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Lexicon Exploratory Group

The Lexicon Exploratory Group (or LexEG) is tasked with producing a lexicon of common usage and best practices for genealogical terminology in the English language. The Technical Standing Committee have appointed Tony Proctor to be Coordinator of this group and provided the group with directives governing its operation. Tony says:

This Lexicon comprises a set terms & concepts that are currently in use in the genealogical domain by various parties, including its software, researchers, archivists, transcribers, etc. If there are different names for the same thing, or different meanings for the same name, then all would be included together with information about where each definition/usage originated.

A preferred vocabulary will eventually be needed before FHISO can publish material for external consumption, and ANSI/NISO Z39.19 may be relevant to that end. The interesting thing about a genealogical data standard is that there is no precedent, and hence no obvious place to insert it in the current classification of standards (see ICS). This implicitly means FHISO will need some terms for which there is no standard set or authoritative source.

In the meantime, the goal of the Lexicon is collect together the various terms currently in use, and differentiate them when there are different meanings/nuances, and correlate them when there are different words for the same concept.

To follow the work of the LexEG, you can subscribe to their mailing list. Contributions to the lexicon should be sent there, preferably including a source for its definition/usage if one is known.

The working copy of the Lexicon can be found in their GitHub repository. A snapshot of the lexicon can be found here.