The Getty vocabularies are compiled resources that grow through contributions from various Getty projects and outside institutions. Contributors to the Getty vocabularies include museums, libraries, archives, special collections, visual resources collections, bibliographic and documentation projects, and large translation projects.

Contributions must meet the following criteria: they must be submitted by an authorized contributor; must be within scope of the vocabulary; must include the minimum information; and must be submitted in the prescribed format, as described below. By contributing data to the vocabulary, the contributor agrees to its contributed data becoming a permanent part of the vocabulary, which is licensed in various formats and made available as Linked Open Data.

XML contribution format
Contributions for AAT, TGN, ULAN, and CONA are being accepted via batch loads in our prescribed Getty Vocabulary XML Schemas for Contributions. Schemas for AAT, TGN, and ULAN and a new schema for CONA are available in zipped files. CONA will also accept contributions in CDWA Lite or LIDO formats. In the future, some collections management vendors may also package contributions for their clients. Batch loads are accepted in increments of 1,000 or more records.

Online contribution form
Contributions to AAT, TGN, and ULAN may also be made via the online Web form, where terms of contribution are explained. Contributors of fewer than 1,000 records per batch are encouraged to use these online forms.

Who may contribute
Contributors generally represent institutions or consortia such as museums, archives, special collections, visual resource collections, large national or international translation or cataloging projects, or others who catalog art. In rare exceptions, a contributor may be an individual scholar. Institutions wishing to contribute to the vocabularies should send an email to the Getty Vocabulary Program, subject line: Contributions. Include the name of your institution and the type and quantity of terms you wish to contribute. Contributors of bulk data will sign a letter of agreement, similar in content to the text on the logon page for Web contributions. Contributors submitting 3,000 or more records that meet the criteria described above may receive a license for the Getty vocabulary in XML or relational tables formats free of charge.

Scope of acceptable contributions
Are your terms or names appropriate for contribution? To learn about the scope of each vocabulary, please read About the AAT, About the TGN, About ULAN, and About CONA.

Contributions must comply with the Editorial Guidelines. You may also refer to Brief Rules for Contributors using the online form (PDF, 1.4 MB, 110pp) and Introduction to Contributing to the Getty Vocabularies (PDF, 8.7 MB, 139pp). For large translations of the AAT, see Quick Reference Guide for AAT translations.

Turnaround of contributions: The turnaround time for contributions is dependent upon various factors, including how closely the contributor has followed the editorial guidelines and the status of editorial priorities and technical support available at the Getty during a given period. In general, individual contributions entered via the online Web form in a given month will appear when the Web data is refreshed two months later. The turnaround time for large bulk contributions varies, and will be discussed individually with the contributor. If the large contribution is supplied in the prescribed XML format, if all required data is included, and if the contributor has closely followed our editorial rules and consulted with us throughout the process, turnaround time will be much faster than if the Vocabulary Program must edit the incoming records to meet prescribed criteria. A list of records that have been loaded but not yet edited and published is available for contributors via the online contribution site. Contributors may write to for logon information.

Recent contributors: Contributors include projects at the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Other recent contributors include the Centro de Documentación de Bienes Patrimoniales, Chile; Netherlands Institute for Art History (RKD); Academia Sinica of Taiwan; the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin Preussischer Kulturbesitz; the Courtauld Institute; Grove Art online; the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam; Indiana University slide library; the Victoria and Albert Museum; Istituto Centrale per il Catalogo e la Documentazione, Rome; the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN); the Canadian Centre for Architecture; the Frick Art Reference Library; the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art; the National Art Library in London; the Mystic Seaport Museum; the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin; the Bunting Visual Resources Library at the University of New Mexico.

Additional Information:The Getty vocabularies are refreshed online every two weeks. The AAT, TGN, and ULAN data is available with a license via Web services, where the data is refreshed every two weeks. The data is also available fee-free as JSON, RDF, N3/Turtle, and N-Triples under the Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC-By) 1.0. In addition, the data is currently published annually as licensed full data sets in XML and relational tables, although these annual full data sets' releases will likely be phased out over time. For more information about release formats, see Obtain the Getty Vocabularies.

To find out more about licensing or contributing to the Getty Vocabularies, click on the links in the lefthand navigation bar or send an email to the Vocabulary Program at, Subject: Licensing or Subject: Contributions.

Copyright: The Art & Architecture Thesaurus® (AAT), the Union List of Artist Names® (ULAN), the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names® (TGN), and the Cultural Objects Name Authority® (CONA) are copyrighted by the J. Paul Getty Trust. Companies and institutions interested in regular or extensive use of the vocabularies should explore licensing options, including fee-free Linked Open Data.

Updated 26 August 2015