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61st IFLA General Conference - Conference Proceedings - August 20-25, 1995

Section on Classification and Indexing Review of Activities, 1994-1995

Donna Duncan, McGill University, Montréal, Canada


The work of the Section over the past year is described.



The aim of the Section on Classification and Indexing is to act as a forum for users and producers of classification and subject indexing tools. Its terms of reference are to promote standardization and uniform application of classification and subject indexing tools by institutions generating or utilizing bibliographic records; to initiate and provide advice on research in the subject approach to information; and to disseminate research results through open meetings and publications.

Subject Indexing: Principles and Practices in the 90's

Subject Indexing: Principles and Practices in the 90's: Proceedings of the IFLA Satellite Meeting Held in Lisbon, Portugal, 17-18 August 1993, UBCIM Publications - New Series Vol. 15, was published in January 1995. It is the Section's second publication in two years.

Working Group on Principles Underlying Subject Heading Languages (SHLs)

The Working Group on Principles Underlying Subject Heading Languages (SHLs), chaired by Maria Inês Lopes (Instituto da Biblioteca Nacional e do Livro, Lisbon, Portugal), met twice during the Havana conference and reviewed background definitions, underlying principles of subject heading languages and illustrative principles from Canadian, German, Iranian, Portuguese and American systems. The Group decided to expand the document and requested illustrations from Brazil, Croatia, France, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, the UK, and the MeSH subject heading system. As of May 1995, documentation had been received from France, Norway, Poland, Spain and the UK. Lois Mai Chan (University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA) contributed information on MeSH subject headings. The revised document will be reviewed at two meetings during the Istanbul conference.

State of the Art Survey of Subject Heading Systems

The Survey is intended to be conducted in two phases. The first phase, is to ascertain which countries provide subject access to bibliographic records using alphabetic subject headings. The second, will be a comparative study to determine the commonalities and differences among subject heading systems used for national level cataloguing. A questionnaire has just been sent to national libraries to discover: (1) if they in fact provide such access, (2) for how long they have provided such access, (3) what subject access systems they use and (4) whether manuals exist for them.

Open Session Programme for the Istanbul Conference

Papers to be presented during the Section's Open Session

Programme in Istanbul will be:

Section Newsletter

The Section continues to publish an annual Newsletter for Section members, for members of the Standing Committee, and for others interested in classification and indexing. The Newsletter provides a means of sharing information about differing national experience and helps foster an international perspective on classification and indexing.

Standing Committee Membership

As a result of this year's election, the membership of the Standing Committee has been reduced to sixteen members but with representation from more countries. Continuing members are

The four corresponding members are Welcome to new members Fond good-byes to Elections will be held for Chair and Secretary during the first Standing Committee meeting.

Cooperative Projects

Donna Duncan (McGill University, Montréal, Canada) and Dorothy McGarry (University of California, Los Angeles, USA) attended an IFLA Officers Workshop on February 6, 1995 during the American Library Association's mid-winter conference in Philadelphia, USA. They also attended a two day Co-Ordinating Board Meeting of the Division of Bibliographic Control at McGill University in Montréal on May 4 and 6, 1995. On May 5th, the Co-Ordinating Board visited the Library of Parliament and the National Library of Canada in Ottawa. Mid-year coordinating board meetings are most fruitful in planning, reviewing and projecting activities of the Division and the Section.

The Section continues to cooperate in projects with other IFLA Sections and Divisions. Members of the Standing Committee serve on the Task Force on Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, the project for the revision of Names of Persons, the Review and Advisory Committee of the Requirements for a UNIMARC Format for Classification Data, the UDC Editorial Board and the planning committee for the 1997 International Conference on National Bibliographic Services.