Attending this event?
To view sessions, please select the Grid view below or use the Session Title filter.

After registering for the conference, you can log in here to save sessions to your personalized itinerary, sign up for workshops and performances with limited capacity, edit your profile, and edit your session description. For help using Sched, please see support.

For full details about the conference, please visit hastac2023.org
Back To Schedule
Friday, June 9 • 1:30pm - 1:50pm
A Social Bibliography: Re-Visualizing the Work of S.R. Ranganathan

Log in to save this to your schedule, view media, leave feedback and see who's attending!

SR Ranganathan (1892-1972) was a prolific writer, speaker, and scholar in the field of Library and Information Science, though his work is largely out of circulation in Western LIS scholarship. This project draws on bibliographic data collected about Ranganathan during his lifetime, as well as through original research by the author, to create a comprehensive dataset of Ranganathan’s authored works, which is presented through data visualizations as a means of re-examining Ranganathan’s place within the history of 20th century librarianship, his role as a social catalyst, and the narratives about his work and personal life that accompany his formal scholarly work.

The data for this project comes from three main sources. The first is the two-volume Ranganathan Festschrift, particularly in the second volume, “An Essay in Personal Bibliography” written by AK Das Gupta, who is presumably also responsible for the histograms and other visualizations with the book.[1] The second is the International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO)’s online version of Ranganathan’s bibliography, which was derived from Das Gupta’s original work, with some additions and revisions by the authors of the site.[2] Das Gupta’s work ends in 1961, was first published prior to Ranganathan’s passing in 1972, and while ISKO’s bibliography does document some of his later work, it itself does not claim any kind of completionism.

The third source is the aggregated records of all his post-1961 original publications, as well as records where he is listed as editor, contributor, or secondary author, which is being created by the researcher as a part of this project. This data comes from Ranganathan’s own works, many of which are held by the New York Public Library, Columbia University Library Service Library, and NYU Libraries. Additional data comes from the several biographies of Ranganathan which provide contextual information about Ranganathan’s later years, as well as from this author’s own collection of 20th century LIS textbooks.

The conversations in and around librarianship as a field in recent years have begun to acknowledge the overwhelming whiteness of the profession, its history, and the structures it has codified. I believe that working to bring the work of Ranganathan and his peers to the forefront of the conversation around the development of LIS in the 20th century can serve to demonstrate not only the presence, but innovation and leadership of global LIS work that does not center whiteness or western thought. Contemporary LIS theory and practice owe much to Ranganathan’s teaching and writings, and without work to preserve it and bring that work to contemporary western audiences, we run the risk of continuing to whitewash the past and future of our field.

Re-creating Ranganathan’s bibliographic network in a digital format enables the publication of updates as new knowledge is uncovered, or new publications come out. As the data continues to be collected, tidied, and rendered in machine-readable formats, more and more nuanced analyses will become possible. The social nature of the existing Ranganathan bibliographies, as well as his well-documented travels in Europe and the United States provide ample additional data, toward the development of a network visualization of his co-authors, colleagues, students, mentors, and proteges. I see this work as the seed for large digital projects documenting and exploring the development of contemporary LIS theory and practice, and present it not as a finished work, but as an ongoing labor of making and re-making the narratives of LIS as a field by its scholars and practitioners.

avatar for S.E. Hackney

S.E. Hackney

Assistant Professor, Queens College, CUNY

Friday June 9, 2023 1:30pm - 1:50pm EDT
Main 212