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CODE4LIB  April 2011

CODE4LIB April 2011

Subject:

Re: LCSH and Linked Data

From:

Jonathan Rochkind <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 7 Apr 2011 14:25:57 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (61 lines)

On 4/7/2011 1:21 PM, Houghton,Andrew wrote:
> That is probably correct. England may appear as both a 110 *and* a 151 because the 110 signifies the concept for the country entity while the 151 signifies the concept for the geographic place. A subtle distinction...

This starts getting into categorization philosophy type issues, and
reveal that LCSH isn't entirely consistent in it's modelling (as
virtually no classification will be without being extraordinarily
complex, the world is a messy place), along the lines Ross was talking
about too, but I think it can be explicated a bit....

....I'm not sure it's quite true to say that a 151 (corresponding to a
6xx $v subdivision) is a geographic place as entirely distinct from a
'country entity'. I might instead say the 151 is meant to be a sort of
geo-historical place, that does take into account, well, either
political entities or general contemporary conceptions of place
distinctions at particular historical times. While the 110 is about a
collective-body _actor_, a government....

All of these are $v's, which presumably are authorized by authority 151s:

Soviet Union
Russia
Russia (Federation)
Former Soviet Republics

typically assigned for works about that area of the world at the time
that area of the world was known as a particular thing, heh.

Or: Italy / Roman Empire
Byzantine Empire / Ottoman Empire / Turkey / Balkan Peninsula

Now, all those things aren't the _exact_ same longitude and lattitude,
but with significant overlap, different in different cases. At any rate,
151s aren't purely a name for a geographic boundary on the planet,
they're some kind of, um, geo-political-historical concept.

Compare to the terms you can put in an 048, which ARE meant to be
history and political entity free. e-ur == "Russia. Russian Empire.
Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics". Yeah, all of em together.
Nevermind they dont' have exactly the same boundaries. (And of course
the boundaries of any one of em can and did change over time). At least
048's MOSTLY try to be purely geographical, free of historical/political
context, but then sometimes they go ahead and add weird ones that can't
possibly follow that principle, like d= "Developing Countries" or
dd="Developed Countries".

But yeah, then we've got the 110 England, which isn't a "geographical"
concept AT ALL, it refers really to the Government/political _actor_
(as a collective body) known as "England". Which happens to have
controlled or claimed certain geographic territory for itself at
different times, but the 110 England isn't about the geographic
territory, it's about the collective-body actor. (Does that even still
exist? What is it's contemporary or historical relationship to the
concepts "United Kingdom" and "Great Britain", are those political
actors too?)

Somewhere I read an article about the particular messiness of geographic
vocabularies, as discussed above, I forget where. Wish I could find it
again, it would be helpful here. But modelling the real world with a
subject vocabulary is inherently messy, especially so with geographic
classification like this that is meant to somehow cover all of recorded
human history too. The map is not the territory.

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