Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Disturbing Discovery

I was reading my e-mail the other day when I came across this horrific discovery. Apparently, the powers that be at the Library of Congress have decided that books that have been written by Scottish authors are going under a new subject heading. Or, rather, they are being reassigned as a subsection of a pre-existing subject heading. And because the LOC is the largest library in the world, many other libraries are probably going to follow suit and classify their books in the same way.

That subject heading is now (are you ready?) English literature -- Scottish authors.

English literature, not British. This means that, were you to look up the collected works of Robert Burns, or RLS' A Child's Garden of Verses, or, for that matter, Harry Potter in the Library of Congress, you will find them all under English literature.

Does anyone else besides me see a major classification problem with this? I mean, how many times do people have to say that Scotland is not part of England for the rest of the world to realize it? No one at the LOC would even remotely entertain the idea of making a subject heading of Pennsylvania literature -- Massachusetts authors. Why? Because Massachusetts is not part of Pennsylvania. It never has been, and probably never will be. It's the same idea here. Scotland is part of Britain, yes, a part of the United Kingdom, yes, but it is not part of England. It never has been and most likely never will be. Likewise, England is not part of Scotland. They are two entirely different political entities, completely autonomous of each other. It's time the world FINALLY REALIZED THIS!

Grrr.

Oh, and they've done this with Irish and Welsh authors too.

2 comments:

Kathryn said...

They're making Burns a SASSANACH?! He's probably spinning in his grave!

Marcie said...

The Library of Congress has changed its mind.