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To Bangkok Conference programme

65th IFLA Council and General

Bangkok, Thailand,
August 20 - August 28, 1999

Code Number: 082-80-E
Division Number: IV
Professional Group: Division of Bibliographic Control
Joint Meeting with: -
Meeting Number: 80
Simultaneous Interpretation:   Yes

Section on Classification and Indexing
Review of activities, 1998-99

Ia C. McIlwaine
School of Library, Archive and Information Studies
University College London
London, UK



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 promote advice on research in the subject approach to information; and to disseminate research results through open meetings and publications.

Working Group on Principles Underlying Subject Heading Language (SHLs)

The Working Group on Principles Underlying Subject Heading Languages (SHLs) chaired by Maria Inês Lopes (Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal) has completed its work, the report has been reviewed and it should be with the publisher by mid 1999.

Requirements for a Format for Classification Data

The Section has monitored and supported implementation of the recommendations of the Joint Working Group on a Classification Format of the IFLA Sections on Classification and Indexing and Information Technology. The chair is a member of the Working Group and has also attended meetings of the Permanent UNIMARC Committee by invitation. Implementation involves modification of the USMARC Format for Classification Data and development of a UNIMARC format for classification data. It is hoped that work will be completed by August 1999.

The State of the Art Survey of Subject Heading Systems

A working group has been established to follow up on the State of the Art Survey of Subject Heading Systems. The survey sought to learn what countries provide subject access, how long they have done so, what systems they use, and whether they have manuals to provide guidance in application; 45 out of 123 national libraries responded. A follow-up survey brought results from an additional 38 countries. The Working Group, under the chairmanship of Magda Heiner-Freiling met twice during the Amsterdam conference to discuss the next steps and resolved that when the findings were complete, analysed and written up, they should be published as a journal article. The intention is to offer the article to International Cataloguing and Bibliographic Control.

International Conference on National Bibliographic Services

The Committee was invited to prepare a 3-4 page position paper from the Section to be given to attendees before the International Conference on National Bibliographic Services in 1998. This was prepared by Ia McIlwaine and Lois Mai Chan, in consultation with committee members and forwarded in December 1997. The conference was attended by the chair and several members of the section.

Division project on OPAC displays

Representatives of the Committee attended meetings of the Working Group at the Amsterdam IFLA and the Section intends to maintain this involvement.

Programme for Bangkok conference

The Section has a full programme for Bangkok. The theme is: "Subject retrieval in a Web environment" and the following papers will be presented:

Lois Mai CHAN, Xia LIN, Marcia Lei ZENG (USA). "Structural and multilingual approaches to subject access on the Web"; Edward LIM HUCK TEE (Monash University, Australia); "Subject gateways in Southeast Asia: an examination of classification practices"; WANG Dongbo, ZHANG Qiyu and HOU Hanqing (National Library of China). "Chinese translation of DDC index: problems and resolutions"; Irina TSVETKOVA Julia SELIVANOVA (National Library of Russia, St Petersburg). "Problems of development of the National Russian Subject Authority File".

Section newsletter

The section continues to publish a Newsletter for Section members, for members of the Standing Committee and for others interested in classification and indexing. Two issues have been published during the past year, an increase on former years. This acts as a channel for imparting information about what is happening at national level and for sharing in the experiences of others. It is also an excellent forum for the discussion of matters of international concern relating to classification and indexing. Contributions are always very welcome.

Standing committee membership and officers

Membership of the Section at present stands at 99. The newly elected standing committee has 19 members, representing 14 different countries. Elections for the chair, at present Ia McIlwaine, and Secretary, at present Edward Swanson, will take place during the Bangkok meeting. Both have served two years to date, so may serve a further term, if proposed.

Co-operative projects

Ia McIlwaine (University College London) and Edward Swanson (Minnesota Historical Society) attended the meeting of the Co-ordinating Board of Bibliographic Control at the Bibliothèque nationale de France on April 14-15 1999.

The Section continues to cooperate with other IFLA Sections and Divisions and with the Permanent UNIMARC Committee in various projects and activities.


Latest Revision: June 10, 1999 Copyright © 1995-2000
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