Essential Classification, 2nd edition

Jul 2015 | 432pp

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Essential Classification, 2nd edition

Vanda Broughton

Classification is a crucial skill for all information workers involved in organizing collections. This new edition offers fully revised and updated guidance on how to go about classifying a document from scratch.

Essential Classification leads the novice classifier step by step through the basics of subject cataloguing, with an emphasis on practical document analysis and classification.  It deals with fundamental questions of the purpose of classification in different situations, and the needs and expectations of end users. The reader is introduced to the ways in which document content can be assessed, and how this can best be expressed for translation into the language of specific indexing and classification systems.  

Fully updated to reflect changes to the major general schemes (Library of Congress, LCSH, Dewey and UDC) since the first edition, and with new chapters on working with informal classification, from folksonomies to tagging and social media, this new edition will set cataloguers on the right path. Key areas covered are:

  • The need for classification
  • The variety of classification
  • The structure of classification
  • Working with informal classification
  • Management aspects of classification
  • Classification in digital space.

Readership: This guide is essential reading for library school students, novice cataloguers and all information workers who need to classify but have not formally been taught how. It also offers practical guidance to computer scientists, internet and intranet managers, and all others concerned with the design and maintenance of subject tools.

1. Introduction
2. The need for classification
3. First principles of classification
4. The variety of classification: systems and structures
5. The classification scheme: internal structure
6. Types of classification scheme
7. Order in the classification scheme
8. Content analysis 1: document description
9. Content analysis 2: practical constraints
10. Controlled indexing languages
11. Word-based approaches to retrieval
12. Library of Congress Subject Headings 1: basic headings
13. Library of Congress Subject Headings 2: structured headings
14. Classification scheme application
15. Library of Congress Classification 1: basic classmark construction
16. Library of Congress Classification 1: use of tables
17. Dewey Decimal Classification
18. Universal Decimal Classification 1: general properties and basic number building
19. Universal Decimal Classification 1: auxiliary tables
20. Faceted classification
21. Managing classification.

'The book’s greatest strengths are its focus exclusively on classification (i.e. without the descriptive cataloguing element), a strong theoretical component, and greater focus on UDC. The additional inclusion of profuse examples, exercises (with answers), and bulleted summaries makes the book useful as an introductory library science text, a self-learning manual, or a refresher.'

'... an exemplary introduction to library classification. Broughton writes with uncommon lucidity and clearly understands how to make her subject come alive with interesting and engaging examples. An indispensable guide to neophyte cataloguers and classifiers, this book is highly recommended for libraries collecting in library and information science.'
- Thomas M. Dousa, Catholic Library World

'...this lucid book of classification knowledge in pellucid prose and engaging style can easily be described as the best one as of today.'
- M.P. Satija, Library Progress International

'Broughton’s book is an essential resource for library science students interested in cataloging and metadata, as well as an asset to librarians and staff in a cataloging or metadata department.'
- Technical Services Quarterly 

'Both enjoyable and exhaustive in its coverage, Essential Classification is an excellent introduction to the theory behind classification, the main types and examples of classification schemes in wide usage and the practical considerations of applying them to a collection.'
- Jennifer May, Kingston University, Library and Information Research

'Broughton’s Essential Classification, Second Edition, is a sound work, expertly written and accessible to the beginner without being tedious for those more knowledgeable of classification systems. For those lacking the first edition or otherwise in need of adding a work on classification to their collection, this book comes highly recommended.' 
- Bobby Bothmann, Metadata & Emerging Technologies Librarian, Minnesota State University, Cataloging & Classification Quarterly

Review of the first edition:

"Essential Classification might be optimised for the LIS student or novice practitioner, but others engaging with classification and subject indexing are likely to find this book an invaluable working tool. It is, as the title predictably suggests, essential."
- Library Review

Vanda Broughton MA DipLib is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Information Studies at University College London (UCL), and Programme Director for the MA in Library and Information Studies Programme. She has taught, written and led training courses on classification for many years. She is Editor of the Bliss Bibliographic Classification 2nd edition and Associate Editor of the Universal Decimal Classification. She is the author of two other Facet titles, Essential Library of Congress Subject Headings and Essential Thesaurus Construction.