02RequirementsDL15-16 - Cataloguing and Classification...

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Cataloguing and Classification Requirements of Bibliographic Classification © The Robert Gordon University 2016 1 Components and requirements of bibliographic classification Topic Preview In Topics 1 we introduced the rationale for organising material by subject and we have examined the major problems this approach poses for organising library collections. In this topic we want to look in some detail at the features which a classification scheme should exhibit in order to group together related works. In doing so, we shall provide a template with which we can evaluate any given bibliographic classification scheme . Setting the scene Suppose that you have inherited a collection of documents and you want to classify them. What criteria will you use to select the most appropriate scheme? Or perhaps you might decide that none of the published schemes is particularly appropriate and you are, therefore, going to create your own. Firstly, you need to assess the nature of your collection against the various published schedules. Even without extensive knowledge of the schemes you should quickly notice, for example, that the Universal Decimal Classification Scheme is not particularly well suited to creating a classified sequence of works on the history of art. You should also see that the Bliss Classification Scheme looks very well suited to the task of classifying a collection of documents on education. Note that the availability of general classification schemes doesn't make the compilation of special schemes unnecessary. For example Dewey deals with perfume and cosmetics manufacture using only the following numbers: 668.5 Perfume and Cosmetics 668.54 Perfumes 668.542 Natural perfumes 668.544 Synthetic perfumes 668.55 Cosmetics Obviously this limited range of subject would be of no use to the company library of a large cosmetics manufacturer. We'll get on to discussing relative position of subjects in a classification scheme later but Dewey's slot for this subject, between laminated plastics and agricultural fertilisers, may also strike you as somewhat inappropriate. You could create your own scheme as long as you are not just reinventing the wheel, and perhaps coming up with a
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Cataloguing and Classification Requirements of Bibliographic Classification © The Robert Gordon University 2016 2 less satisfactory design. Consider also that you may like to base your scheme on one of the existing schemes and make modifications to it. Be sure in this case that you are not simply locking yourself into all or some of the deficiencies of the old scheme. The development of UDC from Dewey, which we will consider later, illustrates well the advantages and pitfalls of basing a new scheme on a parent scheme. Finally be sure that you actually need to classify the documents (if you have a closed access collection it may be more appropriate to enumerate the documents and maintain a detailed subject index to their shelf location).
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  • Fall '16
  • Library classification, Dewey Decimal Classification, Robert Gordon University, Cataloguing and Classification, universal decimal classification, Bibliographic Classification

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