History of UDC Seminars

Current biennial conferences on classification organized by UDC Consortium are entitled 'seminars' to remind us of two early UDC Seminars devoted to the use of classification online. These seminars reported on solutions implemented in early but advanced online information retrieval systems from the 1960s and 1970s. These applications supported Boolean searching, search expansion, linking words and notation, using classification as a pivot or source for thesaurus extraction. They inspired classification research in the decades following.

Many classifications followed the pioneeering work by Robert R Freeman, Pauline (Atherton) Cochrane, Jean M. Perrault, Malcolm Rigby, Ingetraut Dahlberg, Helmut Arntz - who were some of key participants in the first UDC seminars.

1968, Copenhagen: First Seminar on UDC in a Mechanized Retrieval System

1970, Frankfurt: - Second Seminar on UDC and Mechanized Information Systems



2-6 Sept 1968 Copenhagen

Conducted by R. R. Freeman and Pauline Atherton

Extracts from the A Survey Report of the Seminar (by Richard S Angell, chief, Technical Processes Research Office, Library of Congress, USA):

"The principal lecturers for the seminar were Mrs Pauline Atherton of the Syracuse University School of Library Science, who is a vice chairman of FID/CR, and Robert R. Freeman of the Scientific Information and Documentation Division, Enviromental Science Services Administration, who is chairman of the sub-committee on UDC of the United States National Committee for FID. Under the auspices of the American Institute of Physics and with a grant from the National Science Foundation, Mrs Atherton and Mr Freeman have recently completed a research project for the evaluation of the UDC as the indexing language for a mechanized reference retrieval system. Several of their reports had been distributed to Seminar participants as working papers. All nine report on the project are available from the Clearinghouse for Federal Scientific and Technical Information, Springfield, VA, 22151.

... In his final remarks, Mr Freeman characterised the present work on UDC in a mechanized retrieval system as a first approximation and suggested the following steps for the future: improvement of the theory of the use of UDC, preparation and publication of more editions, development of standard machine-readable cataloguing information and efforts in having UDC included in both experimental and operating systems, enlisting the support of large users in the maintenance of the schedules, continuing exploration of the use of UDC as a switching tool in international information systems, and investigation of the possiblity of a concordance between UDC and the Engineers Joint Council/Department of Defense Thesaurus of Engineeering and Scientific Terms "

Proceedings of First Seminar on UDC in a Mechanized Retrieval System: conducted by R. R. Freeman and Pauline Atherton, Copenhagen, 2-6 September, 1968. Ed. by R. Molgaard-Hansen and Malcolm Rigby. Copenhagen: Danish Centre for Documentation; International Federation for Documentation, Committee on Classification Research, 1969 (FID Committee on Classification Research (FID/CR Report No. 9; FID Publ. Serie-No. 405)
SEE: Table of Content


1-5 June 1970 Frankfurt

Conducted by Robert R. Freeman

Extracts from the Proceedings Introduction:

"...The new achievement of the Frankfurt Seminar was the presentation of a number of operational systems, using UDC in SDI and IR services, e.g. automation of the UDC-based Boreal Institute Library in Edmonton, Canada; the planned new Bibliotheque des Halles in Paris; the system of the Research Centre of the Generla Steels Division of the British Steel Corporation in Scotland; the Integrated Library Administration and Cataloguing System, ILACS, at Unilever, N. V., Rotterdam, and the mechanized UDC-service, developed at Gebrueder Sulzer AG, Winthertur, Switzerland. Moreover, there were papers and discussions on the potential role of UDC in combination with thesauri, descirptor lists and indexes of KWIC and KWOC types... It was advocated in lectures by Prof. H. Arntz on "Chancengleichheit der DK und der Thesauri", and Inge Dahlberg on "Possibilities for a reorganization of the UDC" that radical revision of the UDC, as well as regards extensions and presentation of the contents according to faceted principles as adjustment to modern superstructure of knowledge were considered to be urgent..."

Proceedings of Second Seminar on UDC and Mechanized Information Systems: conducted by R. R. Freeman, Frankfurt, 1st-5th June, 1970 : proceedings. Edited by R. Molgaard-Hansen, M. Westring-Nielsen. Copenhagen : Danish Centre for Documentation, 1971. (FID/CR Report no 11; FID Publ. Serie-No. 405).