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AMICO Editorial Committee- Indexing Creator Culture (CRC)

  1. Field in Context
  2. Guidelines for Use
  3. Review Conducted
  4. Issues Addressed
  5. The Creator Culture (CRC) Master Index

1. Field in Context

  • Creator Culture (CRC) records the index form of the culture or nationality of the creator who made the work, or the cultural group to which the creation of the work is attributed.
  • The display form of Creator Name and Culture are recorded in Creator Name Text (CRT).
  • If the Creator Name is known, this is indexed in Creator Name (CRN)
  • If the Creator Name is unknown, a Creator Culture (CRC) index term must be supplied.

Related data about the Creator, Culture and Style of the Work is recorded elsewhere:


Geographical Information

Stylistic Information

Creator Birth Date (CBD)

Creator Birth Place (CBP)

Style/ Period Description (STD)

Creator Death Date (CDD)

Creator Death Place (CDP)

Context Time Period/Dates (CXT)

Creation Date Text (CTT)

Creator Active Place (CAP)


Context Time Period/Dates (CXT)

Creation Place (OCP)


Context Related Site (CXS)


2. Guidelines for Use

  • Use the adjectival form of the place name, culture or nationality (i.e. African, not Africa, etc.)
  • If a creator is associated with more than one culture or nationality, record each in a separate occurrence of this field. 
  • Identify the most specific term to describe the culture or nationality.  For instance, the string Africa; Cameroon should be entered as Cameroonian.  When the most specific descriptor is a geographic, stylistic, or temporal concept, record it in the appropriate field. 
    • Supplemental information, such as Creator Birth Place (CBP), Creator Active Place (CAP), or Style/Period Description (STD) should be indexed solely in these fields, as illustrated in the following example.

      China, Chekiang Province, Southern Song Dynasty


      China, Chekiang Province, Southern Song Dynasty




      Chekiang Province


      Southern Song Dynasty

3. Review Conducted

Nearly 1600 culture names were reviewed and analyzed to collocate variant forms of cultures, and improve the AMICO Library.  Our goal was to identify the most specific cultural concept in the field, and record it in the adjectival form.  Terms were first checked against those in AAT.  Only 13% of the CRC terms in the AMICO Library exactly matched AAT Main Terms; even less, about 4% of terms in the Library were AAT Used For terms.  A major reason for these low numbers was the predominance of strings of two or more terms, often expressing multiple concepts or hierarchies.  In these cases, the most specific, partial term was identified and referenced in AAT. 

Data Standardization

AAT recommendations were used whenever possible.  The vast majority of terms (about 93%) were conceptually represented in AAT. In remaining cases, terms were researched to ascertain the most specific descriptor of cultural attributes.  Once standardized terms were agreed upon (see below), data pertaining to dates, place, style or period, not inherent to Creator Culture (CRC), was re-fielded appropriately. 

To accomplish this, the records that did not match AAT main terms were put through a web-based editing tool.  Each Creator Culture (CRC) field was examined not in isolation, but with other fields such as Creator Activity Place (CAP) or Creator Birth Place (CBP) to determine whether the non-culture data was represented elsewhere in the record.  In instances when it was not, information was re-fielded from Creator Culture (CRC), making certain that no data was lost in the standardization process.

Initial Condition


Almost 1600 different terms describe culture in the Creator Culture (CRC) field.

The number of terms in the Creator Culture (CRC) field is under 400 terms.

Over three quarters of the terms in the AMICO Library could not be found in AAT. 

Approximately three quarters of terms match AAT Main Terms.

Two thirds of all terms were unique; the majority of Creator Culture (CRC) terms did not repeat.

The 8 cultures with the most term occurrences* make up over one quarter of terms.

The three institutions with the most problematic terms comprised nearly half of all errors.

Members can now refer to the Creator Culture (CRC) Master Index to aid in entering appropriate CRC data.

* American, French, Chinese, Italian, German, Dutch, Guatemalan, and Japanese

The Creator Culture (CRC) Master Index generated from this project provides a complete reference for all terms. It shows the AMICO Preferred Term and illustrates what changes, if any, were made to Member supplied CRC data. 

4. Issues Addressed

Data from two or more fields combined in Creator Culture (CRC)

A significant barrier was met when standardizing terms with stylistic and temporal data, in that AAT combines all of this information into one hierarchy.  Looking up a string such as Japan, Edo period (1615-1868) returns matches of both Japanese and Edo, whereas for AMICO’s purposes the latter belongs in a field reserved for stylistic data. 

In addition, AMICO faced the dilemma of how to attend to the multitude of past and present cultures that occur within the boundaries of a modern nation.  For example, numerous works in The AMICO Library belong to different styles, periods, and peoples of the modern nation of India.  The question at hand was what culturally descriptive would both enable the retrieval of AMICO works at the general culture level, and allow specialists to identify works of particular interest.  Utilizing the expertise of a subject expert, it was decided that using Indian as the culture term and re-fielding other data, as described above, was the most effective means that to serve both of these groups.

Editorial Decisions Diverging from AAT

In some cases AAT does not recognize certain regions or account for political changes effectively.  Therefore, there were instances during the editorial process in which terms had to be evaluated individually.  Examples are given below.  The Creator Culture (CRC) Master Index generated from this project provides a complete reference for all terms. 

  • Works created prior to the unification of Italy use the city or province name (i.e. Venetian for Italian, Venice)
  • Ancient Greek city-states are treated independently.

    (i.e. Corinthian for Greece, Corinth, 8th century BC)

  • Little known Polynesian islands use this term.

    (i.e. Polynesian for Marquesas Islands)

Missing concepts in AAT

  • Added terms that do not exist in AAT include:

    Costa Rican, Cremonese, Dominican, Honduran, Iraqi, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Maltese, Mantovan, Nagaland, Pakistani, Panamanian, Prussian, Salvadoran, Taiwanese, Thracian, Ukrainian, Uzbeki, Yemeni.

5. The Creator Culture (CRC) Master Index

The Creator Culture (CRC) Master Index illustrates a full map of changes made in the AMICO Library.  The AMICO Preferred Term is in the left hand column, while the right side displays the different forms analyzed during the course of the project.

Click here for an Excel version of the Master Index.

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