Murtha Baca holds a Ph.D. in Art History and Italian Literature from the University of California, Los Angeles. During the last decade, her work has focused on data standards and structured vocabularies for describing and accessing information on the visual arts and architecture. With James M. Bower, she co-edited the Union List of Artist Names (G.K. Hall, 1994). She oversaw the production and publication of the Categories for the Description of Works of Art, and co-edited, with Patricia Harpring, a special double issue of the journal Visual Resources (vol. XI, nos. 3-4, 1996) devoted to the Categories.
Her other publications include "From Authority File to Retrieval Tool: the Union List of Artist Names" (Computers and the History of Art vol. 6, no. 2, 1997); "Making Sense of the Tower of Babel: A Demonstration Project in Multilingual Equivalency Work" (Terminology: International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Issues in Specialized Communication, 1997); "Shades of Gutenberg? The Impact of the World Wide Web on the Publication and Dissemination of Vocabularies and Research Tools, in Visual
Resources Association Bulletin, Spring 1998; editor, Introduction to Metadata: Pathways to Digital Information (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Trust, 1998); guest editor, with Richard Rinehart, of Spectra (the journal of the Museum Computer Network), special issue devoted to standards (Spring 1999); editor, Introducción a los metadatos: vías a la información digital (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Trust, 1999); "Evaluating the Use of Controlled Vocabularies on the VISION Project," in Visual Resources Association Bulletin (Spring 1999). "A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Metadata for Art Objects and Their Visual Surrogates" in Metadata: Libraries and the Web (Chicago: American Libraries Association Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, forthcoming). She teaches a graduate seminar on metadata and controlled vocabularies in the School of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.