From a librarian’s perspective, we know searching is messy – a researcher can’t hope to find the perfect subject heading that will reveal all their related content in one term.  Searching is exploring through overlapping terms, and compiling a bibliography from the pearls found in the process. This interface makes clearer what the related terms may be, given a borad term like practical theology.  And it’s so nice that it combines the classification structure with the subject headings.

Cindy Harper<>

-----Original Message-----
From: Code for Libraries [mailto:[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>] On Behalf Of Kent Fitch
Sent: Wednesday, April 13, 2016 8:17 PM
To: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Subject: Re: [CODE4LIB] LCSH, Bisac, facets, hierarchy?
About ten years ago, I was wondering how to make the structure in LCSH, or at least how it was encoded in MARC subject tags more useful, so when implementing a prototype for a new library catalogue at the National Library of Australia, I tried using the subject tag contents to represent a hierarchy, then counted the number of hits against parts of that hierarchy for a given search and then represented the subject tags in a hierarchy
with hit counts.   One of the motivations was to help expose to the
searcher how works relevant to their search may have been LCSH-subject-catalogued.

I'm a programmer, not a UI person, so the formatting of theresults were fairly primitive, but that prototype from ten years ago ("Library Labs") is still running.

For example, search results for /ancient egypt/

/computer art/

/history of utah/

This prototype also explored a subject hierarchy which had been of interest to the NLA's Assistant Director-General, Dr Warwick Cathro, over many years, the RLG "Conspectus" hierarchy, which I guess was not unlike BISAC in its aims.  It is shown further down the right-hand column.

Both the subject hierarchy and Conspectus were interesting, but neither made it into the eventual production search system, Trove, implemented at the NLA, in which subject faceting or hierarchy is absent from results

The "Library Labs" prototype is running on a small VM, so searching may be slow, and it hasnt been updated with any content since 2006..  But maybe the way it attempted to provide subject grouping and encourage narrowing of search by LCSH or exploring using LCSH rather than the provided search terms may trigger some more experiments.

Kent Fitch

On Thu, Apr 14, 2016 at 3:11 AM, Mark Watkins <[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>>

> <head starting to swim> :)
> sounds like there is a lot of useful metadata but somewhat scattered
> amongst various fields, depending on when the item was cataloged or tagged.
> Which seems to correspond to anecdotal surfing of the Harvard data.
> I guess my new task is to build something that aggregates and
> reconciles portions of LCSH, LCFGT, and GSAFD :).
> Thanks for the additional perspective!