Library Catalogue is a Science or Arts?

Is Catalogue a Science or Arts?
Science: Science means systematic and formulated knowledge of universe around  us. It is a mode in which all phenomena are reasoned about, rendered precise and exact.
The definition of science clearly shows the basic factors of the sciences, i.e.

  1. Reason – denotes Logic.
  2. Precise – denotes Accuracy.
  3. Exact – denotes fact finding.

Science involves techniques like methods of salesman in market weighting out his goods in common scales and the operations of a chemist in performing a difficult and intricate analysis by means of his balance and finally graduated weights.
Science has its ever natural law and causes. (Causes+effect) (If there in flames, there was fire.)

Art: Art signifies a skill or ability. Art denotes,

  1. Skill – Techniques.
  2. Ability – Intelligence.

Both art and science are similar in pursuit of truth, the process and methods by artist as well as Scientist.
Difference between Art and Science:

1. Synthetic approach.
1. Analyzing material or events by separating them in to parts while artist select the materials, assembles. Composes and builds.
 2. Individual reaction on experience basis.
 2. General laws.
 3. Art once completed stands as a final statement for all times. It may be destroyed but not disapprove.
 4. The theory once formulated stand best till new theory invalued.

Now we may evaluate the catalogue whether it is a Science or Art.

Catalogue is a Science: as
1. It has some normative principles. i.e.

  • Norms- Pattern, rules, authorities standard.
  • Aims- drafting code, interpretation, provision for guidance.

2. Normative principles are based on some formulas.
3. Principles were extracted out of the facts.
4. Methods were established on the basis of the facts.
5. Canons.
6. Draw out fundamental principles after analysing general codes.

Catalogue is a Art: as

  1. It is a technique,
  2. It has basic rules,
  3. It can be elaborated,
  4. It requires display of intelligence and sound judgement, and
  5. It is govern by a code which involves some technicalities.

Like the science of Chemistry, catalogue is essentially a laboratory art. It cannot be learned by memorizing a code but to be applied from the very beginning. A catalogue has to use the active intelligence to decide on the particular rules applicable to the cause in hand. (Henry A. Sharp) Every art is not marily a practice but a discipline also. Accuracy & Consistency is its first need.

Catalogue Neither Art Nor Science:
Mr. H. W. Acomb has the opinion that cataloguing does not involve any of the qualities of Art and Science as:

  1. Ceitaloguing gives self expression which is not suitable to education.
  2. It little depends on the ascertained and unalterable facts.
  3. It is simple in technique.
  4. It is simple in practice.


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