Final Project Proposal

Christina Tse

Non-western cataloging or classification systems

Anthropologists have documented the ways in which culture affects the categorization process. For example, the Tzeltal people in Chiapas, Mexico differentiate butterfly larvae — but not butterflies — because larvae are an important food source. How is culture reflected in non-western cataloging systems? And what are the limitations of classification systems developed by western standards for non-western libraries?

Within the topic of “non-western cataloging or classification systems,” I will be looking at the development of China’s library system, its relationship to the civil service examinations, and how the cultural structure imposed by these important institutions helped to unify the country.

Preliminary resources:

Kracke, E.A.. “Family vs. Merit in Chinese Civil Service Examinations Under the Empire.” Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 10, no. 2 (1947).

Kuang, Neng-fu. “Chinese Library Science in the Twelfth Century.” Libraries & Culture 26, no. 2 (1991).

Xie, Zhuo Hua. “Libraries and the Development of Culture in China.” Libraries & Culture 31, no.  (1996).


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