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Dissertation Information for Stephen Blake Shubert

NAME:
- Stephen Blake Shubert

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- University of Toronto (Canada) (1996)

ADVISORS:
- Nancy J. Williamson

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Joanne Gard Marshall
- Lynne Teather
- Clare Beghtol

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Subject access to museum objects: Applying the principles of the subject approach to information from library and information science to the documentation of humanities museum collections

Abstract: This thesis investigates the extent to which the principles of subject access as developed within library and information science may be applied to the problem of indexing and classifying museum objects. It begins with a review of events concerning museum registration, documentation, and cataloguing that have contributed to the development of subject access during the second half of the twentieth century in Great Britain, the United States and Canada. An investigation of subject access to objects in humanities museum collections is then conducted according to a paradigm for the subject approach to information developed from the literature of library and information science. This paradigm consists of four fundamental elements: (1) the philosophical and abstract conception of subject content in contrast to descriptive or identifying elements; (2) the process of conceptual analysis in order to determine subject content; (3) the representation of these concepts in a documentary language; and (4) the process of facet analysis whereby the concepts of a subject are categorized according to different characteristics of division within a domain.

An explanation for subject access to humanities museum objects in abstract or philosophical terms is developed from Shannon's model of information transfer and the work of theorists in art and museology concerning the levels of meaning in art and museum objects. Subject representations in cataloguing records from humanities databases of the Canadian Heritage Information network are examined to determine the concepts on which they were based and to see if these concepts varied amongst the disciplines of ethnology, history and art. Documentary languages constructed to regularize subject access to museum objects are also analysed according to these same three disciplines. The findings demonstrate the relevance of the type of conceptual analysis and representation of concepts in documentary languages found in library and information science to the museum environment. Facet analysis is also shown to provide access to multiple object characteristics through an examination of the Art & Architecture Thesaurus as applied to museum objects.

MPACT Scores for Stephen Blake Shubert

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:26:23

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Students under Stephen Blake Shubert

ADVISEES:
- None

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- None