Classifying Photographs for the World
Digital Library: Draft Guidelines
Julianne Beall
Assistant Editor, DDC
Library of Congress
Dewey Translators Meeting
IFLA 2009, Milan
25 August 2009
Outline
• Draft guidelines
• Context: World Digital Library
• Examples
Draft Guidelines: Classifying
Photographs (1)
1. Follow the basic rules of subject analysis as set
forth in Section 5 of the Introduction.
2. Use the caption of the photo as a surrogate for
the title.
3. The descriptive elements, including the name of
a collection, may serve as further clues to
author’s intent, subject, and discipline. Subject
headings or tags may also give some clues.
Draft Guidelines: Classifying
Photographs (2)
4. In general, assign a single Dewey number
following the same rules you would use for any
other work.
5. Assign additional Dewey numbers in the case of
first-of-two, multiple important (predominant)
subjects, unclear disciplinary focus, and
classifier’s instinct.
From Library of Congress Prints &
Photographs Division:
• Subject Indexing for Pictures: An Overview
• http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/tp/Subject%20Indexi
ng%20for%20Pictures.pdf
• Subject Indexing with TGM: A Case Study in
Selecting Access Points for Photographs
• http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/tp/SubjectAccessHin
eCaseStudy.pdf
We found both documents helpful in
thinking about the Guidelines
While both documents are focused on subject
indexing, the first two rules in the overview
document are also useful for classification:
• Be specific to the overall scope of the material
(What the pictures are “of” or depict)
• Convey what the pictures are “about” (. . .
meaning, purpose, function)
Context: World Digital Library (1)
• DDC number is not used merely to show that an
item is a photograph
• Information that an item is a “Print, Photograph”
can be found elsewhere in a record
• It is possible to browse or limit searches by type of
item
Context: World Digital Library (2)
• Captions from Dewey Summaries are shown as
“Topics”
• DDC numbers are not shown
• Everything in WDL is available in seven languages
• Including captions from Dewey Summaries
World Digital Library
http://www.wdl.org/
Language Menu
Browse by Type of Item
Browse by Topic [English First Summary]
Browse by Topic [Arabic First Summary]
Prints, Photographs; Mining & related
operations
Title: Mr. Vidigal's Diamond Mine in the
Jequitinhonha River (Removing Gravel)
622 Mining & related operations
•Topic
•Technology > Engineering > Mining &
related operations
•Captions from:
• 600 Technology
• 620 Engineering
• 622 Mining & related operations
622 Mining & related operations: Arabic,
Spanish, French
‫الموضوع‬
‫التكنولوجيا‬. < ‫الهندسة‬. < ‫التعدين والعمليات المتصلة به‬.
Tema
Tecnología > Ingeniería > Minería y operaciones
relacionadas
Thème
Technologie > Ingénierie > Technique minière et
activités connexes
622 Mining & related operations: Portuguese,
Russian, Chinese
Tópico
Tecnologia > Engenharia > Mineração e operações
relacionadas
Тема
Технология > Техника > Горное дело и родственные
отрасли
专题
应用科学 > 工程 > 矿业 & 相关产业
Prints, Photographs; Geography of & travel in
Africa
Title: Place de la republique, Algiers, Algeria
916 Geography of & travel in Africa
• Topic
• History & geography > Geography & travel >
Geography of & travel in Africa
• Captions from:
• 900 History & geography
• 910 Geography & travel
• 916 Geography of & travel in Africa
Prints, Photographs; Railroad transportation
Title: Third Class Carriage, Sultan's Railway,
Syria
385 Railroad transportation
391 Costume & personal appearance
• Topic
• Social sciences > Commerce, communications &
transportation > Railroad transportation
• Social sciences > Customs, etiquette & folklore >
Costume & personal appearance
385 Railroad transportation
• Social sciences > Commerce, communications &
transportation > Railroad transportation
• Captions from:
• 300 Social sciences
• 380 Commerce, communications & transportation
• 385 Railroad transportation
391 Costume & personal appearance
• Social sciences > Customs, etiquette & folklore >
Costume & personal appearance
• Captions from:
• 300 Social sciences
• 390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
• 391 Costume & personal appearance
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