Documenting Your Collections
Info-Muse Network Documentation Guide

Les guides électroniques de la SMQ

Technique (Physical Description)

Field to be used with an authority listField used for ethnology and history collectionsField used for fine and decorative arts collectionsField used for science and technology collectionsField used for archaeology collections (object data and site data)Société des musées québécois Info-Muse database field


  • This field indicates the processes, methods or techniques used to manufacture the object.


  1. For better search results in your database, avoid using a large variety of terms; draw up an authority list and add keywords as necessary.1
  2. This field is used in conjunction with the Material field.

    A knitted cotton sweater

      Object Namesweater
      Material fibre, cotton
  3. You may also indicate whether the object is artisanal or industrial.

      Object Namedress
      Materialfibre, silk
    Technique industrial; sewn
  4. For two-dimensional objects (painting, print, photograph, etc.), use the Medium, Support and, if necessary, Technique fields.

      Object Name print
      Medium ink
    Technique wood engraving

Entry rules:

  1. Enter the adjectives describing the techniques from the most predominant to the least predominant. Entries should be separated by a semicolon followed by a space. They should also correspond to the entries in the Material field.

      Object Namesculpture
      Material glass; metal
    Technique blown; pressed; repoussé; niellé
  2. Describe the object with a singular adjective or past participle used as an adjective.

      Object Namecase
     Material wood, mahogany; lacquer
    Technique lacquered
     and not 
     Technique lacquer
  3. If you are unsure whether your information is correct, include a space and a question mark after the keyword.

      Object Name urn
    Technique moulded; fired; engraved; glazed ?

  1. For a standardized list of terms, you can consult Ewing, Calum. Standards for the use of the Material (MA), Technique (MT) and related fields in the Humanities National Database of the Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN). Ottawa: Canadian Heritage Information Network, 1992 and Bénichou, Anne. Documentation Standards in Contemporary Art. Ottawa: Canadian Heritage Information Network, 1993. [Information up to date as of June 20, 2006]. © Société des musées du Québec