Re: Interoperability - subject classification/terminology

From: Guy Aron <>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2003 22:39:13 +0000

On Wednesday 15 Steve Hitchcock wrote
> [ ... ]Full text indexing can begin to tell us what a
> text is *about*, rather than simply where it is located, the classical
> purpose of classification. Through knowing what a text is about, we can
> make connections with other works in ways that are much more flexible than
> is offered by classification.

I don't know that I quite go along with this. If I classify a book in
the 330s in Dewey, this tells us more than that the book is in the 330s -
it tells us that the book belongs in that class. A classification number
is more than just "marking and parking", eg Shelf 20, Row 2. To me the
"classical purpose" of classification is to group similar things together.
This grouping has to be based on some analysis of what topics the thing
covers (or, in Dewey, the discipline from which it emanated).

Guy Aron
RMIT University Library
Received on Thu Jan 16 2003 - 22:39:13 GMT

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