The Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization
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The Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization

By Elaine Svenonius

Integrating the disparate disciplines of descriptive cataloging, subject cataloging, indexing, and classification, the book adopts a conceptual framework that views the process of organizing information as the use of a special language of description called a bibliographic language.

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Summary

Integrating the disparate disciplines of descriptive cataloging, subject cataloging, indexing, and classification, the book adopts a conceptual framework that views the process of organizing information as the use of a special language of description called a bibliographic language.

Instant electronic access to digital information is the single most distinguishing attribute of the information age. The elaborate retrieval mechanisms that support such access are a product of technology. But technology is not enough. The effectiveness of a system for accessing information is a direct function of the intelligence put into organizing it. Just as the practical field of engineering has theoretical physics as its underlying base, the design of systems for organizing information rests on an intellectual foundation. The subject of this book is the systematized body of knowledge that constitutes this foundation.

Integrating the disparate disciplines of descriptive cataloging, subject cataloging, indexing, and classification, the book adopts a conceptual framework that views the process of organizing information as the use of a special language of description called a bibliographic language. The book is divided into two parts. The first part is an analytic discussion of the intellectual foundation of information organization. The second part moves from generalities to particulars, presenting an overview of three bibliographic languages: work languages, document languages, and subject languages. It looks at these languages in terms of their vocabulary, semantics, and syntax.

The book is written in an exceptionally clear style, at a level that makes it understandable to those outside the discipline of library and information science.

Hardcover

Out of Print ISBN: 9780262194334 274 pp. | 9 in x 6 in

Paperback

$30.00 S | £24.00 ISBN: 9780262512619 274 pp. | 9 in x 6 in

Reviews

  • The Intellectual Foundations of Information Organization is a dense, intellectually rigorous, and well-written book.... A major contribution to the field of cataloging.

    Journal of the Association for History and Computing

Endorsements

  • This book is learned, well thought out, finely proportioned, and timely. There is nothing quite like it available, in that it lucidly covers the full range of current bibliographic systems at a theoretical level.

    Howard White

    Professor, College of Information Science and Technology, Drexel University

  • This book is a highly significant contribution to the field. Most books on information organization focus on how-to and rules at the expense of the underlying principles. This book successfully synthesizes a diverse literature into coherent and understandable principles.

    Edward T. O'Neill

    Consulting Research Scientist, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc.

  • This book provides sound guidance to future developers of search engines and retrieval systems. The work is original, building on the foundations of information science and librarianship of the past 150 years.

    Barbara B. Tillett

    Director, ILS Program, Library of Congress