The Museum of English Rural Life (MERL) Techniques Thesaurus was developed in 2017-18 and draws on external term lists and the MERL’s own terms for techniques. It is intended as a complete list for primary terms, with scope for further secondary terms to be added as appropriate secondary term lists are developed, eg for weaving techniques.
The MERL Techniques term list was developed by Greta Bertram, Ollie Douglas and Guy Baxter for the Arts Council England funded project, ‘Making, Using and Enjoying: The Museum of the Intangible.’ The term list draws on those used by the Pitt Rivers Museum, 2017 (PRM) and the Canadian Heritage Information Network, 1992 (CHIN), with additions from the 4th edition of Museums Australia (Victoria)’s ‘The Small Museums Cataloguing Manual’, 2009 (MAV), the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus (Getty AAT) and the MERL’s own terms.
The term list largely consists of one level of terms – primary terms – although secondary terms have been used in some cases, such as for basketry (e.g. basketry, assembled; basketry coiled etc.) and photography (e.g. photography, albumen process; photography, lenticular process etc.). It should not be necessary to add additional primary terms, but further secondary terms can be added as appropriate secondary term lists are developed, e.g. for weaving techniques.
The ‘Source’ field indicates where the terms have been drawn from (e.g. PRM, CHIN, MAV, Getty AAT).
The ‘Scope Note’ field gives a definition of the terms and provides guidance on how the term should or should not be used.
Click the link on the right-hand side to download the MS Excel file.