Place Authority Requirements


The documentation and management of information about places related to the collection being described.


  • Allow users to compile authorized terms or headings used by a single organization or consortium in cataloging, indexing, or documentation (CDWA)
  • Establish the preferred name for a geographic location, etc.
  • Allow for the management of synonyms and related terms, including non-hierarchical "associative relationships" among authorities
  • Allow users to create hierarchies within authority records
  • Enable term control in intake records, object records, and other authorities
  • The authority should be compliant with ISO and NISO standards for thesauri (CDWA)
  • Allow users to capture and manage information about coordinates including information from georeferencing activities (whether by person or computer) used by mapping applications

Standards, Guidelines + Use Cases


The Place authority contains information about geographic places important to the cultural works and creators. The places noted in this authority include both physical features and administrative entities.

Physical features include entities that are part of the natural physical condition of the planet, such as continents, rivers, and mountains.

Administrative geographic entities include man-made or cultural entities typically defined by political and administrative boundaries, such as empires, nations, states, districts, townships, and cities.

CHIN Data Dictionary: Archaeological Sites

Spectrum: Location and Address

Visual Resource Association (VRA) Core 4.0 (Library of Congress)

Taxonomic Databases Working Group (TDWG) Introduction to Darwin Core

TDWG Darwin Core Quick Reference Guide: Location Terms

GADM Database of Global Administrative Areas


Place Authority Wireframes


Vocabulary Service


Hierarchical Authorities - BT NT Workflows


Place Authority Schema

User Story Summaries

Vocabulary User Story Summary