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Spectrum Advice: Terminology control

Terminology control refers to the standardisation of the terms used when cataloguing museum objects. If terms used to describe museum objects are standardised when information is entered into documentation systems it will be easier to retrieve information about those objects through a search.

This Spectrum Advice fact sheet explores how Terminology Control might work in your museum and how it is relevant to the requirements of the Accreditation Scheme for Museums and Galleries in the UK.


  • What is Terminology Control?
  • Why is Terminology Control Important?
  • PAS 197, Spectrum 4.0 and the Museum Accreditation Scheme
  • Which information in a catalogue record needs to be controlled?
  • Term Lists, Thesauri and Classification Systems
  • How do I create or choose a terminology?
  • Terminology and your Museum’s Documentation Procedural Manual

This fact sheet was revised in 2015 to support the UK Museum Accreditation Standard.

Clicking the link on this page will allow you to download this resource as a PDF.

Date created: 2015

Publisher: Collections Trust