>I don't know what system these collections are in, but isn't this what
>tagging is for? The idea has died out in libraries, but this seems like a
>perfect use case for a folksonomy. :-)
Tagging is a good idea and I think it would help.
Topic maps are a little more than just tags though. A topic map would allow you to identify a topic but also allow you to create relations between topcs. Topic maps use uris like RDF so we would be talking about "things not strings". I think topic maps are (and have been for a long time) a good idea I just need to make it work ;-)