The Chinese Iconography Thesaurus (CIT) is designed as both an indexing standard and image archive for Chinese iconography.
The CIT terminology uses a corpus of historical catalogue records and inscriptions on art objects (e.g. Shiqu baoji and Midian zhulin) as the primary source.
The CIT terminology consists of general terms (e.g. plants, animals, people, objects, events), proper names (e.g. names of persons and places in Chinese history, religion, mythology or literature), and terms describing motifs, subjects and themes.
The CIT systematically organises terms in a hierarchical order and in synonym groups.
The CIT develops a system of associative relationship between terms.
The CIT images link to CIT terminology, and to the website of their original sources.
The CIT is a bilingual database searchable in both Chinese and English.
CIT database is an online construction site. It is liable to change periodically.
Due to the shortage of the staffing, the CIT datasets may not be proofread and updated promptly.
The Chinese Iconography Thesaurus database has been developed and is released in 2019 as a result of a three-year research grant awarded to the V&A by the UK government's Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), with subsequent sponsorship from the Bei Shan Tang Foundation.
Please acknowledge your use of the CIT in your publications.
Hongxing Zhang, Chief Editor
Jin Gao, Coordinator & Data Standard Editor
Yi-Hsin Lin, Data Standard Editor
Bingjun Liu, Data Standard Editor
Hui-Wen Lu, Director, Graduate Institute of Art History, National Taiwan University, Taipei
Ching-Fei Shih, Professor, Graduate Institute of Art History, National Taiwan University, Taipei
Yun-Ru Chen, Associate Professor, Graduate Institute of Art History, National Taiwan University, Taipei
Chong-Ci Wang, Doctor, Graduate Institute of Art History, National Taiwan University, Taipei
Etienne Posthumus, Digital Humanities Consultant
Hans Brandhorst, Iconographic Indexing Consultant