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A: London, England, United Kingdom, B: Manchester, England, United Kingdom

Andrea Crestadoro Describes Keyword in Context Indexing


In 1856 bibliographer Andrea Crestadoro, an acquaintance of Anthony Panizzi, exasperated with delays in production of the British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books, published anonymously The Art of Making Catalogues of Libraries, or a Method to Obtain a Most Perfect Complete and Satisfactory Printed Catalogue of the British Museum Library by a Reader Therein.

Crestadoro's booklet served as basis for a catalogue code. "In it he advocated the idea of the 'inventorial' catalog which would have detailed entries arranged in order of accession. The library patron was to be provided access to the entries through an alphabetical index of names and subjects. The Public Library of Manchester, England adopted this approach for its catalog and hired Crestadoro to implement it there in 1864. Like Panizzi, Crestadoro intended to have his catalog serve the needs of catalog users, but the rules of his code were not based on an empirical investigation of those needs" (J. R. Hufford, The Pragmatic Basis of Catalog Codes: Has the User Been Ignored [2007] 29).

At the end of his pamphlet Crestadoro advocated production of a universal catalogue of all publications.

Crestadoro implemented his ideas for Keyword in Context Indexing (KWIC) in the Catalogue of the Manchester Free Library: Reference Department  (1864). 

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