The Tagging Initiative
The Met's encyclopedic online collection currently includes over 470,000 objects representing 5,000 years of art from across the globe. With such a vast collection, finding a specific artwork can be a challenge. The Tagging Initiative addresses this challenge by identifying the subject matter depicted in each artwork and creating keyword tags around this subject matter. Now, whether you are conducting scholarly research, working on a class assignment, or simply looking for inspiration, these new keyword tags will provide a new pathway into the collection. You can search for subjects—from historical events to leisure activities to rabbits—across media, cultures, and time periods.
For example, you can explore over 2,600 artworks tagged with the keyword "dogs," ranging from a Roman oil lamp to an engraving of William Hogarth. Or see depictions of "daily life" from ancient Cyprus to nineteenth-century Japan. These keyword tags support the search and discovery of our collection, helping to fulfill our mission of making the entire collection available and accessible to the widest possible audience.
How to Use the Tags
The subject keywords are now available under CC0 in both a downloadable CSV file and via The Met Collection API. This keyword dataset contains common words that provide information about the subject of the artwork and enhance the ability of search systems to retrieve content. Data identifying an artwork often includes title, artist, medium, nationality, etc. Including keywords as part of the dataset enables a richer experience for anyone using the API to search for common subject keywords across multiple geographies and time periods.