FISH Vocabularies

The vocabularies in different formats, a FISH thesaurus table structure and latest list of candidate terms

All the resources here are free to use and do not require FISH membership.

Thesauri last updated February 2017 (version 20)

Archaeological Objects Thesaurus

  • Originally developed by the Archaeological Objects Working Party and published by the mda. It provides guidance for the recording of archaeological objects in Britain and Ireland covering all historical periods (e.g. corn dolly, cremation, cross). Now maintained by FISH on behalf of the heritage sector.
  • Search  Linked Data  CSV

Archaeological Sciences Thesaurus 

  • Terminology used for recording the techniques, recovery methods and materials associated with archaeological sciences (e.g. tree-ring analysis, modification state, pathology). Maintained by Historic England on behalf of the FISH Terminology Working Group.
  • Search  Linked Data  CSV

Building Materials Thesaurus

  • Terminology used for recording the main construction materials of monuments, buildings and structures relating to the built and buried heritage of the British Isles. Includes natural/animal and man-made material (e.g. cement mix, fossil, fibre-glass). Maintained by FISH on behalf of the heritage sector.
  • Search  Linked Data  CSV

Cargo Thesaurus

  • Thesaurus for types of cargo carried by vessels and aircraft on their final voyage (e.g. animal fodder, sugar, fuel). Maintained by Historic England on behalf of the FISH Terminology Working Group.
  • Search  CSV

Components Thesaurus 

  • Terminology covering divisions and structural elements of a building or monument. Includes terms that describe areas and spaces, decorative features, fixtures and fittings, machinery and implied features (e.g. post hole, cartouche, truss).
  • Search  Linked Data  CSV

Defence of Britain Thesaurus 

  • Terminology relating to the Second World War defence of Britain. This resource is no longer actively maintained, all content can now be found in the FISH Monument Type Thesaurus.
  • Search  CSV

Event Thesaurus 

  • Use for recording archaeological events, e.g. architectural investigative, data collection exercises; from intrusive interventions into the resource to non-damaging survey events (e.g. grab sampling, auger survey, remote sensing).   
  • Search  Linked Data  CSV

Evidence Thesaurus 

  • Terminology covering the existing physical remains of a monument, or the means by which a monument has been identified where no physical remains exist (e.g. placename evidence, soilmark, surface deposit).
  • Search  Linked Data  CSV

Farmstead Thesaurus 

  • Thesaurus for indexing different types of farmsteads, related buildings, areas and layouts. This thesaurus does not contain any additional terminology than that held in Monument Type.
  • Alphabetical  Hierarchical  CSV

First World War Thesaurus

  • For the recording of monuments related to the First World War in the UK. This thesaurus was constructed for the First World War Home Front Project and does not contain any additional terminology than that held in Monument Type.
  • Alphabetical Hierarchical  CSV

Heritage Crime Thesaurus

  • Thesaurus for indexing types of crime and incidents against heritage assets (e.g. graffiti, theft, unauthorized diving).
  • Alphabetical  Hierarchical  CSV

Historic Aircraft Thesaurus

  • Indexing terminology for the recording of aircraft remains and crash sites, listing aircraft types by form, function and manufacturer (e.g. Atlas, Target, Westland).
  • Search  CSV

Historic Characterisation Thesaurus

  • Thesaurus combining Historic Landscape and Historic Seascape Characterisation terminology (e.g. reclaimed land, vineyard, dunes).
  • Alphabetical  Hierarchical  CSV  Full text  

Manner of Loss List

  • A small authority file/ wordlist for indexing types of loss of vessels or aircraft (e.g. beached, lost, enemy action).
  • XLS CSV

Maritime Craft Thesaurus

  • Craft types which survive as wrecks for Historic England’s maritime record and can be used to describe types of ship (e.g. block ship, rescue vessel, net layer) .
  • Search  Linked Data  CSV

Maritime Fixtures and Fittings Thesaurus

  • Thesaurus of non-structural, movable items on vessels (e.g. lifting gear, deadeye, clenched nail).
  • Alphabetical  Hierarchical  CSV

Maritime Place Names Thesaurus

  • Thesaurus for indexing ports of destination and departure for maritime vessels, grouped by continent, island, water or unassigned (e.g. Isle of Man, Scapa Flow, Gulf of Bothnia).
  • Alphabetical  Hierarchical  CSV

Monument Types Thesaurus

  • Terminology relating to the built and buried heritage of the British Isles and used for recording sites, monuments, buildings and structures (e.g. beer cellar, macula, railway hotel).
  • Search  Linked Data  CSV
  • Class definitions

Nationality List

Object Materials Thesaurus

  • A thesaurus, orginally developed to assist with the recording of materials for maritime wrecks but now used more generally for objects found in findspots. Please use the British Museum Thesaurus for museum objects.
  • Alphabetical  Hierarchical  CSV

Periods List

  • List of the main archaeological and cultural periods of Britain. May vary compared to other period lists, this one has been developed by English Heritage (e.g. Mesolithic, Middle Iron Age, Jacobean).
  • View  Linked Data  CSV

Resource Description Thesaurus

  • Officially called English Heritage and National Trust Resource Description, also known as THRED. Terminology for the description of archive type and format, now updated by FISH (e.g. excavation report, newspaper article, video clip).
  • Search  Alphabetical  Hierarchical  CSV

Threat Types List

  • Wordlist for different types of threats to heritage assets (e.g. coastal erosion, flooding, vandalism).
  • CSV

 

ALGAO logo     MIDAS_Heritage_logo    2002_logo_web

ALGAO Wordlists

On behalf of the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO), FISH also maintain a number of indexing wordlists specific to recording heritage asset management. Although some of the lists are very small, they provide controlled vocabulary for MIDAS units of information.

Consultation Outcome List

  • This list relates to the MIDAS unit Management Proposal Outcome. It is intended to provide the option to audit the effectiveness of recommendations made in response to proposed work or planning applications (e.g. agreed, followed, withdrawn).
  • CSV

Consultation Type

  • This list relates to the MIDAS unit Management Proposal Type. The different contexts of consultations can be recorded, which in turn may determine the appropriate nature, method, procedure to be adopted by the inventory in response to the consultation (e.g. planning application, listed building consent, conservation area appraisal).
  • CSV

Event Type List

  • This list relates to the Event Type unit in MIDAS. It covers both investigative, data-gathering activities which involve a physical intervention in the site and survey events, ie those data-gathering events which do not have a damaging effect on the resource (e.g. field survey, soil samling, measured survey).
  • CSV

Final Outcome List

  • This list relates to the MIDAS unit Management Proposal Outcome. It is intended to provide the option to audit the effectiveness of archaeological recommendations made in response to proposed work or planning applications by recording the final result of the planning application (e.g. approved with full condition, refused, amended).
  • CSV

Work Proposed List

  • This list relates to the MIDAS Management Proposal Work Proposed unit of information. It will offer the opportunity to audit the consultations received by SMRs by broad categories recommended by ALGAO (e.g. building extension, dredging, road construction).
  • CSV

Example of a monument - a lighthouse: Whitford Point Lighthouse, Glamorganshire, 1865. © RCAHMW, 2006.

Left: lighthouse: Whitford Point Lighthouse, Glamorganshire, 1865. © RCAHMW, 2006.

Right: war memorial (freestanding): HMS Vanguard Memorial, Lyness, Orkney, 1917. © RCAHMS / Historic Environment Scotland, 1996.

Example of a Scottish cross memorial, free-standing, in commemoration of HMS Vanguard, which sank in 1917 (Orkney).

Click here to see controlled vocabularies produced by other organizations.

FISHwebCOL  Thesaurus Table Structure

The FISH thesaurus table structure is identical to Historic England’s monuments inventory database. Below document is useful when importing FISH thesauri into your database.

FISHwebCOL   Thesaurus Updates

Every time we release a new version of the FISH thesauri, we also include a simple list of the new terms added. The document below contains terms added to Version 20, released February 2017.

Download the list of new terms