April 8, 2008
New Life for Good Old LC Subject Headings
Roy Tennant reports that LC's Ed Summers has launched http://lcsh.info/ to demonstrate what can be done with Library of Congress Subject Headings. Summers has taken the LCSH dataset harvested by Simon Spero (instead of official LC data) and parsed it into SKOS, an effort led by the W3C as part of its Semantic Web effort. More information on the project can be found on Summer's website, including some web slides of the project.
Tennant believes this is a lead-up to doing something on the web that will use official LC data, live and updated. Now, if you think I understand all this next generation catalog stuff, you are dead wrong -- things have come a long way since my LIS days where we were programming truncated keyword searching of LC subject headings in MARC records back in the late 1970s -- so read more about it at Tennant's Digital Libraries blog post.
Browsing LCSH. Check out Bernhard Eversberg's LCSH Browser. You can browse an alphabetical list of the headings and cross-references, a list of all words occurring in the headings, personal and corporate names, and LC classification numbers. When you pull up the full record for a term there are links that will send you off to WorldCat, Google, LibrayThing and OpenLibrary with that term. Any "see also" references are also clickable. Hat tip to Roy Tennant. [JH]
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