Val Ramshur:Weekly response to readings: week 6

This week the historical context was very interesting. I find that helps me ground me and get a fuller perspective the “system of systems.”   I find it interested that no can agree on a system and the individual fiefdoms all seem to rule according to what they deem best.

The Back and forth of DDC and LCC in the Straight Dope article was helpful to lay one against the other and compare.

Interesting filter to lie on top and look at: “The two systems were developed around the same time, give or take a decade or so. Both were based on the perception of knowledge and the relationships between academic disciplines extant from 1890 to 1910. Both are enumerative systems covering all topics, all disciplines, and all fields of knowledge. Both are updated regularly. Both use a “controlled vocabulary,” that is, a list of preferred terms for cataloging. systems reflect the bias of a nineteenth-century U.S. outlook, then a “Western” outlook, and reflect a “white, male, Anglo-Saxon Christian view of the universe.”

Ranganathan’s Colon Classification with its universal approach directly challenges the DDC and LC systems. His system, philosophy and approach to knowledge organization stem from a more holistic approach. The five laws are very thought provoking and make sense to me. I especially like the idea: “Rather than creating a slot to insert the object into, one starts with the object and then collects and arranges all the relevant pieces on the fly. This allows for greater flexibility and a high degree of specificity.” I am sorry to miss tonight’s discussion – I am working, but it would be an interesting.


About Valerie R.

Head of Costume Design, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. Freelance Professional Costume Designer, and Archivist.

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