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Nomenclature 4.0 – Why the change from “Classification” to “Class”?

by Heather Dunn, Canadian Heritage Information Network on

New Nomenclature 4.0 users that are familiar with Revised Nomenclature or Nomenclature 3.0 will notice a change in the naming of the hierarchical levels within the classification system.

Whereas previous versions of Nomenclature referred to the three hierarchical levels as “Category,” “Classification,” and “Sub-classification,” Nomenclature 4.0 refers to “Category,” “Class,” and “Sub-Class.

This change was made for two reasons:

1) The noun form, “Class” is more appropriate as a label than “Classification” (which is the action or process of classifying).

2) This revision harmonizes Nomenclature 4.0 with the conventions used in other complementary standards such as the Parks Canada Descriptive and Visual Dictionary of Objects.

This change will not impact the names of the Classes or Sub-Classes, and it does not impact the Nomenclature terms – only the labels for the hierarchical levels are changed, so this will have little to no impact for most museums.

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