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Min Wang

CDWA

LIS 2407

CDWA Metadata Standard/Schema Review


The metadata standard Categories for the Description of Works of Art (CDWA) is a conceptual
framework for describing and accessing contents of an art database. CDWA is one of several
standards used to catalog and describe works of art, architecture, other material culture, groups
and collections of works, and related images. CDWA includes 532 categories and subcategories.
At the core of these 532 categories is a subset of categories that are consider core in that they
represent the minimum information necessary to identify and describe a work.
CDWA is a product of the Art Information Task Force AITF, and sponsored by the Getty Art
History Information Program and College Art Association. The AITF was formed to develop
guidelines for describing works of art, architecture, groups of objects, and visual and textual
surrogates.1
CDWA provides a structured way to describe works of art and representative image that can be
mapped to a database or XML-Based encoding scheme in order to promote sharing of resource
records and user access. The CDWA frame promotes compatibility, accessibility, integrity of
data, and longevity of data.
The structural overview of CDWA is, constructed in the Object/Work Categories in which the
artist identification, generic concept identification, place/location identification, subject
identification, related visual documentation, and related textual reference are organized in the
description structure.
CDWA Lite is an XML schema used to records works of art and material culture. CDWA Lite is
based on the CDWA, a metadata standard developed by the AITF. CDWA Lite records are
intended for contribution to union catalogs and other repositories using the Open Access
Initiative (OAI) harvesting protocol (OAI-PMH). CDWA Lite encode data elements into an
XML data format providing sharing capability and allows the XML formatted data to be
aggregated to a union catalog or repository. The advantage of XML is its interoperability and its
an open source universal language for sharing data between applications.2, 3
The purpose of the development of CDWA is to provide interoperability of metadata standards,
and to provide a consistent encoding format. This metadata interoperability provides the
advantage of crosswalks and metadata mapping enable searching heterogeneous resources.
CDWA as well as VRA use CCO guidelines for describing content and offer XML encoding for
record sharing and exchange purposes.
The importance of crosswalk to interoperability is that crosswalk help databases using different
metadata schemes to share information. They help metadata harvesters create union catalogs.
They enable search engines to search multiple databases simultaneously with a single query.
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Min Wang

CDWA

LIS 2407

However crosswalk faces challenges because no two metadata schemes are exactly the same.
The differences may be one scheme my not have a field causes loss of data, or a field is split into
two different fields in another scheme, also leading to loss of data. One scheme allows for repeat
elements. Schemes may use different controlled vocabularies.4
An example of CDWA Lite
2005-2006 J. Paul Getty Trust
CDWA LITE ELEMENTS
DESCRIPTIVE METADATA
__________________________________________________________
1. Element: Object/Work Type Wrapper
Element tag:
<cdwalite:objectWorkTypeWrap>
Description:
A wrapper for Object/Work Type
Non-repeatable
Required
1.1. Sub-element: Object/Work Type
Element tag:
<cdwalite:objectWorkType>
Description:
A term or terms identifying the specific kind of object or work being
described. For a collection, include repeatable instances for terms identifying all of or
the most important items in the collection.
Attributes:
termsource, termsourceID
Repeatable
Required
Data values
:
Controlled. Recommended AAT
Tagging examples:
<cdwalite:objectWorkTypeWrap>
<cdwalite:objectWorkType>
rhyton
</cdwalite:objectWorkType>
</cdwalite:objectWorkTypeWrap>
<cdwalite:objectWorkTypeWrap>
<cdwalite:objectWorkType termsource="
AAT
">
painting
</cdwalite:objectWorkType>
<cdwalite:objectWorkType termsource="
AAT
">
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Min Wang

CDWA

LIS 2407

altarpiece
</cdwalite:objectWorkType>
</cdwalite:objectWorkTypeWrap>
<cdwalite:objectWorkTypeWrap>
<cdwalite:objectWorkType termsource="
AAT
" termsourceID="
aat300127141
">
cartes-devisite
</cdwalite:objectWorkType>
<cdwalite:objectWorkType termsource="
AAT
" termsourceID="
aat300265164
">
boudoir
photographs
</cdwalite:objectWorkType>
</cdwalite:objectWorkTypeWrap>
Display examples:
Object/Work Type: rhyton
Object/Work Types: cartes-de-visite; boudoir photographs
Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO) is a guide to describing cultural works and their images. The
primary focus of CCO is art and architecture, including paintings, sculpture, prints, manuscripts,
photographs. The primary emphasis of CCO is descriptive metadata and authority control data
intended to describe a cultural work, data used to create catalog records for that work and images
of it.
The additional use of control vocabulary makes a database easier to search. By organizing our
information into a standard preferred format it makes searching and finding information easier.
A control vocabulary imposes some order to ease the finding of the store information. It reduces
the duplication and variations of information between users and systems. Example, the Library
of Congress Subject Heading, Art and Architecture Thesaurus, Thesaurus of Geographic Names.
History of the Art & Architectural Thesaurus (ATT), work on ATT began in 1970s in response
to a need by the art libraries and art journals indexing services that were beginning to automate
their cataloging and indexing. From the inception the ATT was intended to gather terminology
already being used in authority lists and the literature of art and architectural history. The
terminology was approved and supplemented by a scholarly advisory team comprising art and
architectural historians, architects, librarians, visual resource curators, archivists, museum
personnel, and specialists in thesaurus construction.5
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Min Wang

CDWA

LIS 2407

The AAT was originally founded by directors of libraries and architectural experts: Toni
Petersen, Dora Crouch, and Pat Molholt. Technical advice and financial support were provided
by the Getty Trust. Editorial work has been managed by the Getty since 1983. In 1987 the Getty
created a department dedicated to compiling and distributing terminology, now known as the
Getty Vocabulary Program. And The AAT is a structured vocabulary currently containing
around 268,650 terms and other information about concepts. Terms in AAT may be used to
describe art, architecture, decorative arts, material culture, and archival materials.5

Min Wang

CDWA

LIS 2407

An example of the Art and Architecture Thesaurus controlled vocabulary was the gathering
CDWA categories are:
Objects, architecture, or group
Person/corporate body authority
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Min Wang

CDWA

LIS 2407

Place/location authority
Generic concept authority
Subject authority

Each of these categories has its core elements, for the Object, Architecture, or Group category
this is the core elements:
Catalog level
Object/work type
Classification term
Title or name
Measurement description
Material and techniques description
Creator description
Creator identity
Creator role
Creation date
Subject matter indexing terms
Current repository/Geographic location
Current repository numbers
For my CDWS example, I used the Objects, Architecture, or Group category.
Works of Art: Red Old Railroad Station
Catalog Level: Objects (AAT)
Object Catalog: Art (AAT)
Collection: Fine Art Collection (AAT)
Object Name: Painting
Object ID: 2008.1 (W3CDTF)
Catalog Date: 2008-07-03 (W3CDTF)
Art Description:
-addt catalogue number: #145 (back lower left corner) and #144 (back upper left)
-wood frame, primary orange brown with hints of green
-crack on frame on lower left and upper right corner
-painting depicts the red old railroad station on Baldwin Ave with palm tree on each side,
railroad track in front of the station, clear blue sky and mountains in the back.
Subject: Red Old Railroad Station
Title: Red Old Railroad Station
Medium: oil paint (AAT)
Creator: Lent, Bleulah (LCNAF)
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Min Wang

CDWA

LIS 2407

Role: Artist
Dimensions: Display Units: cm
Height: 50.500, Width: 60.500,
Dimension Details: with frame: 62.5 x 73cm, frame 5.3cm thick.
Classification: Art (AAT)
Primary: Painting (AAT)
Notes & Legal: sticker on back: 6538 North Vista St, San Gabriel, CA
Source: Arcadia Historical Society
Credit Line: Courtesy of the Arcadia Historical Society
Metadata Data Created: 2008-07-18 (W3CDTF)
Uncompressed File Size: 1,694,528 bytes, Actual Image File Size:
145,168 bytes, Height: 664 pixels, Width: 850 pixels
Format: JPEG (Standard DCT)
BitsPixel: 24 bit color image
Image File Name: \\arc-rec01\pp5\images\001\20081.JPG
Location: Arcadia Historical Society
Temporary Location: The Gilb Museum of Arcadia Heritage Collections
Move by: Dunn, Dana
Reason: Accession and Photograph
References:
1. J. Paul Getty Trust, Categories for the Description of Works of Art (Getty Research
Institute), The Getty Research Institute, Revised June 2, 2009, Patricia Harping, Murtha
Baca and Patricia Harpring, Editors. Access date June 18, 2013,
http://www.getty.edu/research/conducting_research/standards/cdwa/
2. Chin, Summary CDWA-Lite XML Schema, The Getty Research Institute, Revised
February 7, 2011, access date June 18, 2013,
http://www.getty.edu/research/publications/electronic_publications/cdwa/cdwalite.html
3. J. Paul Getty Trust, CCO Lite, The Getty Research Institute, July 17, 2006, access date
June 13, 2013, http://academischecollecties.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/cdwalite.pdf
4. Margaret St. Pierre, William P. LaPlant, Jr, National Information Standards Organization,
October 15, 1998, access date June 18, 2013,
http://www.niso.org/publications/white_papers/crosswalk/
5. J. Paul Getty Trust, Art & Architecture Thesaurus Online, The Getty Research Institute,
Revised March 27, 2013,
http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabularies/aat/about.html