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Adding a Generic Term to Your PastPerfect 5 Database

by Sarah Kapellusch, The Wisconsin Veterans Museum on

PastPerfect 5 users that have converted from Revised Nomenclature to Nomenclature 3.0 have likely noticed that Nomenclature 3.0 does not include certain generic terms like Spoon previously found under Food Service T&E (Tools and Equipment). In PastPerfect 5, these terms that use to be acceptable in Revised Nomenclature, are now listed as Unclassified, Need to Classify. This is because Nomenclature 3.0 no longer includes generic terms and now relies on the cataloger to know the specific function of an object in order to assign it a controlled object name. Using the example of the term Spoon, the Nomenclature Task Force offers up two ways to approach the data cleanup.

First, you might choose to go through the object records one by one and update them by assigning new function based object names ex. Spoon, Sugar; Spoon, Measuring; Spoon, Eating; or Spoon, Medical. This is the ideal solution but the Nomenclature Task Force recognizes that for larger collections or museums with limited resources, this may be impractical.

Another option is to add a generic classification and object name to the lexicon. To do this in PastPerfect 5, go into the lexicon and select to add a new category. Then select to add a new classification under Category 4: T&E for Materials. Add the new classification “Misc. Food T&E”. Hit accept and in the description field enter “Misc. T&E pertaining to food service, processing and/or preparation where the specific function is unknown”.

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Once the classification is added to the lexicon, you can add the primary term Spoon to this new classification. To do this, go back into add a category, classification or term and select to add new primary term. In the box type “Spoon”. Select T&E for Materials as the associated category and Misc. Food T&E for the classification. Hit accept. In the description field, type “A spoon pertaining to food service, processing and/or preparation where the specific function is unknown or unspecified.”

Once this is complete, all records assigned the object name Spoon will be classified and no further action is needed.

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For other useful tips specific to PastPerfect 5, check out the Help Guide for PastPerfect Users Converting to Nomenclature 3.0 located on the Nomenclature 3.0 website under the Resources tab.

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