Border country: classifying across disciplinary boundaries

Lorcan 1 min read

Terry Eagleton said somewhere that Raymond Williams was a librarian’s nightmare, meaning presumably that his work crossed academic boundaries and resisted easy classification. Let’s have a look using the Classify prototype.

The prototype provides access to more than 36 million WorldCat records that contain Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) numbers, Library of Congress Classification (LCC) numbers, or National Library of Medicine (NLM) Classification numbers.

The records are grouped using the OCLC FRBR Work-Set algorithm resulting in a work-level summary of the class numbers assigned a title. You can retrieve a classification summary by ISBN, ISSN, UPC, OCLC number, or author/title. [About Classify]

OK, so here is what happens with The Country and the City, maybe the one of his works most likely still to be read. It leans to literature, history, sociology …
Here is Keywords …
And here is an early work, The Long Revolution …
There is quite a bit that could be said here. It would be interesting to explore what the pattern of classification might reveal about intellectual trends or cross-disciplinary work. I will limit myself here to saying that it looks as if Eagleton may be right some of the time 😉

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