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The VRA Core Categories, Version 3.0 consist of a single element set that can be applied as many times as necessary to create records to describe works of visual culture as well as the images that document them.

Version 3.0 allows image records to be associated with a work record, and version 4.0 adds a collection record.

Visual Resources Association (VRA) Core:

  • Type of collection: Art images whose users require in-depth indexing and retrieval using expert terms for genre, culture, style, period, etc.
  • Appropriate metadata standard: VRA Core Categories 3.0
  • Example collection: Cleveland Museum of Art Collections <> (From each item view, click "More Information" to see VRA image metadata.)
  • Resources to consult: VRA Core version 3 home page <>; CC:DA Task Force on VRA Core Categories Summary Report <>; Cataloging Cultural Objects <>.
  • Usage notes: VRA Core is more robust than Dublin Core for describing art images and metadata in this format is consequently more powerful but more expensive to create. VRA Core contains both "work" records describing an actual art object, and "image" records describing representations of views of that object (slides, digital images, etc.) held by an institution. Best practice in creating VRA Core records is to populate fields using appropriate controlled vocabularies such as ULAN and TGM, and the rules described in Cataloging Cultural Objects <>.
    A beta draft of the VRA Core 4.0 documentation and schema are attached.
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