The Nomenclature Task Force of the American Association for State and Local History (AASLH), the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN) and Parks Canada have collaborated to produce a new bilingual, illustrated online version of Nomenclature for Museum Cataloging. Coming in fall of 2018, this resource will offer free access to search and browse through the classification hierarchy of Nomenclature in English or French.

The Nomenclature website will be the most up-to-date version of the Nomenclature standard and will include:

  • the entire Nomenclature 4.0, as published in 2015 by Rowman & Littlefield
  • a complete French version, with terms provided by Parks Canada and CHIN
  • terminology, definitions and illustrations added through a harmonization process* with a complementary standard, the Parks Canada Descriptive and Visual Dictionary of Objects (Parks DVD)
  • a 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

*Consult Harmonization of Nomenclature 4.0 and Parks Canada Descriptive and Visual Dictionary of Objects.

The Nomenclature Task Force (which includes representatives from many organizations, including both Parks Canada and CHIN) will continue to develop and maintain the Nomenclature standard in consultation with museums that use it. Updates will be included on a routine basis in the online resource, allowing organizations to stay current with the standard in a more timely fashion.

CHIN plans to release the Nomenclature data as linked open data under an Open Data Commons license in 2020, which will mean that Nomenclature data will be free to download and use at that time.

Please contact Paul Bourcier ( at the AASLH Nomenclature Task Force, Heather Dunn ( or Madeleine Lafaille ( at CHIN, or Jean-Luc Vincent ( at Parks Canada for more information.