About LoB


The Language of Bindings Thesaurus (LoB) includes terms which can be used to describe historical binding structures. The thesaurus can be used as a lookup resource through this website and also as a software service where the terms can be retrieved directly through your own application.

How to contribute

LoB is produced and maintained collaboratively by a group of contributors with relevant expertise. If you wish to contribute to the project you need a named account on this website. You can get one by sending us a message using the contact page. After you receive your account details you will be able to log in and:

  • suggest new terms that are currently not on the thesaurus
  • suggest changes to existing terms by commenting inside each concept page

Read more about people involved with LoB on the page about Contributors.

LoB is based on SKOS

The thesaurus is structured based on the Simple Knowledge Organisation System (SKOS). Some of the main principle of that system are:

  • We define concepts (not words) to avoid common problems such as when different communities use different words for the same idea.
  • Each concept can have a number of labels (language words) which refer to the concept, with one of them being a recommended label (preferred label) and the rest being the alternative labels.
  • Concepts are organised from the more general ones, the broader concepts, to the more specific ones, the narrower (broader / narrower relationship). A narrower term should always describe a concept which is included in the parent concept. For example, adzes is a narrower concept of tools and equipment because all adzes are tools.


You can access LoB concepts using three tools on the website:

  • The search page where you can type a keyword and retrieve relevant results.
  • The alphabetical page where the concepts are organised alphabetically by preferred label.
  • The hierachical page where the concepts are grouped based on their broader / narrower relationship.

Scope notes

LoB concepts are described in the so-called scope notes, which aim to give both a brief definition of each concept as well as a broader indication of what the concept is about, together with some historical information where this is known and relevant.

Getty Arts and Architecture Thesaurus

Where possible we have matched our concepts with concepts from the Getty AAT. Our intention is to submit LoB concepts to the AAT where corresponding terms do not exist.

Top concepts

The thesaurus is meant to be used as part of a documentation system. We recognise the value of the CIDOC-CRM in the documentation of cultural heritage. For this reason we have chosen our top concepts to match CIDOC-CRM entities so that their narrower concept hierarchies can be used as E55 Type for these entities in a documentation system. However, using a CRM compatible documentation system is not required.


To avoid link rot each concept has a so-called persistent URI provided by w3id.org which currently redirects to the corresponding concepts in the Language of Bindings website hosted under the Ligatus domain name. This means that in the future the LoB website can move to another domain without affecting any records produced based on these links. The redirection is with code 303 as recommended by the W3C in their article Cool URIs for the Semantic Web.

LoB as a service

LoB is published as Linked Open Data in the following locations:
SPARQL endpoint for LoB
Faceted browsing of LoB data
Each concept and label of the thesaurus can be requested in a number of formats including RDF/XML and JSON. For example:

Similar links also exist on each concept page. This is the recommended way to retrieve data for applications from the thesaurus, but please be kind to our SPARQL endpoint.
The LoB legacy lookup service is no longer supported.

Service provider

The LoB website and its services are provided by the University of the Arts London:
University of the Arts London
272 High Holborn
London WC1V 7EY
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)207 514 6000
Email for LoB: a.velios@arts.ac.uk