I recently had a question emailed to me from Tamara Small who works at MBM Intellectual Property Law LLP in Ottawa. It’s a question I hear fairly often so I thought I’d share my response here:
… since more books today provide a call number only in KE format, I must resort to searching multiple online library catalogues to assign them. I often run into different call numbers for the same publication or sometimes find none at all. Are there any guides to KF Modified classification that might help me with this?
For the smaller library it can be difficult to find an appropriate number when the book arrives without a KF Modified number in the CIP (Cataloguing-In-Publication) information that is included with the book. At times it may not be practical to search through a number of library catalogues in search of the elusive number, but that can be useful exercise to try. I would suggest trying the Osgoode Hall Law School Library at York University, the Great Library at the Law Society of Upper Canada, and the Supreme Court of Canada library as good places to start.
Another useful source is Humayun Rashid’s concordance chart that he prepared for a CALL workshop at Niagara-on-the-Lake a few years ago. It presents a variety of general subjects with class numbers in each of KE, KD and KF Modified. You’ll find it here on page 6.
I am also willing to provide assistance whenever I can so don’t hesitate to give me a call or drop me a note via email.
Thanks for the question Tamara!
The 2nd and 3rd Quarter updates have been sent to CALL/ACBD and should be distributed soon. Watch for the new revised form division tables.
In the late 1960s the legal publishing industry was maturing and the number of new publications was growing significantly. Collections in Canadian law libraries were quickly outgrowing the local systems they had in place to organize their collections and a formal classification scheme began to look more and more appealing.
A small group of academic law librarians, led by Shih-Sheng Hu, from the University of Manitoba Law Library, met in the summer of 1968 to discuss their options. The others present were Roger Jacobs (University of Windsor Law Library), Balfour Halevy, Diana Priestly and Judy Ginsberg (all from the York University Law Library). For years there had been a good deal of discussion in the professional literature weighing the merits of classifying legal collections. This group, eager to bring greater control to their growing collections, were clearly in favour of classification and decided to take a look at the recently prepared draft of the Library of Congress’s KF Classification for American federal law.
The Library of Congress had just begun to develop classification schedules for law in 1967 and this draft of the KF Classification, “designed to be a model for all common law jurisdictions”, was a promising candidate. The group of 5 began to explore how they could apply this template to the common law jurisdictions they had been collecting.
 Goldberg, Jolande E. Development of a Universal Law Classification: A Retrospective on Library of Congress Class K, Cataloging & Classification Quarterly, vol. 35, no. 3/4, 2003, p. 357.
Welcome to the KF Modified Blog and please congratulate me for successfully resisting the urge to call this KF Blogified.
This blog will discuss the history, usage, updates and future directions of KF Modified the legal classification scheme which is used primarily in Canadian law libraries and suitable for any common law collection. Legal classification and cataloguing in general will also be touched on from time to time.
My name is F. Tim Knight, and I am currently Head of Technical Services at the Osgoode Hall Law School Library, York University. I began working with KF Modified about 12 years ago when I started cataloguing legal resources at the Great Library, Law Society of Upper Canada (the other Osgoode). I’ve been editing the schedule and involved with the editorial board since about 2000.
If you’re new to this I hope you’ll find the posts here useful. If you’ve been using KF Modified for a while and have questions about it I hope you’ll contact me or comment on the posts you see here.