What is CCO?
Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural
Works and Their Images (CCO) is a manual for describing,
documenting, and cataloging cultural works and their
visual surrogates. The primary focus of CCO is art and
architecture, including but not limited to paintings,
sculpture, prints, manuscripts, photographs, built works,
installations, and other visual media. CCO also covers
many other types of cultural works, including archaeological
sites, artifacts, and functional objects from the realm
of material culture.
Who should use CCO?
CCO is designed for use by professionals in museum collections,
visual resource collections, archives, and libraries
that have a primary emphasis on art, architecture, and
How is CCO organized?
CCO is organized in three parts. Part One examines the
issues that must be considered during the analytical
process of describing one-of-a-kind objects, including
guidance for minimal records, relationships between
work and image records, and describing complex works.
It also provides an overview of database design and
entity relationships and authority Ūles and controlled
vocabularies. Part Two covers the rules for descriptive
cataloging, organized by the core elements needed to
describe cultural works and images. This part of the
manual also includes guidelines for selecting terminology,
with recommendations for the order, syntax, and form
in which data values should be entered into a data structure
for display and indexing. Part Three includes chapters
on a personal and corporate name authority, a geographic
place authority, a subject authority, and an authority
for generic concepts.
• CCO is the latest standards tool for the cultural
• CCO provides descriptive standards for art,
architecture, cultural objects, and their images.
• CCO is organized by core data elements needed
to describe cultural objects.
• CCO includes lists of terminology sources.
• CCO illustrates hundreds of examples.
• CCO covers vocabularies and authority control.
• CCO maps to the CDWA core and VRA Core 4.0 metadata
• CCO can be used with other descriptive standards
tools and metadata element sets.
Editors (on behalf of the Visual Resources Association)
Murtha Baca (Head, Getty Vocabulary Program and Digital
Resource Management, Getty Research Institute); Patricia
Harpring (Managing Editor, Getty Vocabulary Program);
Elisa Lanzi (Director, Imaging Center, Smith College
Department of Art); Linda McRae (Director, College of
Visual and Performing Arts Visual Resources Library,
University of South Florida); Ann Whiteside (Head, Rotch
Library of Architecture and Planning, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology).
Matthew Beacom (Metadata Librarian, Yale University
Library, and member of the Joint Steering Committee
for the Revision of AACR2); Erin Coburn (Manager, Collections
Information, J. Paul Getty Museum); Jan Eklund (Curator
of Visual Resources, Department of History of Art, University
of California, Berkeley); Mary Elings (Archivist for
Digital Collections, The Bancroft Library, University
of California, Berkeley); Ardys Kozbial (Digital Projects
Librarian, University of California, San Diego); Elizabeth
O’Keefe (Director of Collection Information Systems,
Pierpont Morgan Library); Trish Rose (Metadata Librarian,
University of California, San Diego); Layna White (Head
of Collections Information, San Francisco Museum of
Financial support provided by
The Getty Foundation and The Digital Library Federation
(DLF) with assistance from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Web Site: www.vraweb.org/CCOweb/
Publication: June 2006, ALA Editions / American Library
P.O. Box 932501
Atlanta, GA 31193-2501
ALA online store: www.alastore.ala.org