Re: [ACAT] Bible and other changed headings

Posting to Autocat

On 24/04/2013 08:27, J. McRee Elrod wrote:

<snip>
Am I the only one old enough to remember when we filed the books of the Bible in canonical order? Among other things, this meant “0.T.” filed before “N.T.”, and the books within each were of course not in alphabetical order. 

Granted, many fewer people know the canonical order these days, and one faith or denomination’s canon is not the same an another’s. Perhaps because I am so fond of the classed catalogue, which does not have Aardvarks and Zebras so far from each other, I am sorry to see the loss of logical arrangements, such as the flipping of inverted subject headings which once had, for example, the various types of insurance filing together. In my view, there is no improvement in uninverting headings to justify the work and loss of browsability. 
 
The further we get from card catalogues, the less important browsing seems to be. 
 
I would not want to give up keyword search, but …
</snip>

I agree. Much of these discussions seem to ignore that keyword has long been the #1 method used by the public (including scholars) in searching anything today, including our catalogs. Can we honestly believe that any rational human being will choose to search:
http://catalog.loc.gov/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&Search_Arg=bible%20o.t.&Search_Code=SUBJ_&CNT=100&hist=1
and browse through those innumerable headings instead of searching keyword “bible” and going from there, or for the specific book, “tobit” or “genesis”? Will it improve in any way when the search changes from “Bible. O.T.” to “Bible”? Why?

Look at the the arrangement in the catalog. It’s all messed-up anyway because of the mindless alphabetical order applied by the computerized catalogs. It’s not just with Bible but with all headings: subjects with subdivisions are shot as well as uniform titles. Check the uniform titles “Works” and “Selections” which in the card and printed catalogs came up first under an author’s heading, something that was readily understandable (and I think people would like today), but now they are found only after browsing to “W” or “S”. Why would anyone do that?

All of this shows that the dictionary catalog has been dead, and it’s time to admit it. Sad that it hasn’t worked as it should, but true so we must move on. The purpose of headings should be reconsidered and the importance of alphabetical browsing decreased significantly. We either fix the dictionary catalog to function as well as it did, or we find new and innovative methods, but the current situation is practically useless.

How is Bible handled in Wikipedia? If we look at Bible there http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible and scroll to the bottom, click on “Books of the Bible”. This seems to me to be a brilliant way of handling it. There are many, many solutions out there.

-161

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