|Title:||Classification in a Special Library
|Abstract:||A paper which is to be read before an audience of librarians and
students at a conference held as one of the activities of a distinguished
Graduate Library School should doubtless begin with a definition of
terms. This would be fine, but this paper is scheduled near the end of
a three-day session, and it seems likely that a great deal of defining
of terms will have taken place already before this combatant takes the
field. Already many a shower of word-arrows will have darkened the
sky before this knight-errant thunders over the turf. In which quarter
the battle will have been fought to a pale, pink finish and where the
refugees may have fled before this Don Quixote is wheeled into position
for the charge, there is no way to predict. But this paper has a
specific title, and the writer has a specific purpose and even at the
risk of repeating what is already well-known to everybody, I feel obliged
to begin With a few general remarks, call them definitions, if
you please, for the sake of the record.
The simplest definition of a special library is this: A special library
is a collection of books devoted to a special subject. But for
purposes of organizing a discussion of classification this simplicity
is misleading. In 1953, the Special Libraries Association had a
membership of 2,489.
In the Special Collections index found in the
American Library Directory, there are several thousand special
collections listed. Many of the special libraries in the Association
are very large research libraries; many of the special collections
are found in very large general libraries. There are far too many
subjects involved for me to attempt to deal with them, but out of the
whole dilemma, several points finally emerge, which I would like to
note in passing: The special libraries seem to revolve around about
seventy-five subjects, no more. The libraries devoted to Law, Medicine,
Theology, Music, and the Theater have formed large associations
of their own; libraries serving the other subjects make up the membership
of the Special Libraries Association.
|Publisher:||Graduate School of Library Science. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
|Citation Info:||In F.T.Eaton and D.E.Strout (eds). 1959. The role of classification in the modern American library : papers presented at an institute conducted by the University of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science, November 1-4, 1959. Urbana, Il: Graduate School of Library Science: 103-115.
|Series/Report:||Allerton Park Institute (6th : 1959)
|Genre:||Conference Paper / Presentation
|Publication Status:||published or submitted for publication
|Rights Information:||Copyright owned by Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois. 1959.
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2007-07-16