Abstract/Details

The organization of knowledge and bibliographic classification in nineteenth-century America


2009 2009

Other formats: Order a copy

Abstract (summary)

Bibliographic classification is culturally bound. This research examines the classification systems created for social libraries in the first half of the nineteenth century in the United States. Social libraries are defined as institutions that have voluntary membership and are dependent on membership fees. Seventeen classified catalogs were examined and their classification systems compared. This study explored the underlying warrant of these classification systems and compared the systems to Francis Bacon’s organization of knowledge as published in The Advancement of Learning to identify the potential influence of the underlying warrant on the classification structures. Contextual influences of individual libraries and larger sociocultural influences on religion, fiction, and science were also considered. Of the 17 classification systems in the sample, 13 were comparable to Bacon’s organization of knowledge, although the order of classes was not followed. Religion classes demonstrated a shift away from primacy, while the fiction class solidified its place in the libraries. Finally, changes in science classes demonstrate the immediacy of the environment on the development of systems. Further research is suggested on the utility of warrant as a component of discourse as well as its possible limitations.

Indexing (details)


Subject
American history;
Information science
Classification
0337: American history
0723: Information science
Identifier / keyword
Communication and the arts; Social sciences; Library classification; Social libraries
Title
The organization of knowledge and bibliographic classification in nineteenth-century America
Author
Wisser, Katherine M.
Number of pages
319
Publication year
2009
Degree date
2009
School code
0153
Source
DAI-A 70/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781109277128
Advisor
Solomon, Paul
Committee member
Barreau, Deborah; Carr, David; Greenberg, Jane; Haas, Stephanie; Pitti, Daniel
University/institution
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Department
Information Science
University location
United States -- North Carolina
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3366445
ProQuest document ID
251222638
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/251222638/fulltextPDF
Access the complete full text

You can get the full text of this document if it is part of your institution's ProQuest subscription.

Try one of the following:

  • Connect to ProQuest through your library network and search for the document from there.
  • Request the document from your library.
  • Go to the ProQuest login page and enter a ProQuest or My Research username / password.