General Information about the Metadata of the Maya Image Archive and how to search the Database

The Maya Image Archive contains collections of digitized images that are presented as the entity type “Medium” which is related to a variety of other entity types such as Person, Provenance, Place, Collection or Holder. Each entity type has several properties and several possible relations.

Video Tutorial

For a quick start, here is a video that shows the explorative search in our Database using a short example:

Metadata Schema of the Maya Image Database

Following the terminology of the database there is a difference between the abstract metadata schema elements and the actually implemented elements:
Entity Type (abstract) → Entity (implemented)
When an Entity Type is implemented it becomes an actual Entity.

Relation (abstract) → Relationship (implemented)
When a Relation is implemented it becomes an actual Relationship.

All implemented Entities are represented with their various specific Relationships in relation to one another via a graph-based structure.

This graph reflects the structure of the metadata schema: It connects the following possible Entity Types by various Relations (with given dataset fields) as illustrated below:

metadata schema diagram

Documentation of Metadata Fields and Instructions for Editors

The following table presents the documentation of the metadata fields of the Maya Image Archive.
The first part provides instructions for editors and the naming conventions to be applied.
The second part lists the metadata fields together with their respective definitions and controlled vocabularies and naming conventions.

Types of Relations
The list of possible bidirectional relations between the entity types and a number of actually created relationships can be accessed here: List of Relations

Documentation of Metadata Schema and API on GitHub

For the full documentation of our application profile, see: Metadata Schema Documentation and import scripts for the Maya Image Database

Permanent links of the Image Media
The Permalinks for each Medium are shown on its respective view page.
The database system makes it technically possible to find the data field of the label “Image Number”,
which was defined as the identifier field for a Medium, by entering it in its own URL.
The identifier can be resolved in the URL using the specification
In the adress field <identifier> only the value
which is in the field with the label „Image Number“ has to be entered.  
For example, to retrieve the medium with the image number “KHM_1978_F51_R06_33”,
you can now enter the full URL in the browser.

This specification then leads to the medium with the image number “KHM_1978_F51_R06_33”.
The resolving technique of the database creates a permalink for each image medium via its identification.

Data and Metadata

All material of the Maya Image Archive has been documented and digitized by members of the TWKM project. With respect to the metadata scheme, the digitized images are presented as the entity type “Medium” which is related to a variety of other entity types such as Person, Archaeological Site, Place, Collection or Holder. All entity types have several properties and several possible relations. They are represented as entities in relation to one another via a graph-based structure.

The Maya Image Archive aims to be much more than a simple compilation of documents. In the database, the information attached to the documents has been organized in a coherent metadata schema with its content systematically revised and enriched in order to allow users to efficiently conduct targeted and diverse searches.


The page Statistics shows how many entities of each entity type and how many implemented relationships of each possible relation the database currently has.


Free access without login
All media and information presented in the database are freely accessible. The database can be used immediately and without login. You are automatically logged in as a guest. Start your search and click on the Simple Search or on the Expert Search which you find in the menu on the left and you’re ready to go!

Free Access with Login for Editorial Rights
In cooperation with the Digital Research Infrastructure DARIAH-DE the database is made accessible as a DARIAH-DE Web Service via federated Login. The federated login is available for all users with a DARIAH-account. Further, registration to the database is possible on request.

Users entering the database of the Maya Image Archive as registered user or via federated login are granted specific editorial rights. These rights include creating their own collections within the archive, and entering additional information to enrich the database.

If you have any questions about content edition, registration or federated login, please contact us.


All entities can be searched by either a Simple Search
or by an Expert Search according to their built relationships or particular properties of the entities.

Navigating the System
The KOR system and user interface are designed in such a way that the user can move freely within the system. The relationships thus serve as paths by means of which one can arrive at other entities. Every entity page presents an overview of all relationships with other entities in the system. Clicking on an entity leads to its view page, where additional relationships are shown.
In addition to basic information, the relationships in image searches also offer an alternative to conducting a search query via the search menu. Thus, on the entity page of e.g. an artist, all works associated with this person can be shown, including the relevant images.

Specific Help Sections

Each one of the database functions provides the user with a help button (“?”).
The help text appears when “?” is clicked.

Further Questions

For detailed information on the metadata schema (e.g. datafields, field definitions, controlled vocabularies) and technical information, please contact the admin of the Maya Image Archive.
For any further questions mail to the team of the Maya Image Archive
For technical problems you can further report on GitHub