History of Filing Systems
The history of filing systems can be traced back to the history of libraries because basically man prefers order and early librarians, therefore, would have thought of orderly arrangement,
Orderly arrangement of a library collection, however, laid the foundations for the schemes of library classification.
Filing systems for catalogue entries evolved over a period of time, such entries were prepared for a large library collection. When the number of documents is limited, filing of entries is not much of a problem. Only when the number of documents increases, the need for a good and effective filing system becomes necessary.
Some of the catalogue codes like Cutter's Rules for a Dictionary Catalogue and the 'Vatican Code' have included filing rules also in their cataloguing rules. Let us briefly learn about a few filing systems that have evolved over time.
1. Berghoeffer System
Towards the end of the 19th century Christian W. Berghoeffer introduced an interesting filing system for the Frankfurter Sammelkatalog. This system suggests the division of the catalogue into three sections as-a personal section, a geographical section, and a title section. In the personal section, only the surnames of the authors are taken into consideration ignoring forenames and initials. Titles are arranged in alphabetical sequence under each surname. This system is very useful for union catalogues.
2. ALA Filing Rules
The American Library Association published in 1942 the A.L.A. Rules for Filing Catalogue Cards. This code for filing entries " is based on a comparative study of filing rules which have appeared in printed codes and in manuals of library science, and also of the practices in a number of large and medium-sized public and university libraries". The revised version of the code appeared as a new set of rules under the title ALA Filing Rules in 1968. These Rules appeared in two formats-a full text, and an abridged paperback edition. The 1968 rule is related to the provision of AACR-2. The Committees responsible for AACR-2 and for 1968 rule on Filing Rules worked in co-operation. The structured uniform titles recommended by AACR-2 is an effort towards a better scheme of filing the entries in some cases.
3. Library of Congress Filing Rules
For the Library of Congress the rules that were in practice, namely; Filing Rules Pr the Dictionary Catalogues in the Library of Congress (1956) and the subsequent provisional Filing Arrangement in the Library of Congress Catalogs by John C Rather (1971) were replaced by the Library,-of Congress Filing Rules published in 1980. These rules are more elaborate than the ALA Filing Rules. Emphasis in these rules is on the practical adaptability of the rules for computer processing of the entries:
4. Computer Filing
Computers can relieve the burden of laborious filing of entries. They can do the job quickly and automatically. Computers are now being used in library operations and in bibliographic control. But there are certain drawbacks in computer filing also because they cannot think like human beings. Suppose you give the instruction to a computer saying ignore the initial articles like "A" "An" The "while filing. Then for a title like ABC of Atomic Physics the computer will file the title as BC of Atomic Physics, which is rather unhelpful filing. However, with proper programming instructions some of the problems can he solved. The first code to deal specifically with computer filing was published in 1966 by Theodore C. Hines and Jessica L. Harris under the title Computer Filing of Index Bibliographic and Catalogue Records.
5. BLAISE Filing Rules
Automated information service provided by the British Library is known under acronym BLAISE (British Library Automated Information Service). "The BLAISE filing rules had their origins in the report of a Working Party on Computer Filing set up by the Library Association Cataloguing and Indexing Group". These rules for computer filing were prepared on the basis of the principles developed by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO).
6. Ranganathan's Principles
Earlier you were told that in Ranganathan's Classified Catalogue there are two parts classified part and alphabetical part. In the Classified part we come across Class Numbers and Call Numbers as entries to be filed. A class number or call number includes numerals, letters, punctuation marks and symbols or characters like etc. Ranganathan uses the word 'digits' for these characters used by him as notation. In his Colon Classification he has assigned values for these digits which will guide us in filing entries in classified part. Further his Classified Catalogue Code Ed. 5 Chapter EG and EH deal with the filing of entries in Classified Part and in Alphabetical Part respectively.