Document (#2111)

Author
Perreault, J.M.
Title
¬An essay on the prehistory of general categories : T.1: T. Jefferson
Source
International classification. 18(1991), S.134-142
Year
1991
Abstract
Predictable subarrangement of entries within a lowest-order class, or of canonically arranged (alphabetical, chronological,...) subclasses within a broader class, produce operational results similar to those aimed at by general-category theory. Most histories of classification ignore such detail. But such subarrangement may be visible (even though not discussed thematically) in older general classifications. Discovery of a volume belonging to Thomas Jefferson led to exmanination of Jefferson's recently published catalogue "in his own order", in the hope of seeing in it the manifestations of awareness of the need for such subarrangements. Subclasses analyzed are 'Africa', and 'Asia' in his chapter 29: 'Geography'. The results are at best mixed. Bibliographical details of the discovered Jefferson volume are given: two of the 14 items in it are unique, one of them of unknown authorship. Analysis of items within the mentioned subclasses was hampered by the loss (due to a fire at the Library of Congress in 1851) of many of them, and because of the inexactness of Jefferson's bibliographical descriptions (in some cases the only remaining trace of the works' existence)

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