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Field label
Field mnemonic
Field name
  • Accession Number
  • Numéro d'accession
Field definition
This field contains the museum accession number of the object. If there is only one number to identify the object, it should be entered here. Ideally, the accession number is a unique record identifier.
Required field for uploading to Artefacts Canada unless Catalogue Number is used.
Edits were made to this field in May 2010.
Entry rules
Enter the accession number. Do not use multiple entries. The suggested format is the four digit year (YYYY), followed by the item number and the pieces, for example 1978.10a-b or 1978.10.1-2. Another widely used system of accession numbers in the museum world consists of compound numbers. The first part of the number represents the year; the second part, the accession (sample, lot, or group) received by or collected for the institution in that year; the third part, the item or specimen within the lot or group. A sequence of simple numbers is disadvantageous in dealing with large collections or accessions of large groups of specimens. Alphabetical prefixes designating collections, material, or geographic areas are disadvantageous as they require immediate identification or determination of origin when attributing a number to the object. Do not use colons, commas or semicolons.
Cataloguers rules
If there is only one number for the item, then it should always be entered in the Accession Number field (AN), regardless of the number's format. See also, Acquisition Number (AQN) and Catalogue Number (CN).
Data type
alpha-numeric string
Dudley, Dorothy, Irma Wilkinson, et al. 1979. Museum Registration Methods. Third edition. American Association of Museums and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington. 437 pp.; Info-Muse. 1995. Comment gérer vos collections : le guide de gestion du Réseau Info-Muse. Info-Muse Network, Montreal. 126 pp.
  • 1978.14.10
  • 1978.15.1
  • 1980.1.01
  • 1962.10.1a-d
  • 1978.14.10
  • 1978.15.1
  • 1980.1.01
  • 1962.10.1a-d
  • Administration
  • Archaeology (Specimens) Task Force
  • History Task Force
  • Ethnology Task Force
  • Fine and Decorative Arts Task Force
  • The New Museum Registration Methods / Edited by Rebecca A. Buck and Jean Allman Gilmore. 2001. Fourth Edition. American Association of Museums. Washington, 427 p.
  • Reibel, Daniel B. 1978. Registration Methods for the Small Museum. American Association for State and Local History, Nashville.
  • Société des musées québécois, Documenting Your Collections: Info-Muse Network Documentation Guide. Website. (accessed 2010-03-05).
  • Société des musées québécois, Capsule documentaire no 6 : La documentation des ensembles. Website : (accessed 2010-03-05).
Field label (French)
Field mnemonic (French)

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