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accessible [adj]  

easy to understand or use

accession [v]  

to record an object, specimen, or collection into a museum's collections

accession number [n]  

a number given to an object (or a collection of objects) to identify it as part of a museum's collections

acid-free [adj]  

without acid that breaks down paper, fabric, wood, and other materials

anthropology [n]  

the study of humans, their culture, and nonhuman primates

archaeology [n]  

a branch of anthropology; the study of past human cultures and the physical evidence they left behind

archaeobotany [n]  

the study of plant remains (e.g., seeds and charcoal) recovered from archaeological sites

archaeozoology [n]  

the study of animal remains (e.g., bones and shells) recovered from archaeological sites

archival records [n]   written records and documents such as deeds, wills, and field records
archives [n]   a place where documents or records are kept, or a collection of these documents. archive [v]
artifact [n]   an object made or used by humans
audience [n]   the groups or members of the public whom an institution wishes to reach, or for whom a message is intended
authentic [adj]   genuine, original, not copied. authenticity [n]
biodiversity [n]   the diversity or numbers of distinct kinds of living things
bisque [n]   fired, unglazed ceramic ware
botany [n]   the study of plants
bryophytes [n]   nonflowering plants (mosses and liverworts)
catalog [v]   to record specific information about an object
catalog number [n]   a number given to an object or specimen for identification purposes
ceramic [adj]   made of clay
classification [n]   sorting or arranging into groups or categories based on specific characteristics
comparative collection [n]   a collection of objects or specimens used to identify other specimens
condition report [n]   a document that describes and evaluates the physical condition of an object
conserve [v]   to preserve and protect an object for the future. conservation [n]
conservator [n]   an individual who preserves or repairs objects and specimens
context [n]   the conditions or environment in which something exists or has existed; surroundings; background
copyright [n]   legal rights of an author, creator, or artist that controls the reproduction, sale, publishing, exhibition, and other uses of his or her work
culture [n]   shared knowledge, behavior, ideas, and customs of a group or groups of people
curate [v]   to care for and keep records of objects in a collection
curator [n]   a person who cares for a museum's collections, conducts research and writes about collections, and provides information for museum programs and exhibits
data [n]   facts or pieces of information gathered for a study or other particular purpose
database [n]   an organized body of information
decorative arts [n]   ceramics, enamels, furniture, textiles, glass, tools, or machines that are functional in nature, possess strong design elements, or have historic value
deed of gift [n]   a record signed by the donor transferring ownership of an object or collection to a museum
document [v]   to record information about an object or event
documentation [n]   all of the information that accompanies an object or specimen
donation [n]   a charitable gift of objects, money, or labor
donor forms [n]   documents such as deed of gift forms and donor questionnaires
donor questionnaire [n]   a set of questions designed to gain specific information about an object from its owner before donation
DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) [n]   genetic material that is the foundation for all organisms; it contains and transmits hereditary patterns.
ecology [n]   the study of the interrelationship between organisms and their environment
ecosystem [n]   a system which includes organisms and the physical environment and the interactions between them
edit [v]   to review the content, grammar, and structure of written material to improve its correctness and readability
electronic database [n]   an organized body of information entered and stored using a computer
embossed [adj]   decorated with a raised design
endangered [adj]   in serious danger of disappearing from the wild
entomology [n]   the study of insects
ethnographic [adj]   associated with or made by a known, observed group of people
excavate [v]   to remove earth to expose different layers of sediment and the objects and specimens in the sediments
exhibit [n]   an educational display or presentation of objects accompanied by information about them
extinct [adj]   no longer present on the Earth
extirpated [adj]   no longer present in an area, but still present on the Earth
fabricator [n]   a person who constructs exhibits
family [n]   a group of related genera of living things. For example, dogs and wolves are in the canid family.
features [n]   remains of human-made structures (such as a wall, a hearth, a hole from a post, or a trash pit)
fieldwork [n]   work done in the field (outside) including various kinds of research such as plant collecting, surveys, and excavations
flora [n]   plant life
fossils [n]   preserved remains or impressions of plant and animal material (such as pollen, seeds, teeth, and bones), tracks, footprints, and shells.
faunal analysis [n]   the identification and study of animal remains
genetic variability [n]   variation in genetic makeup
genus [n]   a group of related species. genera (pl.). For example, dogs and wolves are both in the genus Canis.
geology [n]   the study of earth history, including land forms, rocks, minerals, plants, and animals
habitat [n]   the place (or type of place) where a plant or animal naturally grows or lives
herbarium [n]   a place where leaves, flowers, seeds, and stems of plants are preserved and stored along with information about them.
historic [adj]   in archaeology: representing the remains of cultures for which written records are available (after A.D. 1673 in Illinois)
hydraulic core rig [n]   a power machine used to remove a sample of sediment in a long tube
interpret [v]   to present and explain information or ideas
interpreter [n]   one who presents and explains information or ideas
invertebrate [n]   an animal without a backbone or spinal column. invertebrate [adj]
larvae [n, pl.]   the immature, wingless, and often worm-like stage of many insects after hatching from the egg and before transformation into a pupa or chrysalis
lithic [adj]   made of stone
maker's mark [n]   a letter, number, or symbol placed on an object by its maker to identify a person or company as its creator
mastodont [n]   a large, elephant-like animal that lived in the Midwest during the Ice Age
medium [n]   the material used in the construction and/or decoration of an object, artifact, or work of art. media (pl.)
migration [n]   the movement of people or other organisms from one area to another
mission or mission statement [n]   the guiding vision of an organization that describes its goals and purpose
museology [n]   the study of the history, purpose, and workings of museums
organic [adj]   referring to material derived from living organisms and containing carbon
ornithologist [n]   a zoologist who studies birds, their behavior, and their habitats
osteology [n]   the study of bones and their structure
paleobotany [n]   the study of plants throughout the geologic past
paleozoology [n]   the study of animals throughout the geologic past
pollen [n]   The word pollen is derived from the Latin word meaning fine flour or dust. Pollen is a collective noun that is treated as singular. A single individual is a pollen grain. A pollen grain is a microscopic plant that carries the male genome, which is one-half the genetic complement of the parent plant. The pollen grain produces the sperm that fertilizes the ovum, or female genetic complement, of the plant. The fertilized ovum develops into a seed.
paleontologist [n]   a scientist who studies fossilized remains of plants and animals to learn about life throughout the geologic past
paleontology [n]   the study of fossilized remains of plants and animals to learn about life throughout the geologic past
palynologist [n]   a person who studies palynology, which is the study of pollen, including fossil pollen
palynology [n]   the study of pollen
polyethylene foam [n]   a plastic material comonly used to line shelves and wrap objects
pot sherd or sherd [n]   a broken piece of pottery
prehistoric [adj]   in archaeology: representing the remains of societies that predate written historical records (in Illinois, before A.D. 1673)
preventive conservation [n]   a method of protecting objects and keeping them for the future by reducing and monitoring hazards and risks to collections
preserve [v]   to prevent from decay
projectile point [n]   a chipped-stone artifact that was fastened to a shaft and used as a spear, dart, or arrow tip
provenance or provenience [n]   in the arts, the history of ownership of an object; in anthropology and the natural sciences, the location where the object or specimen was found or collected as well as information about the collector.
radiocarbon dating [n]   a method used to measure the age of organic materials based on the level of radioactive carbon present
reception [n]   an event to celebrate the opening of an exhibit
registrar [n]   a person who makes and keeps records such as accession and catalog records
resin [n]   a substance made from pine trees, seeds of the flax tree, or other plants that is used in glues, paints, varnishes, or inks
repository [n]   a place where something is deposited or stored
sample [n]   a small portion that represents a larger body of material, knowledge, work, or information
scope [n]   the range of subjects or types of collections in which the Museum is interested (the scope is determined from the Museum's mission)
sediment [n]   loose mineral or organic matter that has been deposited or laid down by water, wind, or ice. Sediment may become cemented into sedimentary rock over time.
silk-screening [n]   a printing method where ink is pressed through framed silk fabric
sites [n, pl]   places or locations; for example an archaeological site is a place where human activities took place and a paleontological site is place where pant or animal fossils are present
species [n]   a group of organisms that form an interbreeding population that is reproductively isolated from other populations
specimen [n]   an individual rock, fossil, plant, or animal
survey [v]   to examine, investigate, and map land surfaces such as when searching for an archaeological or geologic site. survey [n]
taxonomy [n]   the study of the classification of specimens such as of plants and animals
terrain [n]   the physical features and characteristics (rocky, rolling, hilly, etc.) of a land area
textile [n]   a woven or knitted fabric or cloth
threatened [adj]   at risk of being reduced to very low population levels
topographical features [n]   human-made and natural features (such as hills, valleys, ridges, and bluffs) on the land surface
trowel [n]   a hand-held tool with a flat, pie-shaped blade used in archaeology and geology to carefully remove sediment layers
tundra [n]   a flat or rolling treeless plain found in arctic and subarctic regions, usually with black mucky soil and permanently frozen subsoil
ultraviolet light [n]   short wavelength light that is beyond the visible spectrum at the violet end; rays of light that are invisible to the human eye but can damage objects
vertebrate [n]   an animal with a backbone or spinal column
zoology [n]  

the study of animals including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, spiders, and mollusks (including mussels)

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