National Library of France
In the catalogue général de la BnF, the “subject” criterion is used for materials added to the library’s collections from 1980 onwards. Consequently, a significant proportion of the library’s heritage collections cannot be accessed using this criterion. The “subject” criterion refers to the following:
To be noted
When carrying out a simple search (from the initial search screen), the default “subject” criterion is a search by word.
The Dewey search criterion (by index or label) is accessed via the advanced search screen.
The Typologies search criterion for audiovisual materials is accessed via the specialized search screen.
Similarly, the Authorities search screen enables users to search for materials by subject using only RAMEAU references and BnF authorities.
Collections belonging to the National Center for Children’s Literature – La Joie par les livres (Centre national de la littérature pour la jeunesse – La Joie par les livres) are indexed in RAMEAU, irrespective of whether they consist of documentary or fictional material.
The catalog offers the following:
BnF archives et manuscrits provides access to some of BnF’s manuscripts and archive holdings, which are described in accordance with the EAD DTD established by the archive science community.
Subject searches can be launched in one of two ways:
Mandragore logo: illuminated manuscripts database
Mandragore (“mandrake” in English), BnF’s database of illuminated manuscripts, can be used to carry out searches by descriptor using specific iconographic vocabulary, as well as by topical classification.
Descriptors are presented in the form of an alphabetical index. Users may choose to either input descriptors directly or use the index. Separate descriptors can be input into two different fields within the search screen.
Topical classification, inspired by the Dewey system, is presented in the form of a thesaurus in which users can browse major knowledge classes and sub-classes (for example, the Arts sub-class contains a Sculpture and “minor” arts category).
The picture collection, the Reprographic Department’s database of fixed digital images, holds images in the public domain taken from materials reproduced at the request of BnF’s internal and external customers.
The initial search screen can be used to search all the text in a descriptive record or caption for a given word or expression.
In order to refine a search by topic, users can carry out searches using descriptors taken from the Thésaurus iconographique drawn up by François Garnier. These descriptors may be either input directly into the “descriptor” field or selected from the thesaurus tree structure, which is displayed by clicking on “View descriptor list”.
Up to three descriptors can be combined using Boolean operators (and/or).
Gallica, BnF’s digital library, offers the ability to search for one or more words from its initial search screen.
Searches cover all record fields (author, title, etc.) as well as the contents of documents where these have been digitized.
The start-up page also offers the ability to search by topic using a Dewey indexing approach adapted for digital materials, up to a maximum of two or three levels. This type of search is made possible by creating topical OAI sets.
“Explorer” (Explore) access ["un personnage" (a person), "une œuvre" (a work), "un sujet" (a subject), "un lieu" (a place), or "un événement" (an event)] makes use of preconfigured searches that combine several words and search criteria (to search record fields and/or document contents).
Europeana, the European digital library, also promotes full text searches.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011