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Recordkeeping Advice No. 6

Keyword AAA - A Thesaurus of General Terms

Issued: 13 July 2005 

Recordkeeping Advices issued by the State Archivist provide advice on the management of records of State and local government organisations and support or explain recordkeeping requirements set out in formal State records guidelines.

Ian Pearce
State Archivist


The Keyword AAA Thesaurus is a thesaurus of general terms designed for use in classifying, titling and indexing most types of records in most technological environments.

Keyword AAA was developed by State Records NSW and is based on the business classification scheme advocated in the Australian Standard, Records Management AS ISO 15489. It covers terminology administrative functions and activities common to most organisations. It is important to note that Keyword AAA is not designed to cover all of the records of an organisation. A thesaurus of functional terms covers terminology relating to the organisations unique or core business functions and activities. Keyword AAA and the thesaurus of functional terms are merged to provide comprehensive controlled vocabulary coverage.

The primary purpose of a thesaurus is to provide control and consistency over the vocabulary used for titling and indexing records. It does so by providing an alphabetical listing of approved terms that, if desired, may be used for titling and indexing. Knowing which terms to search on means that searches will be more efficient and retrieval of the right records is facilitated.

For more detailed information about Keyword AAA visit the State Records NSW website at and select Keyword Thesaurus Products under Managing Government Records.


The State Archivist has endorsed Keyword AAA as the standard general administrative thesaurus for use in Tasmanian State and local government organisations.

Tasmanian State and local government organisations can purchase Keyword AAA or obtain evaluation copies from the Archives Office of Tasmania by contacting:

Consultant, Government Recordkeeping
phone: 03 6214 4896