relation to the whole library.
As Ranganathan once observed, Dewey’s workin decimal classi
cation marked a crucial moment in the classi
cation of books because books were no longer placed in relation to location onshelves, but in relation to other books vis-à-vis subject contents.
Moreover,if shelf-location were the
of class number assignment, than theorganizational schemes of pre-nineteenth century libraries and of currentarchives, museums, and library acquisition department records, would havesurely suf
ced in that such organizational schemes indicate shelf-locationquite well.One may ask, so what would be the point in examining libraryclassi
cation schemes, the differences between subject-arrangement of bookson shelves and shelf locator arrangements, or how class number assignmentin
uences construction of the catalog as a whole tool of integrity? Some
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A related line of inquiry, which I will simply mention here, would be to examineexplicitly the historical emergence of library and book classi
cation schemes in thelate-nineteenth century against the backdrop of the emergence of public librariesand open stacks in various countries. That is, Anthony Grafton suggests there exista connection between open stacks and closed stacks, noting that, “In Germany,unlike the United States and England, the books in large university libraries areusually stored in order of acquisition, not in systematic subject groupings. Thestacks, which remain inaccessible to readers, serve only as storehouses.” Grafton,
The Footnote: A Curious History
(Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press,1997), pg. 11. The library-speci
cation schemes of TheResearch Libraries, The New York Public Library, as discussed by Karen Hsu,supports the claim that ‘shelf-locator-classi
cations’ of books are often adequate forclosed stacks arrangements, but inadequate for open stacks: “The Research Libraries(RL) is privately funded and is a closed stack, non-circulating library. It generallycollects one copy only of each title. The readers are not allowed to browse thestacks, and every item requested by readers is paged by the library staff.” Hsu, “TheClassi
cation Schemes of The Research Libraries of The New York Public Library,”
Cataloging and Classi
vol. 19, no. 3/4 (1995), p. 134.
S.R. Ranganathan, “Library Classi
cation on the March.”
Essays in Librarianship:in memory of William Charles Berwick Sayers
. Ed., D.J. Foskett and B.I. Palmer.London: The Library Association, 1961: 72-95.