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

Why contribute?
The Getty vocabularies are recognized as premier resources for indexing and retrieving information about art, architecture, and related disciplines. By contributing, institutions benefit from having their data incorporated in standard vocabularies for their own use and for the use of the broader community for linking, research, and discovery.

How to contribute
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 made available in several formats, including as Linked Open Data. See the Quick Reference Guide.

XML contribution format
Contributions for AAT, TGN, ULAN, CONA, and the IA 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. Through prior arrangements, other formats may be agreed upon between a contributor and the Getty. 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
Contributors of fewer than 1,000 records are encouraged to use online forms. Contributions to AAT, TGN, and ULAN may be made via the online Web form, where terms of contribution are explained.

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 with the Getty, similar in content to the text on the logon page for Web contributions.

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).

Guidelines for Multilingual Equivalency Work: For translation projects, please refer to the instructions for Multilingual Equivalency Work.

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 vocab@getty.edu 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.

International Terminology Working Group (ITWG): Regular meetings are held for core members of translation projects and other team members working on LOD and contributions to the Getty vocabularies. For information regarding recent meetings, see ITWG meetings.

Additional Information:The Getty vocabularies are refreshed online every two weeks. The AAT, TGN, and ULAN data is available with a logon 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 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 contributing to the Getty vocabularies, see the Quick Reference Guide below or send an email to the Vocabulary Program at vocab@getty.edu, Subject: Contributions.

Quick Reference Guide for Contributions

  • Contact the Getty Vocabulary Program (vocab@getty.edu), describing the scope and type of contribution.

  • The contributing institution and the Getty will sign a Letter of Agreement. By contributing data to the vocabulary, the contributor agrees to its contributed data becoming a permanent part of the vocabulary, which is made available in several formats, including as Linked Open Data. The contributor is cited; however, data from multiple contributors may be merged and the Getty maintains final editorial control of all contributed data.

  • Follow the Editorial Guidelines.

  • If the contributing institution maintains a database of authority information, the existing local data may be mapped to the contribution format. A preliminary step is often to send a small set of sample data to the Getty.

  • For all names, terms, and other information in the contributed record, authoritative sources must be cited; for an authorized contributing institution, the institution's own database may be considered appropriate warrant.

  • Although each vocabulary record may contain dozens of fields of rich information, relationships, and links to other resources, the minimum required information for contribution comprises the following:

  • AAT: Art & Architecture Thesaurus ®. minimum: term(s), language of term, source of term, scope note. Includes information for generic concepts describing art, architecture, conservation, archaeology, and related disciplines.

  • ULAN: Union List of Artist Names ®. minimum: name(s), source of name, life dates, nationality, life role. Includes information about people and corporate bodies, identified and anonymous, including artists, architects, patrons, museums, ateliers, sitters, and others.

  • TGN: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names ®. minimum: name(s), source of name, broader context, place type, coordinates. Includes information about physical features and places defined by administrative boundaries, current and historical, required for indexing art, architecture, archaeology, conservation, and related materials.

  • CONA: Cultural Objects Name Authority ®. minimum: title(s)/name(s), source of title, creator, work type, date, current location, materials, dimensions, subject. Includes information about physical and conceptual movable works and architecture, items and groups, extant and historical.

  • IA: Getty Iconography Authority. minimum: name(s)/title(s), source of name, broader context, scope note. Includes information for subjects having proper names, such as iconographical narratives, religious or fictional characters, historical events, names of literary works and performing art.

  • The minimum number of records for batch contributions is typically 1,000.

  • In consultation with the Getty technical team, send the contribution in batches using the Getty-prescribed XML format or in another format as agreed in consultation with the Getty.

  • For contributions of ten or fewer records, please send the request in an email to vocab@getty.edu.

  • For contributions numbering dozens or hundreds of records, use the online contribution forms; request a password by writing to vocab@getty.edu.

  • For translations of the AAT, see Guidelines for Multilingual Equivalency Work.





  • The Art & Architecture Thesaurus® (AAT), the Union List of Artist Names® (ULAN), the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names® (TGN), the Cultural Objects Name Authority® (CONA), and the Getty Iconography Authority (IA) are made available by the J. Paul Getty Trust under the Open Data Commons Attribution License (ODC-By) 1.0.


    Updated 9 May 2017