Nomenclature for Museum Cataloging

In partnership with the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN), AASLH has launched an online, illustrated bilingual version of Nomenclature 4.0, integrating and reconciling the latest edition of Robert Chenhall’s cataloging standard with data from the Parks Canada Descriptive and Visual Dictionary of Objects. Released under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, Nomenclature is available as linked open data (LOD). Users will no longer need to purchase a book or electronic file to stay current with this cataloging standard, and software vendors will no longer have to pay a licensing fee for its use.

The Nomenclature website is the most up-to-date version of the Nomenclature standard and includes:

  • the entire Nomenclature 4.0, as published in 2015 by Rowman & Littlefield;
  • new and updated terminology, illustrations, and definitions, continuously added as part of the ongoing work of the Nomenclature Committee;
  • a complete French version, with terms provided by Parks Canada and CHIN;
  • terminology, definitions, and illustrations from a complementary standard, the Parks Canada Descriptive and Visual Dictionary of Objects;
  • a continuously-updated bibliography to help museums find additional resources to help with cataloging specific types of objects;
  • guidelines and tips on how to use the Nomenclature system.