Re: [NGC4LIB] Authority in an Age of Open Access (an analysis)

Posting to NGC4LIB

On 08/11/2012 22:28, Jonathan Rochkind wrote:

I know what you mean, and it’s legit, but…. do a google search for “World War I Primary Sources.”

Of course, you get some, easily. Obviously it’s because someone after 1938 (way after 1938) wrote a web page giving you access to WWI primary sources.

But it’s not because a cataloger or anyone else cataloged anything using a controlled vocabulary.

A good point. Perhaps a modern solution could include some of this. But still, somebody somewhere had to add the text “world war i” in some way, shape, or form.

By the way, in the library catalog, the heading is not “World War I” but “World War, 1914-1918”, something very few people would come up with on their own and “World War I, 1914-1918” is a cross reference. (This is an example of why cross-references are so important)

I believe (I can’t prove it from here) the reason for this rather strange heading was that the original heading in use was “European War, 1914-1918”. Remember that everything was based on cards. When WWII broke out, it was more “efficient” to just erase “European” and re-type “World” instead of the entire heading “World War I”. Taylorism still held supreme back then.

That is, if a “Taylorist” attitude does not still hold sway today. See for a positive view. Please keep in mind that there are definitely quite different opinions of Taylorism other than how it is portrayed by Peter Jennings!

Library catalogs deal with this problem in very efficient ways, while full-text cannot.