How to measure objects
Dimensions of objects give important information for their physical description. They tell us about their precise size and provide details useful for exhibiting objects or placing them in the storage area, or even packing them for shipment. Rules on how to measure objects can vary from one institution to another, and from one type of collection to another, however, and that is why it is important to put written rules on measurement into place in each institution, to ensure that it is always done consistently. We have drawn up this section to guide you.
- Always measure dimensions in centimetres, unless the object is too small or too large.
- Always indicate the maximum dimensions of the object.
- Be precise and consistent in how you take measurements.
- To identify the measurements to be taken depending on the type of object concerned, you can consult the following table: Identifying measurements required by type of object.
- Then consult the illustrations accompanying the various examples, to make sure that you understand how to take the measurements.
- Finally, refer to the descriptions of dimension fields to find out how to use each one.
How to use the table
The table is divided into two parts. The first part presents benchmarks that will help you determine the exact type of object to be measured. These benchmarks correspond to the first three columns in the table, and also appear on each illustrated example page:
- "Configuration" column:
Start by deciding whether it is a two-dimensional or three-dimensional object.
- "Main side" column:
For a three-dimensional object, determine whether or not it has a main side.
- "Main axis" column:
Decide whether the usual position of the object is horizontal or vertical. The usual position corresponds to the main axis or the axis of use.
The second part presents examples of objects and the measurements to be taken for each of them, depending on the different combinations of benchmarks:
- "Illustrations" and "Measurements to be taken" columns:
Now you should be able to match up the object to be measured with one of the examples in the table, to determine what measurements to take.
Table - Identifying measurements required by type of object