Vocabulary in Museum Documentation
Museums Need Vocabulary !
The enermous diversity of objects requires that museum professionals employ a
distinct vocabulary. Both comprehensive and informed by the expert knowledge of
museum specialists, this vocabulary allows museum professionals to inventory museum
objects and to describe effectively how these professionals catalogue objects. Up until
now, the sort of vocabulary museum professionals required was difficult to find in one place.
For this reason, four organisations - the Working Group on Documentation within the German Museums
Association, the Zuse Institute in Berlin, and the digicult Schleswig-Holstein Project, and the
Institute for Museum Research - developed this website.
Here we provide access to vocabularies
available in digital form, readily usable, for you and the responsible parties within
your organisation, at no cost. This website supplies common tools for museums (taxonomies,
word lists, thesauri, etc.) developed and recommended by organisations that support the
work of museums. Specialised word lists, tailored to the specific needs of particular
types of collections, are also available here.
The vocabularies provided on this website will allow you to check the vocabulary
your institution uses to describe museum objects. By verifying what has been done
thus far, you may determine whether anything has been missed or needs to be supplemented.
If it is your responsibility to inventory and register collections, then you should be
able to make use of this tool (developed by museum experts), allowing you to focus on
the actual needs of your museum.
This website remains a work in progress. In the near future, we want to make it possible
for you to access the resources presented here in a more interactive, web-based fashion. We
continue to expand this website so that it points to other available resources; unfortunately,
these vocabularies are not always available to us in digital form. This Internet platform is also
intended for "expert" use, as the involvement of "experts" makes it possible to develop and
maintain vocabularies. The platform allows experts to prepare together any necessary
additions as well as to ensure that all museum-useful vocabularies increasingly converge.