JISC Digital Media is a UK based site dedicated to supplying the further and higher education communities with the knowledge needed to create and distribute high-quality digital media (still and moving images, sound, and multi-media). Though the site is oriented to a UK-based and professional audience, the information it provides is nonetheless invaluable, covering the range of production practices that one would need to understand to create a personal archive of high-quality digital media.
The Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website, is an extraordinarily comprehensive informational resource for students of the history of visual and material culture. The site offers essential information about the full temporal, geographical and material span of human productivity, all illustrated with works from the Met’s collection. Users can access information by browsing maps and timelines, by accessing thematic essays such as “Wisteria Dining Rooms, Paris”, or by using keyword searches.
Oxford Art Online is both an excellent informational resource for the study of the visual arts and an image search engine. At the main page you can choose between an informational search and one that only returns images, with these images being of good quality. While Oxford itself hosts only 6000 or so images, available articles often include links to external image resources such as museum websites.
AAT is a structured vocabulary of more than 130,000 terms essential for the description of fine art, architecture, decorative arts, material culture, and archival materials. It includes styles and periods, physical attributes, materials, object types, agents, and abstract concepts and each record includes variant terms or spellings, related terms, notes, and bibliographic information.
The Union List of Artist Names is a structured vocabulary with nearly 300,000 records for creators of cultural objects, including artists, architects, designers, and manufacturers. Beyond standardized naming conventions, creator records may include variant spellings, pseudonyms or given names, as well as biographic and bibliographic information when available.
The Thesaurus of Geographic Names is a structured vocabulary of geographic places relevant to the study of art and architecture. The thesaurus includes current and former geo-political entities, inhabited sites, and cultural regions, as well as landforms and bodies of water. Each place record includes preferred and variant names, place types, and coordinates and indicates its relationship to other places in the hierarchy.
Iconclass is a hierarchically ordered collection of definitions of objects, people, events and abstract ideas that may serve as the subject of an image.
The Thesaurus for Graphic Materials (TGM) provides a substantial body of terms for the subject, genre and format indexing of pictorial materials. Developed to support the cataloging and retrieval needs of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, it is made publicly available in the hope that it will promote standardization in image cataloging. When searching TGM users can link to related images from the Library's Prints and Photographs catalog.
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