Sunday, January 01, 2006

Ranganathan on Melvil Dewey, 1964 tape recording transcribed

Librarians interested in Ranganathan (of the Five Laws of Library Science) would be interested in this:

Learnt (via David Weinberger) that William Denton has digitised a 1964 recording of S.R. Ranganathan's fifteen-minute talk about his connections with Melvil Dewey.

David Weinberger has transcribed Denton's MP3 recording (try reading the transcipt while listening to the audio -- I found that it helps to following the recording).

From William Denton's webpage:
This was on cassette in the collection of the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto and I digitized it. It's a 1964 recording of the great librarian S.R. Ranganathan giving a fifteen-minute talk about his connections with Melvil Dewey*. They never met, but they did correspond, and Ranganathan recounts that and four other anecdotes, including an amusing one he was told about Dewey conniving so that his female employees could enter his library by the front door and not the fire escape. (Ranganathan jokingly relates the number five to his Colon Classification.)

More on Colon Classification here. In case you aren't aware, Melvil Dewey invented the Dewey Decimal system, in use in many libraries today, including NLB's.

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