Of the categories
of information not selected for Object ID because there was no
clear consensus in favor of their inclusion, five were regarded
as being important by a large majority of respondents in at least
four of the six communities surveyed. These categories of information
are Inventory Number, Related
Written Material, Place of Origin/Discovery,
Cross Reference to Related Objects,
and Date Documented.
Anyone recording information about cultural objects should consider
including these categories.
Number is the name used by this guide for the accession numbers,
inventory numbers, catalogue numbers, or registration numbers
used in many museums and collections. Sometimes these numbers
are written, painted, or stamped on the objects. The purpose of
these identifiers is to connect an object to its documentation
and distinguish it from other objects within the same collection,
museum, or other repository. They can be simple numbers, or may
comprise various types of information, including the acronyms
of the organization and the date the object was acquired or accessioned
(e.g., 1989.25.1, RIBA X/19). It is important to remember
that although an Inventory Number can uniquely identify the object
within the institution that holds it, it may not uniquely identify
it in the event of theft if other organizations use the same numbering
system. If the identifier has been inscribed on the object, it
should also be recorded under Inscriptions
provides references, including citations, to other written material
related to the object (e.g., published information and/or specialist
reports concerning the objects significance, provenance,
exhibition history, conservation history, scientific tests, contextual
information about its maker, or references to standard texts).
In the surveys undertaken to identify the categories to be included
in Object ID, Related Written Material was believed to
be important by 93 percent of the appraisers surveyed, but regarded
as less important by the other communities. An alternative is
to include this information under Description.
Literature: P.L.W. Arts, Japanese Porcelain, Lochem:
De Tijdstroom, 1983, p. 51, no. 25
indicates the name of the place where the object was made or,
in the case of archaeological finds, the location where it was
discovered. It is recorded with varying degrees of precision,
depending on the information available. The location given can
be the name of an archaeological site, a city, part of a country,
a country, tribal area, or a region of the world. Once again,
this information can also be recorded under Description.
the place the object was made might not be the same as the place
of discovery. For example, many objects excavated at Roman sites
in countries formerly within that empire originated in other countries
once under the rule of Rome. Moreover, it is not uncommon for
objects made in the same style to be made in a number of countries.
For these reasons it can be difficult to identify the countries
from which illegally excavated objects were taken. For example,
the Sevso Treasure comprising fourteen pieces of fourth-century
Roman silver has been claimed by Croatia, Hungary, and
It is important
not to confuse the style in which an object was made with its
place of origin. If an object is described as being in the Greek
style, this does not mean that it necessarily originated in
Greece. Similarly, an object said to be in the French taste,
is not necessarily French. Style is often used in instead of place
of origin when the latter is not known.
Reference to Related Objects
interest of some objects may partly result from their relationship
to other objects. It is this relationship that Cross Reference
to Related Objects is designed to record.
A closely similar example is in the British Museum, London.
may be compared with a similar piece in the Musée Guimet,
Paris, and another larger piece in the Dr S.Y. Yip collection,
Documented is the date on which the description of the object
was made. From the appraisers point of view, no appraisal
is valid without the date the object was documented, together
with the name of the creator of the documentation. Evidence of
an objects appearance at a given date could be of value
if the object is altered or damaged in some way at some point
in the future. This category can also be important for establishing
ownership, by proving that an object was in the possession of
an individual or organization at a particular date.