hand that have been derived from a contributors' database, consult with your supervisor regarding which citation to use to refer to the database. (Note that the Contributor in this situation will be VP, not the contributing project's acronym. See Contributor above.)

      • Example
      • Brief Citation: Getty Museum, Authority file (2003-)
        Full Citation: J. Paul Getty Museum. Authority file [unpublished database, TMS]. Los Angeles, CA, 2003-.
      • Contributor: VP


Citing Sources
Brief rules for citing sources appear below. For detailed instructions for creating citations, see Appendix C: Citations.

      • Examples
      • Brief Citation: Swank, Pennsylvania Germans (1983)
        Full Citation: Swank, Scott T. Arts of the Pennsylvania Germans. 1st ed. New York: Published for the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum by W. W. Norton and Company, 1983.

      • Brief Citation: Grove Art Online (2008-)
      • Full Citation: Grove Art Online. Oxford University Press, 2008-. (1 July 2008).

   » Full Citations

For the Full Citations, follow Chicago Manual of Style, 13th edition citation style for the humanities and social sciences. Consult the style sheet in Appendix C.2 for more detailed information.

   » Brief Citations

A brief citation is a shortened form of the full citation, used for display in the term record (e.g. Metropolitan Museum of Art [online] (2001-); Janson, History of Art, 3rd ed. (1986)). It must be unique so as to accurately identify one particular source as distinct from all others, including different works having the same title and different editions of the same work. A brief citation generally consists of the author's last name (if any), a shortened form of the title that includes enough keywords to indicate what the source is about, and the year of publication in parentheses.

   » No author or editor

If there is no author or editor, record the title of the publication as the first element in the Full Citation and Brief Citation.

      • Example
      • Brief Citation: Anatolian Studies (1951-)
        Full Citation: Anatolian Studies. London: British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, 1951-.

   » Citing periodical articles

The order of citation elements for articles is the following: author, article title, periodical title, volume, issue number (if any), page number range, and date. Volume and number are expressed in Arabic numerals, even if Roman numerals are used on the work. Since the volume, number and pages are given in the full citation in the source file, the Page field generally should be left blank.

» Punctuation

Volume and issue number are separated by a forward slash (/). Pages are preceded by a colon (:).

      • Examples
      • Brief Citation: O'Fahey, Tunjur (1980)
        Full Citation: O'Fahey. "The Tunjur: A central Sudanic mystery." Sudan Notes and Records 61:47-52 (Spring 1980).

      • Brief Citation: Lloyd-Jones, Stately homes of Wales (1993)
      • Full Citation: Lloyd-Jones, Emlyn. "Stately homes of Wales: Their architects and landscapists." Journal of Architectural Planning Research 34/3:18-21 (Fall 1993).

   » Multi-volume works

For multi-volume works, such as encyclopedias, the brief citation consists of a condensed version of the title of the complete work, followed by the date of publication of the complete work.

  • In the Page field of the AAT concept record, cite the individual essay or article title, volume and page number (see below).

      • Example
      • Brief Citation: Wilkes and Packard, Encyclopedia of Architecture (1989-1990)
        Full Citation: Wilkes, Joseph A. and Robert T. Packard, eds. Encyclopedia of Architecture: Design, Engineering, and Construction. 5 vols. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1989-1990.
        Page: "Apartment buildings, high-rise," 1:219

  • For online encyclopedias, include the URL followed by the date of first access in parentheses at the end of the full citation. Note the article and date of access in the Page Number field (see below).

      • Example
      • Brief Citation: Encyclopedia Britannica Online (2002-)
        Full Citation: Encyclop$70aedia Britannica. Britannica Online. Chicago: Encyclop$70aedia Britannica, Inc., 2002-. (1 July 2002).





Page Number for title Source (required)

      • Examples



title page

276 ff.




7:89 ff.

folio 21, verso

fiche 2


accessed 24 April 2010

map 17

23, note 2

10; all-white quilts

plate 88


"Roman Republic and Empire," accessed 9 July 2010


illustration, 115

"filet lace," example in usage note, accessed 7 April 2009


A reference to the volume (if applicable) and page number where the title was found in the source. It may also include other information describing the precise place in the source where the term was found (e.g., title of an article or a URL for an online source).


A free-text field; values may be any ASCII character. No special characters or diacritics are allowed; diacritics must be expressed according to the codes in Appendix A.


Page Numbers are also discussed under Page Number for Subject Source and Page Number for Descriptive/Scope Note Source.



  • Although VCS will allow you to save a record without page numbers, it is required to record them when known.


For pages, do not state "page" or "p." before the numbers. Use the following formats: e.g., 532, 45-53, 12 ff. List the entire number for both numbers in spans of pages (e.g., 691-693, NOT 691-3).

      • Example
      • Brief Citation: Janson, History of Art (1997)
        Full Citation: Janson, H. W., and Janson, Anthony F. History of Art. 5th revised. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1997.
        Page: 150-152


Glossaries, indexes, etc.
"Page" is assumed unless otherwise stated. Therefore, in printed sources, for any reference to a location other than page, clearly indicate the area of the book, using the syntax in the following examples: glossary, title page, index, table of contents, inscription, plate 9, note 132.

      • Example
      • Brief Citation: Xydis, Chancel Barrier of Hagia Sophia (1947)
        Full Citation: Xydis, Stephen G. "The Chancel Barrier, Solea, and Ambo of Hagia Sophia." Art Bulletin 29/1 (Mar. 1947): 1-24.
        Page: title


For titles of art works taken from the Library of Congress Subject Headings and flagged with AACR2 flag set to Yes (see AACR2 Flag below), include the full heading in the Page field and the date on which the site was accessed.

      • Example
      • Brief Citation: LC Subject Authority Headings [online] (2002-)
        Full Citation: "Subject Authority Headings." Library of Congress Authorities [online]. 2002-. (17 March 2003).
        Page: n 95048956; accessed 10 August 2010


Multiple pagination schemes
If a source uses multiple schemes of pagination within the same volume, use the numbering convention of the source, even if this means using Roman numerals or other idiosyncratic pagination systems.

      • Example
      • Brief Citation: Derby & Co., Furniture Catalog (1915)
        Full Citation: erby and Company. Furniture Catalog. Boston, Mass.: Derby & Co., 1915.
        Page: plate xvi


In the rare case when the source has folio numbers instead of pages, include recto or verso (e.g., folio 2, verso).


If a publication is published in volumes, include the volume number and page number. Use Arabic numerals, even if the cited volume actually bears Roman numerals. Note that volumes are listed using the following format: volume number, colon, page numbers (e.g., for volume 3, page 568, it would be 3:568).

      • Example
      • Brief Citation: New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967-1979)
        Full Citation: Catholic University of America. New Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Publishers Guild in association with McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1967-1979. 17 vols.
        Page: 3:568


For newspaper and journal articles, the page number should appear in the Full Citation and need not be repeated in the Page field (e.g., in the example below, the Full Citation includes page number "A3," so the Page Number field is empty).

      • Example
      • Brief Citation: Cotter, Buddhas of Bamiyan, New York Times (2001)
        Full Citation: Cotter, Holland. "Buddhas of Bamiyan: Keys to Asian History." New York Times (3 March 2001), A3.


Online sources
Record the date when you consulted the web site in the Page field (e.g., accessed 2 May 2010, illustrated below). For newspapers on the web, cite the date of publication in the Full Citation ("4 April 2002" in the example below), not the Page field. In the Full Citation, include the designation [online], [online database], [online edition], or a similar phrase if the word online does not appear in the title of the document. You generally do not need to include [online] in the Brief Citation, unless necessary to distinguish between two otherwise identical citations.

      • Examples
      • Brief Citation: Seized towns, New York Times (2002)
        Full Citation: Agence France-Presse. "Seized Towns: Nablus Makes 8." New York Times [online] (4 April 2002). (10 April 2002).
        Page: accessed 2 May 20010

      • Brief Citation: Jones, Anzick Site (1997)
        Full Citation: Jones, J. Scott. " Anzick Site: Analysis of a Clovis Burial Assemblage." Corvallis, Oregon: Oregon State University, Department of Anthropology, 1997. [online]. (1 July 1999).
        Page: accessed 30 March 2010


Encyclopedia and dictionaries
If the title was the entry form title in the encyclopedia or dictionary do the following: for hard-copy books cite the volume (if applicable) and page number; for online sources, note the access date.

      • Examples
        [for a hard copy source, volume and page number ]
      • Brief Citation: New Encyclopedia Britannica (1988)
        Full Citation: New Encyclop$70aedia Britannica. 15th ed. 1988 printing. 29 vols. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica Inc., 1988.
        Page: 5:303

        [for an online source]
      • Brief Citation: Encyclopedia Britannica Online (2002-)
        Full Citation: Encyclop$70aedia Britannica. Britannica Online. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 2002-. (1 July 2002)
        Page: accessed 2 May 2004

  • If the title you are sourcing is not the entry-form title in the source, in order to unambiguously refer to the entry, do the following:

    • For hard-copy sources (e.g., books), include the entry form term, heading, or title of the entry or article, volume number (if applicable), and page number.

    • For online sources, include the entry form term or heading, or the title of the entry or article, and access date.

      • Examples
        [for a hard copy source]
      • Brief Citation: Oxford Companion to Art (1996)
        Full Citation: Oxford Companion to Art. Harold Osborne, ed. Melbourne; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1996.
        Page: "Villes Neuves," 1192

        [for an online source]
      • Brief Citation: Grove Dictionary of Art online (1999-2002)
        Full Citation: Grove Dictionary of Art (online edition). Jane Turner, ed. New York: Macmillan Publishing Ltd., 1999-2002. (3 December 1999).
        Page: "Egypt, ancient: Canopic jars," accessed 5 August 2002


When the page number field may be left empty
The Page Number field may be left empty when an article and page are fully cited in the full citation, when the entry-form term in a hard-copy encyclopedia or dictionary entry is the same as the preferred term in the AAT record, and for references to contributors' databases (unless an access date is applicable) or to the Getty Vocabulary Program reference (below):

      • Brief Citation: Getty Vocabulary Program rules
        Full Citation: Getty Vocabulary Program. Term warranted by CONA Editorial Guidelines.





Preferred Flag for Source (required-default)


Flag indicating whether or not this title/name is the preferred form of the title/name for this work in the source.


Controlled by a pick list: P - Preferred, N - Non-preferred, A - Alternate Preferred, U - Unknown



  • The non-preferred setting is the default for new titles created in VCS. Change this flag if necessary, as described below.

  • Preferred: If the title is preferred by the source, mark the title Preferred for that source. There may be only one title preferred by the source per record. A title is preferred by the source when one of the following is true: it is the primary entry in an index, title of the book or article, glossary, or table of contents; it is an entry-form title for an entry or article in a dictionary or encyclopedia; it is the title predominantly used to refer to a given work in a text.

  • Non-Preferred: Flag the title as a Non-preferred title for the source if it is a variant or alternate form of the title for the work in that source. Sources may indicate this in various ways, including placing the variant title in parentheses after the preferred title, using a phrase such as "also called" or "also spelled" or the like, or noted with a "see" reference back to the preferred title.

  • Alternate Preferred: Flag the term as an Alternate Preferred title if it is apparently preferred equally by the source, for example, if a source is bilingual and both French and English title forms are treated with equal preference.

  • Unknown: Editors should typically not use this flag, because they should be able to make a judgment regarding the title preferred in the source at hand. This flag is primarily used for data loaded from contributors' systems in which the preference was not captured.





Dates for titles


Dates or span of time when a particular title was assigned to the work, or a range of dates during which a title was known to be valid.



  • 1. Display Date: A free-text field to express nuances of the date to the user; it is indexed by the two indexing fields representing the Start and End Dates implied in the free-text date.
  • 2. Start Date: The exact or estimated earliest year implied in the Display Date.
  • 3. End Date: The exact or estimated latest year implied in the Display Date.


Display Date is a free-text field; values may be ASCII characters (including numbers). No special characters or diacritics are allowed; diacritics must be expressed according to the codes in Appendix A.

  • Start Date and End Date must contain valid years, as controlled by VCS.


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


There may be a Display Date associated with the title. Although it usually refers to a period or date, the Display Date field may contain notes that do not reference dates per se.

  • 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.



  • In the free-text Display Date field, record a phrase referring to a year, a span of years, or period that describes the specific or approximate date in the proleptic Gregorian calendar. Index this free-text date with Start and End Dates delimiting the appropriate span.

  • 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.

  • A short set of rules appears below. For further discussion of Dates, see Appendix B.


Display Date

   » State only what is known

Precise date spans for titles are rarely known. Where ambiguity exists, use natural word order to clearly state what is known (and only what is known; do not surmise). Follow the style of existing Display Dates.

      • Examples

      • Display Date: title used 1936-1999
        Start Date: 1936 End Date: 1999

      • Display Date: name used prior to ca. 1900
        Start Date: 1700 End Date: 1910

   » Punctuation

Do not use full sentences; do not end the display date with a period or any other punctuation. If the Display Date could be ambiguous because it contains more than one phrase, separate phrases with a semi-colon for clarity.

      • Example

      • Display Date: noted by Burns in 1710 as a portait of Edmund Lazio; title changed by repository to reflect a new identity of the sitter in 1856
        Start Date: 1710 End Date: 1856

   » Capitalization and abbreviation

Do not capitalize words other than proper nouns or period names. Avoid abbreviations, except with the word circa (ca.), the numbers in century or dynasty designations (e.g., 17th century), and BCE and CE.

   » Calendar in Display Date

Display Dates should generally be listed by reference to years in the proleptic Gregorian calendar, which is the calendar produced by extending the Gregorian calendar to dates preceding its official introduction. If indicated in a source, dates may be expressed according to systems other than the proleptic Gregorian calendar (e.g., Julian, Napoleonic, Islamic, or other calendars). This should be clearly designated, also noting the year in the proleptic Gregorian calendar to avoid end-user confusion (e.g., 946 anno Hegirae (1540 CE)). All dates should be indexed in the Start and End Dates using the proleptic Gregorian calendar for consistency in retrieval.

   » Span of years

If a precisely delimited span of dates is applicable, list the beginning year of the span first, followed by the end of the span, with the years separated by a hyphen. Include all digits for both years in a span; for example, with four-digit years, do not abbreviate the second year (e.g., 1921-1924, not 1921-24).

    • Caveat: In CONA it is unusual for such specific dates to be known. Do not state specific dates in the Display Date if there is broadly defined information, ambiguity, or uncertainty. For example, instead of 1500-1599, use 16th century if that is what is meant.

   » BCE in Display Dates

Dates before the year 1 in the proleptic Gregorian calendar should be indicated as Before Common Era, which should be abbreviated BCE. For dates after the year 1, it is generally not necessary to include the designation CE (Current Era) except where confusion may occur. For example, for very early years CE, especially if a span of dates begins BCE and ends CE, include both BCE and CE in the free-text date (e.g., 75 BCE-10 CE). Avoid using BC (Before Christ) or AD (Anno Domini). Dates BCE should be indexed with negative numbers in Start and End Dates (see below).

   » Uncertain dates

If a date is uncertain, use a broad or vague designation (e.g., ancient in the example below) or words such as documented, ca., and probably. Note that the first year when a term was documented is not necessarily the year when the term was first used; therefore, you must create a sufficiently early Start Date.

      • Example

      • Display Date: in use from ca. 1850
        Start Date: 1840 End Date: 9999

   » Periods and dynasties

For the names of dynasties and other precisely defined periods, include the dates for the period, when known, in parentheses. In the example below, the dates of the Dynasty are the broadest possible dates for the term; parentheses in the Display Date indicate that the dates refer to the dynasty, not specifically to the term.

      • Example

      • Display Date: name of the building as used during the Chou Dynasty (1122-255 BCE)
        Start Date: -1122 End Date: -255

   » Acceptable scope of information in the Display Date

Ideally, the display date should refer, explicitly or implicitly, to a time period or date. However, the Display Date may be used to record unusual or important information about the title; occasionally, it may not even refer to a date per se. However, given that Start and End dates are required for Display Dates, you should have a period or date in mind when you write the Display Date.

      • Examples

      • Display Date: title refers to the creator, George W. Ferris
        Start Date: 1890 End Date: 9999

   » Dates refer to the title, not to the art work

Caveat: Note that the dates represent the dates of the usage of the title, not the date of creation of the work. Creation Date is recorded in a separate field.



Start Date and End Date

   » Delimiting the span

Record years that delimit the span of time when the title was in use, as referenced in the Display Date. It is better to delimit the span too broadly than too narrowly.

  • Start Date must represent some year earlier than or equal to End Date.

   » Do not use punctuation

Express years without commas or other punctuation. An exception is the hyphen, which is used to express negative numbers (dates BCE).

   » Gregorian calendar

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

   » Current terms

For a title currently in use, use the End Date 9999.

      • Example

      • Display Date: title in use since ca. 1910
        Start Date: 1900 End Date: 9999

   » Month and day

If a specific month and day are referenced in the Display Date, index with the year. For the display date, the preferred syntax is day, month, year with no punctuation.

      • Example

      • Display Date: title recorded on 20 June 1905
        Start Date: 1905 End Date: 9999

   » Dates BCE

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

      • Example
      • Display Date: Roman
        Start Date: -300 End Date: 500

   » Estimating Start and End Dates

Use available information to estimate Start and End Dates. In many cases, the years will be approximate. 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; you should also consult other, related records in AAT to establish dates.

  • If a display date is qualified by ca., early in a century, probably, etc., estimate Start and End Dates accordingly.

      • Example
      • Display Date: building name recorded ca. 50 BCE; renamed in 5th century CE
        Start Date: -75 End Date: 499

      • Display Date: used from the mid-18th century
        Start Date: 1730 End Date: 9999

  • For a broad designation in the Display Date (e.g., medieval, ancient, or Roman), estimate Start and End Dates based on available information or by referring to Appendix B: Date Authority.

      • Example

      • Display Date: probably ancient Attic name for this statue
        Start Date: -700 End Date: 9999

  • It is rare that the exact date is known for when a title came into use. Use information gathered from authoritative sources to estimate Start and End Dates.





Display Title Flag (required-default)


Flag designating whether or not the term is to be used in natural order displays or in permuted indexes.


Controlled by a pick list: I - Index, NA - Not Applicable, Y - Yes, N - No



  • Not Applicable: The default value for this flag is Not Applicable.

  • Index: For the inverted form of the preferred title. If an authoritative source includes an inverted form of a title, record it as a variant title and flag it as Index to indicate that this title may be used in indexes.

  • Yes: Whereas display names are common in TGN and ULAN, use of this flag set to Yes is rare in CONA and the AAT. If you feel you have a situation where it may be appropriate, consult with your supervisor. There may be only one term marked Yes per record.

  • No: Do not use this flag unless instructed to do so by your supervisor.





AACR Flag (LC heading)


Flag indicating if the title is the authorized heading in the Library of Congress Subject Headings.


Controlled by a pick list: Y - Yes, NA - Not Applicable


Library of Congress Authorities. The name of the field, AACR Flag, is outdated. It simply means Library of Congress entry.


In a limited number of cases, it is appropriate to consult LC Authorities in finding warrant for certain CONA art work and architecture titles and names.



  • It is not required to look up the art work title in LC Subject Authority. However, it is highly recommended to search LC Authorities and set this flag to Yes for the appropriate title or name found there (note that the "title" of an art work is not the same as the "title" of a book).

  • Not Applicable: The default value for this flag is Not Applicable. Change it if the title is the authorized LC heading.

  • Yes: Flag the term if the heading in which you found it is noted as an "authorized heading" on the LC Authorities Web site. There should be one and only one term with the AACR2 flag in each record.
  • In the Page field, put the full heading in which you found the term (see Page for term Source above) and the date when you accessed the information (e.g., Kabre (African people), accessed 1 December 2004). Be sure that you are citing the heading for the concept itself, not a heading for some other topic that contains the term (e.g., the heading for the place is Kabre (African people), NOT Kabre (African people) Agriculture, even though the latter heading happens to contain the term in addition to the term "agriculture."

  • If you find other variant terms in the full LC Authority Record and those terms are not already in AAT, add them to AAT, citing the source as Library of Congress Subject Headings, but do not flag the term as the AACR2 form.





Other Flags


Flags designating the kind or type of title.


Controlled by a pick list.



  • Use publications by the repository and other authoritative sources, as noted in the Sources chapter.



  • It is particularly important to label the descriptive title, the repository title, any inscribed title, and the artist's title. If multiple designations apply to a given title, use the flags in the following priority: repository, descriptive, artist's, inscribed, and then choose among the remaining flags based on which flag most accurately describes the title. All values for Other Flags are defined below.

  • Not Applicable: The default value for this flag is Not Applicable. Change it if any of the following apply.

  • Descriptive: Use for the title intended to be used in end-user displays to adequately describe what the work is or what the iconography depicted in the work represents. It is to be used with other information about the work to uniquely distinguish it from other works in the same results list.

  • Repository: Use for the title preferred by the repository. If the repository uses multiple titles, multiple titles may be use this flag.

  • Artist's: Use for any title assigned to the work by the artist. This is most often pertinent for the works of contemporary artists.

  • Inscribed: Use for any part of an inscription that is clearly intended to serve as a title. Do not include long inscriptions in the Titles/Names field; record them in the Inscriptions field.

  • Former: Use to flag former titles, such as when the iconography noted in the title has been reinterpreted and thus the title has changed.

  • Original: Use for former titles that were originally assigned to the work or assigned soon after its creation; use to distinguish this title from titles of other types.

  • Translated: Use to flag the titles translated from the original title, particularly when the repository or artist's title has been translated.

  • Constructed: Use for titles that have been constructed by the cataloger.

  • Published: Use for titles that have appeared in publications, but that are not necessarily the repository or artist's title.

  • Exhibition: Use for titles that have been used in exhibitions featuring the work.

  • Abbreviated: Use for a brief title required to identify the work in certain brief displays, such as an entry in Web navigation displays.

  • Manuscript designation: Use for traditional numeric or alpha-numeric codes or alpha-numeric titles used specifically for manuscripts (e.g., MS Ludwig XV). Manuscript designations differ from standard repository numbers; the repository accession numbers for all types of works are recorded in the Repository Numbers field, with the Location.

  • Series: Use for the title a of series, such as a series of prints.

  • Collection: Use for the titles of collections, such as collections of photographs or objects contained with the collection of a given donor.

  • Group: Use for the title of an archival group of works.

  • Sub-Group: Use for the title of an archival sub-group of works.

  • Collective: Use for compound titles, when the Titles/Names field contains reference to both the part and the whole, or to two parts in a single title.

  • Popular: Use for titles that are used for a work in popular culture, but are not the official or repository title.

  • Brand name: Use for titles that are also commercial brand names.





Assigned To


Indication of the person assigned to research this title or name. Currently not used.


Free text.


Editor logins.




  • Do not use this field unless otherwise instructed by your supervisor.

  • See also Assigned To flag for the entire subject record: Chapter 3-8.



[1] The rules and examples in this document are compliant with Categories for the Description of works of Art (CDWA) and Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO).

[2]"Required-default" indicates that a default is automatically set, but should be changed by the editor as necessary. Some required-default values are system-generated and may not be edited.


Last updated 3 October 2011
Document is subject to frequent revisions

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