2.7. Where is it being Organized?

“Bibliographic control requires fixing a document in the bibliographic universe by its space-time coordinates.”

Having identified the resources, reasoned about our motivations, limited the scope and scale, and determined when and by whom the organization will occur, we come finally to the question of where the resources are being organized.

In ordinary use, “Where” refers to a physical location. But the answer to “where?” often depends on whether we are asking about the current location, a past location, or an intended destination for resources that are in transit or in process. The answer to the question “where?” can take a lot of different forms. We can talk about an abstract space like “a library shelf” or we can talk about “the hidden compartment in Section XY at the Library of Congress,” as depicted in the 2004 movie “National Treasure.” We can answer “where?” with a description of a set of environmental conditions that best suit a class of wildlife, or a tire, or a sleeping bag. We can answer “where?” with “Renaissance Europe” or “Colonial Williamsburg.” “Where?” can be a place in a mental construct, or even a place in an imagined location.

In the architectural design of an organizing system, its physical location is usually not a primary concern. In most organizing systems, the matter of where the organizing system and the resources are located can be abstracted away. So, in practice, resource location often is not ...

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