From the catalogs of babes

{February 3, 2009}   I guess Dewey was never the recipient of any hairwork jewelry

Our museum department recently received a very large donation (>500 pieces, I think) of hairwork jewelry. Of course we purchased a quite a few titles on the subject to support the museum’s new acquistions.

“Jewelry” is usually classed in 739.27; however, this falls under the larger class of 739.2, “work in precious metals.”  Hair, last I checked, is not a precious metal, so it seems a little strange to me to class these books there. Hair care (braiding, etc.) is classed in 646.724. Interdisciplinary works on jewelry are classed in 391.7.

Where should I class my books on hairwork jewelry?

Obviosuly, I want to class them where it’s easiest to find them. In our library, this would either be 739.27 or 391.7. Of those two, I’d also like a way to class all the hairwork books together, so as to keep them next to one another on the shelf. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find a standard subdivision for “products made out of hair.” (Shocking, I know.) -028 for “auxiliary techniques and procedures, apparatus, equipment and materials”? -04 for “special topics,” even though that subdivision is only supposed to be used when stipulated in the schedules?

If, for some bizarre reason, you were looking for books on hairwork jewelry, where would you look?


Gina says:

Interesting donation! Is it a historical collection, or mostly comprised of recent work? I think you have warrant to class them in either 739.27 or 391.7. LC has at least one “hairwork jewelry” book classed in 739.27 & the LC number in the authority record is an NK number.

If most of the books treat the hairwork jewelry as an art, or focuses on the technical and artistic aspects of the creation of the pieces, I would class them in the 700s. If most of the books treat it as a social phenomenon, akin to traditions of body art, focusing on the meaning or significance within the culture they were produced I’d consider 391.7.

Looking at the collection I work with, I would probably class them at 739.27. We have some other jewelry books in 739.27 that focus on jewelry made out of beads, fibers and shells.

Just my two cents.

Ivy says:

The museum pieces are historical, although I can’t remember the exact time period they are from off the top of my head. The curator is quite excited about them, though, and I expect he’ll find some way to incorporate them them into one of the upcoming exhibits here soon.

I agree that I’ll probably end up classing them in 739.27; I saw that LC had a few hairwork jewelry books there. I definitely then want to add some sort of subdivision, though, (probably something in the -028 range) to keep them all together, as our 739.27 section is pretty sizeable as it is. I think for our patrons it’s better to try to keep the books together rather than to be “technically” correct and put some in 391, some in 739, some in 646.

But I just couldn’t go along without pointing out that hairwork jewelry (also beads, shells, etc, as you mention) “technically” fall under “work in precious metals.” It’s not like Dewey shouldn’t have known about it, as hairwork jewelry was at the height of its popularity during his lifetime. :)

Holly says:

Hmm, I haven’t done Dewey in awhile but I’m finding some books in WorldCat on that subject in 746.043. For your collection, though, that might not make sense, either. Good luck!

Ivy says:

746.043 would be some sort of special topics in textile arts, which I suppose makes a roundabout sort of sense, but I don’t think it covers the “jewelry” aspect very well. Hair was used for other things, like embroidery, so I could see using that number in that context.

I’d be curious to see which titles those were and what library(ies) classed them there, just to see what types of collections and patrons they might serve. I might have to take a look later. I don’t play in WorldCat very often.

Gina says:

If I was doing personal research, I might have guessed the 746s also. I’ve seen embroidery works with hair, and I might assume that was the extent of the tradition of craftwork with hair. I’ve never seen hairwork jewelry, so I might have looked in embroidery.

Of course, I cheated by looking in the DDC schedules and doing some searching in LC’s catalog to get my bearings.

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