Classification Pt. 4

The Liturgics (Lit) classification is unique to St. Mark’s. The last major display in library was dedicated to interesting items from the collection.

The classification is enumerative (meaning each heading is given a number) and hierarchical (it moves from the general to the specific.)

The introduction to the exhibit gives more information:

After some discussion of the present catalog and the system of library classification it was noted that Miss Jessie M. Douglass of Boston be engaged to take up the mark of reclassifying and recataloging the liturgical portion of the library next fall, her salary to be $80.00 per month.

March 4, 1909

Minutes of the Library Committee

St. Mark’s Library

General Theological Seminary

Throughout its history, the General Theological Seminary has placed an emphasis on liturgy and liturgical study. This is also true of the St. Mark’s Library. In the early 1900s, the Dewey Decimal Classification System was deemed inadequate for the library’s rich liturgical holdings. As mentioned above, the library employed Miss Douglass to develop the Liturgical Classification Scheme under the direction of Prof. Herbert M. Denslow and Librarian Edward H. Virgin. It was later expanded under both Prof. Burton Easton and Dr. Niels Sonne. In 1952, Ms. Olive Grobel, a graduate student at the Columbia University School of Library Service, submitted a revised version as one of her papers.

The “Lit” collection contains approximately 3,000 items in both Circulating and Special Collections. The collection spans both time and place beginning with Bibliographies (Lit 30) and ending with Hymns on Special Subjects (Lit 5725). Most of the library’s large collection of Books of Common Prayer are cataloged in Liturgics.

Even though it was closed in the 1970s, Liturgics remains one of the most comprehensive and widely used collections in the St. Mark’s Library. The current exhibit highlights the breadth of the collection.

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