Honors Program: The J. Paul Getty Trust

Project Name: Web-Based Global Art Resources: The Getty Vocabularies

For more than two decades, the J. Paul Getty Trust, an international cultural and philanthropic organization devoted to the visual arts, has produced a suite of electronic resources to support its commitment to making art information accessible to all. These resources provide access to information on the visual arts and related disciplines by promoting standards and practices, and by developing tools and guidelines for creating, managing, preserving and delivering information in electronic form. Guided by the belief that art has the power to enrich lives and strengthen humanistic values, the Getty continuously employs a range of technologies to serve a growing worldwide audience.

The Gettys electronic resources include three vocabulary databases: the Art & Architecture Thesaurus® (AAT), the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names® (TGN) and the Union List of Artist Names® (ULAN). The Web-Based Global Art Resources program is a portfolio of projects supported by Getty Information Technology Services (ITS).

To support the three Getty vocabularies, ITS built, enhanced and maintains a powerful thesaurus construction and publication system. In addition to licensing the vocabularies to hundreds of nonprofit cultural and educational institutions and commercial vendors of museum- and heritage-related software products, the Getty makes its vocabulary databases available free of charge on the Web (link here).

Hundreds of thousands of searches are conducted in the AAT, TGN and ULAN each month. In addition to being essential resources for the documentation of art, architecture and material culture, the Getty vocabularies are also invaluable lookup tools and knowledge bases, and powerful searching assistants that increase both precision and recall in online queries.

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Bing’s AI chatbot came to work for me. I had to fire it.
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