Materials and Organization

I am increasingly interesting in the categories in which materials and information are placed and how those categories are ordered.   In browsing the Wikipedia pages for Bryn Mawr College and for Hilda Worthington Smith, they section headings in both entries were interesting to me. The Bryn Mawr College page was more striking because I have some awareness of Bryn Mawr and the image of the college that is put out to the general public. The Tri-College Consortium is mentioned in the second paragraph of the introduction, though the Quaker Consortium and Penn are put only in the section “Organization.” This is an accurate representation of the connection, or lack thereof, that the college has with Penn, but how would this have shown through in the resources that we put together for this entry? This is perhaps evidence of what Phillips and McDevitt-Parks describe as “open authority.” Wikipedia, they state, allows for dialogue between experts and the public in the digital world where everyone is a curator. I also found it interesting that “Sustainability” received its own section, because it seems as if this is not a major part of the college, but the Wikipedia contributors felt that it was significant enough for its section. These clickable titles carry meaning for the reader, so in creating a Wikipedia entry one must be careful about how information is divided.

The other label that I am interested in is “miscellaneous.” In the Rita Rubenstein Collection on the Bryn Mawr Summer School for Women Workers in Industry, there were many items that were put into categories such as “Miscellaneous Student Writings,” “Student Interviews and Miscellaneous Biographica Materials,” “Faculty Interviews and Miscellaneous Material,” and a section titled simply “Miscellaneous Material.”   In regards to the organization of resources this does not seem effective but I wonder if anyone has considered an alternative for archiving and arranging materials.

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