Monthly Archives: December 2013

A Different Way to Organize

I stumbled upon this post earlier in the semester and after all our talks about the different ways to catalog and organize books, this is definitely the most entertaining way I’ve seen.  I enjoyed our discussions early on about how everyone has a different way of classifying things in their life: clothes, e-mail, etc. This seems like a fun way to make a visual impact at a library and create a more vibrant atmosphere. It’s not the most practical way to organize an academic library by any means, but it’s nice to see people experimenting and having fun with it.


New Archive collecting papers and other documents in South Africa

I was just browsing Library Journal and I found this article. With Nelson Mandela’s recent passing, scholars and researchers are coming together to build an archive in Mandela’s memory. I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little jealous of the students at the University of Missouri- can you imagine being a part of this archiving endeavor and seeing documents that will assist researchers and others? South Africa has a tumultuous past and I think it is great that these institutes are coming together to build this archive.

Here’s the link!


Researching in Digitized Libraries

I recently stumbled upon this blog that focuses on researching the middle east. It brings attention to a number of really interesting archives and libraries around the world.

As someone who is interested in digital librarianship/archives I really enjoyed this article on researching in digitized libraries and how digitization has transformed manuscript research. It was interesting to hear about the benefits of digitization from a users perspective. The article discusses how digitization is blurring the line line between libraries and archives.

Here is the link to the article:

Image Indexing: Vocabularies and Classification Systems

In the course of my research on image indexing and retrieval in the context of websites for museums and cultural institutions, I came across a number of databases that may be of interest to those with an interest in the visual arts.

Getty Vocabularies

The Getty Vocabularies databases contain structured vocabularies and terminology for art, architecture, decorative arts and other material culture, archival materials, visual surrogates, and bibliographic materials. These vocabularies conform to international standards and provide authoritative information which can be used to enhance access to databases and web sites. The Getty Vocabularies databases are accept contributions of terms and materials!

-The Art and Architecture Thesaurus (AAT) is a structured vocabulary for concepts related to art and architecture

-The Cultural Names Authority (CONA) is a new, developing vocabulary including titles and attributions for art and architecture

-The Getty Thesaurus for Geographic Names (TGN) is a structured vocabulary for names, descriptions and information for places relevant to art and architecture

-The Union List of Artist Names (ULAN) is a a structured vocabulary for names, biographies and information about artists.


Another database of interest is Netherlands-based Iconclass, used worldwide by museums and art institutions, is a subject-specific classification system designed for art and iconography which aids in the description and retrieval of subjects represented in images. It is a hierarchically ordered collection of definitions of objects, people, events and abstract ideas pertaining to image subject matter.


Rhetoric in Library Science

In college I took a course focused solely on rhetoric. Throughout this course, I have come back time and again to lessons and discussions we had at that time.

Does rhetoric create the situation or does the situation create the rhetoric?



Both can be seen to be true – as is the case with most undecidable arguments.

In the included photograph – (full articles can be found at &  – In this photograph the rhetoric of “loots” vs. “finds” can be easily traced to an association with race, OR is it that existing prejudices throughout society are responsible for this assumption – how do we make the jump?

One of the most frequent examples we have discussed in class has been with regard to the Library of Congress and the list of tags for cataloging. If, for example, “Homosexual” is labeled an ailment, it stands to reason that both the situation created the rhetoric – societies long established stereotypes and intolerant views would have perpetuated this view as fact and so mindlessly, and thoughtlessly (and unconscionably), spread such beliefs. If the rhetoric created the situation – it would stand to reason that the first deciders had the power to choose to perpetuate their own beliefs and so today’s users are thereby influenced by what they are exposed to.

It is interesting to consider both sides of this argument, but what really interests me is simply the power of rhetoric and just important it can be. The inability of traditional cataloging systems to be kept up to date and easily adaptable to change is society is truly a fundamental flaw. Change – particularly with current technological and innovative trends ceaselessly being developed – seems to be one of the most constant and reliable aspects of society. Librarians and the hierarchical system we have developed seem to be getting in our own way. The nature of these systems isn’t all bad, in fact it has the potential to create a very functional platform for information retrieval. However, in its current system, librarians seem to be getting in their own way, limiting their own usability, deterring users from wanting or even being able to utilize their resources. It is a sad state, in my opinion, because of all the good it can do, and hopefully it will be resolved in the – hopefully near – future.

the “Data visualization”

Particularly for Data visualization

For the subject of information visualization, Sara and I focused on the explanation about the creation and to analysis of the information visualization in general. However, I am concern that there is important sub categories in information visualization : Info graphic, data visualization by the emphasis on the subjected matter on the visuals. Especially data visualization was to be desired for library/archive database visualization that one of the most big dataset in the world. In this concern, I put this TED lecture in blog. It is a TED talk about the idea of data visualization by complex data.

David McCandless. “David McCandless: The beauty of data visualization.” 

Take Me To the Tag Cloud

In light of our radical cataloging presentation tonight, which touches upon the current trend of zine collecting in both academic and public libraries, I thought I’d post a Tumblr that I came across last week.  ZINE REVIEWS ( is dedicated to exactly that — reviewing all manner of zines from all around the world.  The site is set up very simply, yet involves a complex web of information.  The landing page consists of the latest zine reviews and news, which are published by the coordinator of the Tumblr site, and also by submitters (there is a link describing how to submit zines for review).  Then, the fun stuff: all of the zines are organized in three different ways.  The first is just a basic alphabetical listing of all zines reviewed on the site, alphabetized by title with details like the author and issue numbers included as well.  You can also browse zines by topic and by genre — and these are organized via tag clouds.  These clouds are a perfect demonstration of social tagging trumping subject headings.  The tags are curated and not convoluted or misleading at all; rather, they are straight-forward, and change in size depending on how much they are used.  For publications like zines, which are by default primary resources and considered to be alternative texts, social tagging is great because it is moving much faster than the Library of Congress.  These simple subject headings are much more discrete and direct than anything LoC would ascribe, which just causes publications to get lost in the fray.  And by virtue of their underground status, zines are all the more likely to get lost under subject headings that don’t accurately reflect the material.

Take a look at ZINE REVIEWS, and if you’re so inclined, submit some zines/reviews of your own!  Perfect winter break activity.

Tagging the British National Collection

We have been talking a lot about social tagging this semester and I wanted to share this project I recently found out about that is a great example of how social tagging can benefit cultural institutions. The BBC and the Public Catalogue Foundation have teamed up to create Your Paintings, a website that allows you to tag any painting in the British National Collection. There are over 200,000 painting that need to be tagged and only 20,000 have been tagged so far. I like the interactive nature of this project and it allows users to have some power over the choice of language used to search for the paintings. It is also an ingenious way for the institutions to save time and money. 

Here is the link if you want to try it out: