"Subject cataloging first aid for art librarians"
handouts: LC classification outline (all classes, N & individual classes available at http://lcweb.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/lcco.html); LC cutter table - Catalogers Desktop and Classification Plus (includes class schedules and LCSH) are perhaps cheaper and easier than all of the components (especially maintenance)
ARLIS/NA workshop, Los Angeles, Calif.
31 March 2001
why do we classify our collections?
- should exhibition and sales catalogs be classified in special way? - series and analyzed multivols classified together (following LC)
- what is easily findable in the catalog and what needs the "help" of the classification scheme - what is so easily handled by classing together that any other scheme is folly (e.g. sales catalogs by house and date, serially, well-indexed)
how do we classify our collections?
- LCC, Dewey, homegrown schemes (original and adaptation), accession schemes (subarrangement by size)
- PML uses Dewey tables for breakdown under topics
- MoMA has abandoned its classification scheme and will arrange by size and accession number
- role in copy cataloging - LCC more likely to be adopted as is
Library of Congress classification
- LC documentation: shelflisting manual with geographic cutters, bio tables, etc.; CSB
- outline (handout of overall and N class)
- reading a classification scheme is easier with the development of the MARC format which encouraged tables and repetition rather than references within a schedule - Ks are very patterned
- tables & reserved cutters
- class numbers are whole numbers unlike cutters which are decimal (e.g. 275 between 27 and 28)
- cuttering: LC table, new filing rules, Cutter-Sanborn 3 figure, phone pad; it's the place to start (some are extended, some places use date to differentiate); give yourself space when possible to avoid cumbersome cuttering; some libraries avoid zero and one because of ambiguity
- LC now uses at least two-digit cutters pretty universally but in olden days, special subjects and famous cities and countries had single-digit cutters - those mainly remain and you must cutter around them - use LC database as a resource when cuttering a new artist in a crowded area if you're trying to adhere closely to LC cutters (like American artists)
- reserved cutters, e.g. low As, bio table
- geog tables western bias, generally in order US, Latin America, UK, other Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Oceania (examples: N1-5 with respectively more numbers)
- N tables (after N1-N5, most used are probably N6 for under an artist and N9 under a museum)
- special issues:
- A4; TR/NH; NJ18/N44; artist together in main or first number
- A4 is always A4 (old copy had a range so beware when using older records or when considering what you have in your shelflist)
- Getty has highly-developed scheme for technical numbers in NH
- emphasis on classifying with museum (particularly in museums), but still doesn't override individual artist when you make that decision
- making up numbers in special cases: education bldgs, library bldgs in NA vs L and Z (NA6313 for train stations divides to city but you could add .x2 for particular stations, e.g. NA6313.N42 P4... for Penn Station)
- D/E/F - biog (an area where one- and two-digit cutters may coexist)
- P - basic pattern for all authors & their works - collected works, selected works, individual works, biography and criticism
- using other records as a resource for classification (if you donít have much in a class, it doesnít matter so much, as old use of K0)
special problems in classification
- classify by artist or by medium - easy catalog access by artist - open-shelf browsing & classifying by medium - artist monographs - famous artists vs. artists representative of special aspects
- artists books - N7433 vs artist number
- museum pamphlets with other items from museum
- reclassifying your collection
- pictorial works in early Ts rather than spread throughout by topic
... go to more ARLIS/NA information ...