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Patent classification systems are a very differnt approach to classification of technology than librarian/museum model used by most museums. It would make collections accessible to a very differnt audience.

Patent classifications use numbers to build a narrative description of the catagory of an artifact.  They are broken down into Section, Class and group.  Example would be;

Section: A47 FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
Class: A47B TABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
Group: 1/00 Extensible tables
Subgroup 1/02 . with insertable leaves and fixed frames
An example of the patent would be https://www.google.com/patents/US699403 … CB0Q6AEwAA


WIPO IPC http://www.wipo.int/classifications/ipc/en/
ESA http://worldwide.espacenet.com/classification
USPTO http://www.uspto.gov/

Most standard nomenclatures (Getty AAT, MESH, Unified Medical Device Nomenclature System (UMDNS), Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) and WIPO International Patent Classification (IPC) all use a concept identifier number for each term.  This allow the term to be updated as well as to allow the term to be translated into other languages.


I recommend that the proposed IRN for the Thesaurus module link to the concept identifier number then to the term.  This will facilitate updating and translating each term into a language other than that used by the museum.  IRN->concept number->term

I am responding to this a bit late in the game as I just found out about it at the Global users conference. 

I would recommend that the defination appear in the 'Terms' tab vice the Notes tab as this is what the user will see first and is useful information for determining if the term is appropriate.

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