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Using Nomenclature – Adding Specialist Terms

by Heather Dunn, Canadian Heritage Information Network on

 

Photo courtesy Kili / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

Nomenclature covers a wide range of terminology, but it does not include all terms that might be appropriate for cataloging all collections.  In particular, museums with specialized collections may find that they need more terminology in a certain area of Nomenclature, in order to provide meaningful distinctions between the objects in their collection.   But how should museums approach the addition of specialist terms to Nomenclature?

  • Carefully consider whether the term is needed.  Do you need to distinguish between objects at a more specific level than is currently possible using the terms in Nomenclature?
  • Review existing classifications and sub-classifications to see where the specialist terms would fit in the hierarchy.
  • Look at existing object terms to see if any of them qualify as broader terms for your specialist term.
  • Check how other institutions have approached the same or similar artifacts.
  • Ask advice on Nomenclature Community site if necessary.

It is also very important that you make your lexicon additions known to the AASLH Nomenclature Task Force – we will consider adopting them for the next version of Nomenclature!

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