The classification of Harris: Influences of Bacon and Hegel in the universe of library classification


  • Rodrigo de Sales Universidade Federal Fluminense
  • Thiago Pires Universidade de Brasília



The studies of library classifications generally interact with a historical approach that contextualizes the research and with the ideas related to classification that are typical of Philosophy. In the 19th century, the North-American philosopher and educator William Torrey Harris developed a book classification at the St. Louis Public School, based on Francis Bacon and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. The objective of the present study is to analyze Harris’s classification, reflecting upon his theoretical and philosophical backgrounds in order to understand Harris’s contribution to Knowledge Organization (KO). To achieve such objective, this study adopts a critical-descriptive approach for the analysis. The results show some influences of Bacon and Hegel in Harris’s classification.