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1mrsradcliffe
ag. 4, 2008, 8:43am

I too recently took up a cat and class post whilst continuing to input my recent reads onto my personal LT catalogue. What makes us do it eh!

2bxhaughton
feb. 5, 2009, 9:42pm

Hello, all!

I just joined. I've been a cataloger at the Shields (main) Library at UC Davis since 1980. I began with LCSH and LC, and eight years ago expanded to MeSH and NLM. I now teach a cataloging and classification course online for SLIS (School of Library and Information Studies) at the U of Alabama every Thursday evening. I have thirty students in my class, all either MLS or Ph.D. students.

I thought I knew pretty much everything there could be to know about cataloging, but I now find I have several students in small school or public libraries using Sears and Dewey, and I don't know much about either. I'm speed reading! ;-)

I hope to hear from the rest of you.

Buzz Haughton

3AlanPoulter
abr. 6, 2009, 11:28am


I used to be a Cataloguer many years ago at the British Library. Looking back it was a really enjoyable time of my life. If you have used any records from BNB from 1979-83 they might be mine :-) Subject description was by means of PRECIS (in contemporary terms a structured tagging system), and all other systems used (DDC, LCSH) were subordinate to it. It did not last long :-( Now an academic I am working on a paper resurrecting the ideas behind PRECIS.

4nautilus_library
feb. 8, 2011, 1:09pm

I think PRECIS was an excellent system. True, it had a learning curve, but was probably the most intelligently design subject analysis system, incorporating the most cutting edge thinking about subject analysis. I like that it really made the whole subject analysis process a single whole process, producing subject retrieval points both alphabetically and systematically (i.e., via classification). It's too bad the Library of Congress didn't adopt the system. AlanPoulter, i'd be interested in what you have to say about resurrecting the ideas behind PRECIS

5AlanPoulter
feb. 8, 2011, 3:34pm


PRECIS itself does look quite daunting, but it is based on grammar and constructing basic strings soon becomes second nature.

In its glory days at the BL, PRECIS was being used as a complete subject retrieval system. Each unique string of terms was given its own unique SIN (Subject Indicator Number). On the record for the SIN were added the equivalent DDC number and LCSH headings. Once a SIN was created the intention was to re-use it for later items with the same subject. Reference Indicator Numbers (RINs) were used to create links between terms in strings in SINs to recognise thesaural relationships and create a reference structure.

It seems to me that a structure like the above, where 'tagging' for most individuals becomes selecting a pre-prepared string and a group of experts maintains and extends the range of strings, would create a much richer set of subject browse and retrieval options for web 2.0 sites (like LT).

The newly published FRSAD, interestingly, proposes using 'nomen' as the basis for subject description, but has no concept of role operators (grammatical codes) for nomen.

6nautilus_library
feb. 8, 2011, 5:10pm

I taught myself PRECIS (more or less) and used it on a collection of materials. (This was back in the late 80s). I think i used Dykstra's manual, it's been quite a while. I do recall that with a little effort it was learnable and once learned i found it rather easy to use (but there was an initial learning curve.) I think the system was sufficiently worthwhile in its results that it well repaid the time and effort to learn it. (But then some consider me weird!)