Classifying objects

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Classifying objects

Postby paul » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:20 pm

The use of specific classification terms goes beyond the advice we can provide, but we can point you to some useful resources:

Getty's Art & Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)
AAT is online and searchable here:
This is one of the most popular systems for classifying art works. AAT includes excellent notes on the use of particular terminology.

For example, the term 'porcelain' includes notes which help distinguish it from the broader term of 'ceramic' and the more specific term of 'bone china'

Revised Nomenclature
Robert Chenhall's Revised Nomenclature (version 3.0 at time of writing) is popular for classifying man-made objects. Hard copy versions can be purchased online from several book sellers:'s+revised+nomenclature

Powerhouse Museum's Object Name thesaurus
Powerhouse Museum publish their Object Name thesaurus:

For the same example, Powerhouse Museum has a general term for 'dinnerware', which is used instead of the synonym 'crockery'. Crockery does not appear as a term in AAT, but covers earthenware and ceramics products.

General Notes about classifying objects in eHive
The 'Object Type' field is publicly viewable and is normally a simple single term (similar to the Powerhouse Museum thesaurus). The 'Classification' field is not publicly viewable and can be used to record a hierarchy of terms.

The Tags field can be used to record any general terms that might aid people searching for the object. This can include informal terminology. By default, public users can add tags to public object records. As well as noting other terms that describe the object, it can be used to indicate general subject and association information to group sets of records.

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