Resources for Describing Visual Materials

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A recent thread on describing visual materials from the IMAGELIB mailing list sparked the descovery of these resources.

First was this bibliography of thesauri-related materials by Leonard Will of Willpower Information, an information management consultant in the U.K. It looks like a really good synopsis, and will be useful when adding controlled vocabularies to the DRC through MetaBuddy and other tools.

Publications on thesaurus construction and use

- including some references to facet analysis, taxonomies, ontologies, topic maps and related issues

This is a list of printed and electronic publications about the principles of constructing and using information retrieval thesauri. It is not a list of existing thesauri, although some thesauri have been included when they are good examples or illustrate the results of different approaches to thesaurus construction.

At the end I have given a few references on the following:

  • facet analysis
  • search interfaces that provide for thesaurus use by combining terms from multiple facets, or multiple characteristics of division within a facet
  • lists of thesauri
  • taxonomies, the currently fashionable term for classification schemes
  • ontologies, which appear to be a developments of a thesaurus, with a greater number of kinds of relationship between concepts, intended to be useful to software implementing aspects of the proposed "semantic web"
  • topic maps, which are a way of structuring such an ontology, with the addition of links between concepts and information resources.

I have not yet examined all the articles listed, so in some cases the details and abstracts quoted have come from current awareness services and other sources.

Another is the Cataloging & Digitizing Toolbox from Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. It has these major headings:

Cataloging Tools | "How to" Tip Sheets | Resource Lists | Articles and Presentations

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