The Development of Classification on Women's Studies in LCC (1910-2010)

Han Liu, Kate Williams


We surveyed the classes on women’s studies in different editions in the LCC (from the 1980 to the 2010 edition) to determine what the main classes consisted of and how they changed over that period. We broke down the main subtopics on women’s studies, doing a statistical analysis at the class and subclass level, and then selected several typical examples for in–depth examination. The goal was to show the relationship between the disciplinary development of women’s studies and classes on this topic in the LCC. We found that studies about women historically interweaved with family and marriage, but its development should have its own avenue. We found six patterns in the revising of classes associated with women’s studies: synthesis, analysis, new creation, expansion, class name change, and removal. Through the comparison and analysis of classes with the additions and revisions to LCCs, supplemented by the bibliographic records from the LC online catalog, we determined that: historic revisions of a certain class show its disciplinary development; synthesis, analysis, comparison, and deduction played important roles in revisions and reflected the discipline’s self–understanding on a subject; and a threshold, in terms of number of titles (or "sub–subtopics"), can be established for the creation of a new class. We concluded that a well– systematized classification system facilitates predictions concerning new directions in a discipline. Also, revisions of classification, based on the development of a discipline, will influence that discipline’s future development.

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