Cataloging & Classification Quarterly

Volume 25, Number 2 / 3/ 4  1998


Introduction 

Cataloging and classification are done by and for people.  As we look at the roughly twenty years which comprise Cataloging & Classification Quarterly's publishing life, it seems appropriate that the people who have been leaders in the field of bibliographic organization serve as windows to examine the changes which have taken place.  This special issue commemorating CCQ's 25th volume therefore focuses on significant contributors to cataloging and classification during the last decades of the twentieth century.  Included are theorists, educators, editors, authors, practitioners, and leaders of critical professional organizations.  Their specialties cover the major sub-areas of the field.  Some were active in writing descriptive cataloging codes; others, in designing machine-readable formats for bibliographic information, in revising existing classification systems or creating new ones.  Some of the individuals are well known throughout the profession of librarianship; others are best known within their specialties.  A few worked in comparative professional obscurity, and serve as examples of the many people in cataloging and classification who make important but less widely acknowledged contributions.  The movement toward international exchange of bibliographic information during the period is reflected in the inclusion of individuals from several nations, though mostly in the Anglo-American cataloging community. We began the selection of individuals to be included in this issue by tapping the collective wisdom of the faculty and practitioners who comprise the CCQ editorial board; they responded to our inquiry with many suggestions of individuals and potential authors.  Next we identified recipients of major awards in cataloging and classification during CCQ's publishing history and the authors of works in major anthologies and conference proceedings of the period.  While we did not adopt an allocation model of so manyper specialty within the field, we did strive for broad coverage of major areas.  As the list took shape, Kathryn Luther Henderson of the University of Illinois and Frances Miksa of the University of Texas kindly reviewed it and made further observations. In requesting the participation of individuals in the project, we offered several options.  Some subjects chose to write about their careers themselves.   Others agreed to be interviewed by an author who assumed responsibility for completing the article; a few responded by mail or fax. We included a list of questions intended to stimulate their thinking, but urged them to use or discard them as they wished.  For any individual who was no longer living, we selected an author who had known that individual.  The essays in this issue thus vary widely in content emphases, length, tone, and format. This partially biographical work has implications beyond cataloging and classification.  In featuring the people who have influenced the profession and bibliographic control in the second half of the twentieth century, we have amassed the raw data for a social history.  What were the backgrounds of the people who became leaders in the field or influenced students or colleagues whom they educated in theory and practice?  Is there a common theme in terms of ethnicity, education, geographic origin, parental occupations or other aspects of these individual's lives and backgrounds?  What made them what they were or are?  Historians often look at commonalties or lack thereof in members of particular groups including professions.  We hope this collection provides a start on that complex subject for those who have devoted careers to furthering bibliographic organization. Any volume of this type is likely to be incomplete; and indeed, some outstanding candidates for inclusion are unfortunately not present.  In a few cases, we were unable to find suitable authors, or the individuals themselves declined to participate.  We included only individuals who had retired or who are no longer living.  The only partial exception to our basic criterion for individuals to cover is the brief look at the editors of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, two of whom, are still active professionals.  We regret any omissions of worthy individuals, for whatever reason. Working on this issue has been a pleasure and a delight.  We sincerely thank the distinguished individuals who participated for their cooperation.

-- Carolynne Myall
-- Ruth C. Carter


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