Morgan & Claypool Publishers have recently published a three volume book series by Margie Hlava. In Book 1 (The Taxobook: History, Theories, and Concepts of Knowledge Organization), she introduces the foundations of classification, starting with Ancient Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle and moving through the Medieval times and the Renaissance, the philosophers of the seventeenth, eighteen, and nineteenth century, before focusing in on the contributions of Shivali Ramamrita Ranganathan, who is often considered the “father of modern library science.” His created the concept of faceted vocabularies, which have become integral – if not well understood – to many ecommerce websites.
Following this historical discussion, Margie has included a glossary that covers all three books in the series. It is included here so it can be referenced as one works their way through the second and third books. She believes that it is important to understand the history of knowledge organization and the differing viewpoints will help answer these fundamental questions: Why do we want to build taxonomies? How do we build them to serve multiple points of view?