Discuss: Tagging Franklin's Collection

TalkBenjamin Franklin's LT Catalog

Join LibraryThing to post.

Discuss: Tagging Franklin's Collection

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

Edited: Jan 31, 2008, 3:54pm

If you're interested, I think it's a nice idea to read through the information in TLBF and learn a bit about the history of Franklin's library, how it was organized, etc. I've gleaned some information, but other eyes are always useful, as are opinions of how we might proceed.

I've asked jbd1 (organizer of the Jefferson project) his opinion on whether we should use the shelf marks as tags or include them in comments. I'm interested in everyone's opinion on this.

According to TLBF, no one knows how Ben (can we call him Ben?) cataloged his books (other than semi-randomly on shelves, with a master list by subject indicating where each book was located on the shelves). There is some circumstantial evidence that he may have used a system similar to TJs -- their friendship, the fact that TJ had his written catalog with him while he and Ben were in Europe, and the fact that the Library Company completely redid their catalog to match the three great divisions of thought: Memory, Reason, and Imagination (Jefferson divided his library catalog table of contents into History, Philosophy, and Fine Arts).

I'm partial, at this point anyway, to going with something similar to TJs catalog table of contents, with alternations in accordance with Ben's interests. For instance, TJ catalogs "Fine Arts -> Music", terminating this branch there. Given Ben's interest in musical arrangements, theory, and production of instruments, we could go with "Fine Arts -> Music" followed by a dichotomy of "->scores" and "->theory".

Let's talk tags :-)

Edited: Feb 8, 2008, 10:05pm

I've uploaded an image of a tagging schematic. It's a combination of TJs org chart and the information I've gleaned from other sources about Ben's library.

There are some potential tags I haven't added because, frankly, I'm not sure how they'd fall on the History/Philosophy/Fine Arts chart. Here's what needs to be added to the chart I've made:

Languages {this is the parent tag to the individual languages listed below -- these tags would be used not for books simply written in these languages, but books designed for learning the languages}

Fluid Mechanics
Experimental Philosophy
Hydrogeographic Surveying
Printing Technology

I see folks are tagging, so we probably need to get on the same page when it comes to how we're going to tag (or do we?).

The file I created is a suggestion or starting point. Once we get a better idea about how we want to tag, I'm happy to forward an excel sheet of whatever tagging schematic we come up with to whomever wants it.

Feb 8, 2008, 10:09pm

TLBF INDIVIDUAL BOOK CODE: This is the number at the start of the bibliographic citation. The recommendation I've received is to put it as the first thing in the comments section.

SHELF MARKS: These are Ben's marks, indicating to which book case and shelf the book should be returned. The recommendation is that we put these after the TLBF code# (in other words, as the second item in the comments section).

Feb 9, 2008, 12:14pm

That was me tagging as I went for the few titles I've done. I was using the tags used by Wolf and Hayes. Could you post an example entry? I'm not 100% on all of this. I agree that uniform information placement is key to making BF's LT more than a novelty.

Edited: Feb 10, 2008, 1:47am

Does this help??

whoops...I posted as Ben!

Feb 10, 2008, 1:48am

Would we rather use only the tags from TLBF?

Feb 10, 2008, 10:47am

Which tags in TLBF are we talking about? benjclark or pdxwoman, can you give me a "fer instance"? pdxwoman, I think the tag schema you've created is very thorough and would probably work as well as any other strategy.

The sample work also seems very useful.

I'll be picking up a section or two very soon, I'm just trying to finish up a couple small projects before I jump into this one.

Feb 10, 2008, 4:18pm

TLBF uses basic "tags", they are in italics at the end of the initial bibliographic information. Usually, there appears to be only one, but sometimes several.

on the tag schema: I just don't know where to place the tags I listed above...

I've been managing midterms, so haven't been entering books. Will start soon, though!

Feb 10, 2008, 4:37pm

Oh I see them now - wow, I totally missed them when I went looking earlier. I think the TLBF tags would work fine too, so we'll just have to decide which we think makes the most sense.

Feb 11, 2008, 11:13am

Thanks for the sample listing. I think that will work great. I also like the tagging classification. I'll have to go back and do some editing, but it won't be too bad.