Media Archive Thesauri

The WITNESS thesauri were developed to meet the unique needs of audiovisual content in a human rights context, although a number of authorities and external sources were consulted. We maintain thesauri for Geographic Locations, Personal Names, and Corporate Names.

We publish our thesauri using TemaTres, a free, open source web application for managing controlled vocabularies, thesauri, and taxonomies. We learned about TemaTres from our colleagues at the University of Texas Human Rights Documentation Inititative, and began implementing it as a tool to better manage our vocabularies within our asset management system, as well as to share externally.

At present, only our Topic Terms are accessible online, but we will be adding our other vocabularies in the near future. This thesaurus of topic terms is exportable in various XML schemas. We welcome others to use and adapt these terms for their own purposes.

Included in the Topics are broad concepts (e.g. Accountability, Due Process, Women’s Rights) as well as more literal or visually descriptive terms (e.g. Scenics and Beauty Shots, Crowds). Some terms are applicable in both senses (e.g. Water). In some cases, terms are selected because of frequency of use or currency within the human rights community (e.g. Sex Workers). Some terms are also selected because content creators prefer to use them (e.g. Feminicide).

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