Non-conformity in the Library Landscape:
: the Specialist Classification Scheme of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales

  • Penelope Icke

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Economic and Social Studies


Specialist classification schemes are highly diverse in nature yet frequently hidden from view. Most have not been documented and thus remain obscure. One such scheme is that belonging to the library of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, which, not having been updated for many years was in urgent need of revision. This dissertation presents a deconstruction and revision of this scheme. Four other previously unpublished taxonomies within the heritage sector are also examined in order to contextualise the Commission’s scheme.

Due to the lack of information on the classification schemes under examination a multifaceted research methodology was employed in order to collect primary data. This included archival research, semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Through these means a history of the Commission’s library was compiled, information was gathered about the operation of other libraries within the heritage sector and user needs were captured and analysed.

The proposed revision of the Commission’s scheme and the addition of various management tools, provide practical solutions for its effective operation. Through these methods the library is made fit for purpose, thereby improving access to the collections and widening public knowledge of the library.

This research addresses a gap in the literature of classification concerning the theoretical and practical application of unique taxonomies within the specialist environment of heritage. By highlighting the disparate nature of these specialist schemes, it contributes to an alternative representation of library classification, one that reflects their range and non-conformity
Date of Award2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SupervisorPauline Rafferty (Supervisor)

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