RBMS Controlled Vocabularies

Controlled Vocabularies for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloging

Welcome to the Controlled Vocabularies for Use in Rare Book and Special Collections Cataloging, developed and maintained by the Bibliographic Standards Committee of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (ACRL/ALA). These thesauri provide standardized vocabulary for retrieving special collections materials by form, genre, or by various physical characteristics that are typically of interest to researchers and special collections librarians, and for relating materials to individuals or corporate bodies.

For information about the scope, application, and historical development of a thesaurus, please consult the digitized introductions to each text. All terms from the original print versions, as well as additions and changes since publication, are integrated into the databases below. We appreciate your patience as we improve the design and functionality of these databases, and welcome your comments.

Search for a term within the vocabularies:

Browse the vocabularies:

See also: Relationship Designators

Proposal Form: Propose new terms or modifications to existing terms

Controlled Vocabularies Community Discussion Blog for terms under review

Wiki for terms currently under review

For comments or questions, contact the RBMS Controlled Vocabularies editors.

Last updated: March 11, 2015