Cataloging Theory in Search of Graph Theory and Other Ivory Towers

Ronald J. Murray, Barbara B. Tillett


This paper summarizes a research program that focuses on how catalogers, other cultural heritage information workers, web/Semantic Web technologists, and the general public understand, explain, and manage resource description tasks by creating, counting, measuring, classifying, and otherwise arranging descriptions of cultural heritage resources within the bibliographic universe and beyond it. A significant effort is made to update the nineteenth-century mathematical and scientific ideas present in traditional cataloging theory to their twentieth- and twenty-first-century counterparts. There are two key elements in this approach: (1) a technique for diagrammatically depicting and manipulating large quantities of individual and grouped bibliographic entities and the relationships between them, and (2) the creation of resource description exemplars (problem–solution sets) that are intended to play theoretical, pedagogical, and IT system design roles.

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