Special Bulletin #12: Subject Classification for Visual Collections: An Inventory of Some of the Principal Systems Applied to Content Description in Images

  • Dr. Colum Hourihane Princeton University


With the harnessing of the computer for image access, numerous developments have taken place in the field of subject analysis and access. Early developments in this field relied heavily on bibliographic subject systems such as the Dewey, Sears, and Library of Congress Subject Headings Lists and attempted to apply what were essentially classification systems for text to images...With few models on which to base their systems, numerous independent and project-related subject classification systems developed...Despite the creation of numerous subject classification systems, there are few publications on their structure or format...The nearly fifty studies in this report detail either general classification systems or those specific to an individual project. Brief descriptions are given of each of the systems together with relevant references.

Author Biography

Dr. Colum Hourihane, Princeton University

VRA Publication Advisory Committee:

Linda J. Callahan - Mt. Holyoke College

Sheryl C. Frisch - California Polytechnic State University

Chair: Marlene E. Gordon - University of Michigan - Dearborn

Linda McRae - University of South Florida

Elizabeth O'Donnell - Dartmouth College

Susan K. Thalmann - Pomona College

Debra R. Winters - California State University - Fullerton

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