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SUBJECT ACCESS. INF 389F: Organization of Records Information Professor Fran Miksa October 29, 2003. What Does the Phrase “Subject Access” Mean?—Pre-1890s—I. Subject Access associated with Classification of Knowledge (i.e., with a classificatory structure of subjects)

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subject access

SUBJECT ACCESS

INF 389F: Organization of Records Information

Professor Fran Miksa

October 29, 2003

what does the phrase subject access mean pre 1890s i
What Does the Phrase “Subject Access” Mean?—Pre-1890s—I
  • Subject Access associated with Classification of Knowledge (i.e., with a classificatory structure of subjects)
    • Subjects are the products of human mental discovery
    • Subjects are socially established and are naturally classified
    • Kinds of subjects (General—Concrete—Individual)—where “specific” means most concrete
    • Chief value—subjects considered part of a grand structure of knowledge
what does the phrase subject access mean pre 1890s ii
What Does the Phrase “Subject Access” Mean?—Pre-1890s—II
  • Subjects and IEs
    • IEs “treat” a subject
    • IEs have “themes” but these themes are of a “treated” subject
  • Virtually all “Subject Access” up to 1850s is based on the association of subjects as elements of classifications of knowledge
what does the phrase subject access mean 1890s 1950
What Does the Phrase “Subject Access” Mean?—1890s-1950
  • Shift towards equating “subject” with document content
    • Library cataloging (1890s-present)
      • Document has a subject like a human being has a personality
      • Forcefulness of Card Catalog format
    • Documentation (1890s—1920s—1950s)
      • A document has many “subjects”
      • Subject = a “topic” (where topic is a word/term denoting where in a document some idea is mentioned)
      • Attempts to keep subject structures intact.
what does the phrase subject access mean iii
What Does the Phrase “Subject Access” Mean?—III
  • 1960s—
    • The computer revolution
    • Documentation becomes ISAR
    • Perceived “bottleneck” & Automatic indexing
    • Atomization of subjects & the loss of structure
    • Position of other traditions of practice
the complications raised by other ie features
The Complications Raised by Other IE Features
  • Medium of IE
  • Presentation format & Genre
  • Audience & Use
  • Complex subjects/Compound subjects
    • Physics of music; Sociological aspects of sports; History of Chemistry
    • Physics in India; Sports in 20th century England
  • Combinations of subjects & Other features of IEs
    • Dictionary of the physics of music
    • Humorous aspects of sports [i.e. an essay]
    • Children’s book of sports stories
content access attributes
Content Access Attributes
  • Generator of content
  • Topicality of content (“Aboutness”? “Of-ness”?)
  • Form (of presentation) & Genre (“in-ness”) of content
  • Audience & Use (“for-ness”) of content
  • Relationships of content with other “contents”
    • Same content
    • Augmented content
    • Transformed content (Essentially the same—Essentially different and therefore a new content)
content attribute issues
Content Attribute Issues
  • Natural language vs. Controlled vocabulary
  • Automatic extraction vs. Manual assignment
  • Questions related to Structure
    • No structure—Minimal structure—Extensive structure
    • Structural relationships
structural relationships
Structural Relationships
  • Ordinate structure
    • Superordinate - Coordinate - Subordinate
    • Chains; Arrays
  • Kinds
    • Equivalence
    • Hierarchical
      • Generic
      • Part
      • Instance
    • Associative
  • Thesaurus relators: BT, NT, RT, Use/Used for
methods for identifying and employing content attributes
Methods for Identifying and Employing Content Attributes
  • Automatic extraction (if text is digital)
  • Read/study an IE
  • Gather clues
    • Clues from the IE itself (Title page; Table of contents; Index; Illustrations, etc.)
    • Clues from outside the IE itself (Container; Reviews; Reference works, etc.)
  • Convert Findings to Vocabulary of a Given System.
subject structures
Subject Structures
  • Value related to purpose
  • Formats of:
    • Alphabetical only
    • Alphabetical with term relationships (Thesauri; Topic maps?)
    • Systematic
      • Ontologies of domains
      • Hierarchical taxonomies
        • Straight hierarchies
        • Faceted structures
classical library taxonomies
Classical Library Taxonomies
  • Dewey Decimal Classification (1876- )
  • Universal Decimal Classification (1895-
  • Library of Congress Classification (1898- )
  • Bibliographic Classification (1st version, 1933-1960; BC2, 1960- )
  • Colon Classification (1933- )
  • BBK (Russian) (1955- )