CLD Online Tutorial



Home page CLDs in action CLDs in practice Do it yourself Sharing CLDs Message Forum
FAQs Glossary Terminology Schemas Display Feedback

Section 9:


Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT)

Unesco ThesaurusHumanities and Social Sciences Electronic Thesaurus (HASSET)

BIC Subject Categories

Return to home page

UNESCO Thesaurus

The UNESCO Thesaurus is a controlled vocabulary developed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation which includes subject terms for the following areas of knowledge: education, science, culture, social and human sciences, information and communication, and politics, law and economics. It also includes the names of countries and groupings of countries: political, economic, geographic, ethnic and religious, and linguistic groupings.

The Thesaurus allows subject terms to be expressed consistently, withincreasing specificity, and in relation to other subjects. It can be used to facilitate subject indexing in libraries, archives and similar institutions.

The terms are linked together by three types of relationships:

  • hierarchical relationships, which link terms to other terms expressing more general and more specific concepts
  • associative relationships, which link terms to similar terms (related terms) where the relationship is non-hierarchical
  • equivalence relationships, which link 'non-preferred' terms to synonyms or quasi-synonyms which act as 'preferred' terms.

The Thesaurus also includes scope notes which explain the meaning and application of terms, and French and Spanish equivalents of English preferred terms.

Some amendments to the data have been made since the publication of the 2nd paper edition in 1995.

The Thesaurus has been used to index the UK National Digital Archive of Datasets (NDAD)

Content by: Shirley Keane of UKOLN.
Page last revised on: 12-Aug-2003
Email comments to: