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What Is CCO?

Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images (CCO) is a published 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.

CCO is currently available as a print publication from the American Library Association. Excerpts from the print publication are freely available online.  The complete CCO publication will be available online in July 2011.

CCO is included as a data content standard in the NISO A Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections.

CCO…

  • is designed for professionals in museums, image collections, archives, and libraries.
  • provides rules for descriptive cataloging of art, architecture, cultural objects, and their images.
  • is organized by the core data elements needed to describe cultural works.
  • includes lists of terminology sources.
  • illustrates hundreds of examples.
  • covers vocabularies and authority control.
  • maps to the CDWA core and VRA Core 4.0 metadata element sets.
  • can be used with other descriptive standards tools and metadata element sets.

What is the CCO Commons?

The CCO Commons is a web site featuring dynamic content to accompany the Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images (CCO) publication.

Who developed and maintains CCO?

Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images (CCO) publication and the CCO Commons are the product of a diverse group of professionals from the cultural heritage community.  View a complete list of people involved with CCO.

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