Staff members of the VRC use subject headings from different thesauri to describe the collection’s images. Subject headings can be combined to create complex and precise searches, gathering together all available resources on a particular topic. Some of the thesauri we use? The Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT), the Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names (TGN), and, of course, the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), just to name a few. We are often surprised by the variety of subject headings available and how frequently we expand our own vocabulary.
Just for fun, we’ve compiled the ABCs of subject headings – a list of our favorites, one for every letter of the alphabet. We have also listed some of our favorite runners-up. Try doing a subject search in ARTstor or LUNA for one of these topics, or click on the links below to see search results from our collection. You might discover something new and surprising, or at the very least, entertaining.
Diseases in Art
Ghouls and ogres
Identity (Philosophical concept) in art
Labyrinths in art
Musical instruments – handbells
Ruins in art
Women cleaning personnel