KF Modified Linked Data Project: Final Report

27Mar2017 at 11:50 am (Classification) (, )

The final report of the KF Modified Linked Data Project was submitted to the CALL/ACBD Committee to Promote Research last fall and is available on the CALL/ACBD website.

This project began shortly after the CanLII Law, Government and Open Data Conference and Hackathon held in Ottawa, Ontario, September 13-14, 2013, where I had the opportunity to speak about “Linked Data and Canadian Legal Resources.” Inspired by the potential of the work done during this hackathon Sarah Sutherland[1] and I decided to work together and developed this linked data classification project. We subsequently submitted a research proposal to the Canadian Association of Law Libraries (CALL/ACBD) and were awarded a modest research grant that allowed us to begin work on this initiative.


[1] Manager, Content and Partnerships, Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII)


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Exploring the Linked Data Application of KF Modified Classification

13Jan2014 at 1:18 pm (General) (, , , )

ld-cyrstal-fade-croppedHello all.

Happy to report that Sarah Sutherland (CanLII) and I have been awarded a CALL/ACBD research grant to explore the application of linked data to the KF Modified classification scheme.

This project was inspired by the recent release of the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) as linked data.  Providing KF Modified as linked data will open up opportunities for KF Modified to become a valuable tool for organizing common law legal resources on the semantic web.

Thanks to the Canadian Association of Law Libraries for their continued support of KF Modified!

Watch this blog for updates and progress reports!

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Implementation of the new KF Modified Quebec civil law enhancement at the Department of Justice Canada Library in Ottawa

28Oct2011 at 2:45 pm (Cataloguing) (, )

This is a guest post from Alain Rochefort, Law Cataloguer at the Department of Justice Canada Library in Ottawa. Thanks for sharing your experience with us Alain!

Since the mid-seventies, the law book collection at the Department of Justice Library in Ottawa was organized according to an old edition of the LA County classification scheme, in conjunction with Library of Congress classes. By 2005, this unique in-house classification scheme which proved to be more and more difficult to maintain, was deemed outdated and inadequate by the library management. A few years went by, and following the request of Fiona McPherson, Director, Library Services, I was requested in my capacity as Law Cataloguer to come up with a new viable and alternative classification scheme to organize our law book collection.

After examining the options available to Canadian law libraries, I recommended that we adopt the KF Modified classification scheme in conjunction with LC classes as our alternative scheme. It must be noted that a similar classification system was already in place at the Supreme Court of Canada Library in Ottawa. Since our law book collection was comprised in large part with publications from Canadian and other common law jurisdictions (i.e. British, American, Australian, New Zealand publications), it seemed a natural choice.

In addition, given that our collection was also comprised of a large section of civil law documents, mostly from the province of Quebec, but also notably from France (and other civil law jurisdictions) as well as a substantial number of international law books, the LC classes were a perfect fit to complete this combined classification scheme.

The only inconvenience at the time was the fact that the KF Modified scheme only provided a small section to house the Quebec civil law section publications (e.g. general civil law books, civil law reform reports, and Quebec civil codes). This meant that all books on specific civil law aspects such as family law, property law, etc. had to be classed and shelved together with other common law books on these topics.

Needless to say, we realized early enough that our Civil Law Section lawyers would not accept this arrangement since they were used to having all the Quebec civil law materials classed and shelved together under the old LA County classification scheme. Initially, as a solution to this problem, I recommended that we derogate from the use of KF Modified scheme for these books and that we use LC’s KEQ sub-class instead to class and shelve all Quebec civil law documents. However, this option was not accepted by our local library management.

Since we wanted to keep all Quebec civil law publications in the KF Modified scheme along with all other Canadian materials, it was deemed preferable instead to modify and enhance the existing Quebec civil law classification provisions in the KF modified scheme. After meeting with F. Tim Knight, Head of the CALL KF Modified Classification Committee in Quebec City (at the IFLA Satellite Meeting on RDA), in August 2008, and discussing this matter with him, he referred me to consult H. Rashid, law librarian at the University of Toronto, and an experienced and longstanding KF Modified Editorial Committee member.

In the fall of 2008, Mr. Rashid and I started our work on the Quebec Civil law section enhancement. After a few options were discarded, we resumed the work in the spring of 2009, just as we, at the DOJ Library, were involved in a major reclassification project. In August 2009, we came up with the new Quebec Civil Law enhancement based on LC’s KEQ class (Quebec law). The new enhancement was accepted and approved officially by the CALL Committee, and by December 2009 it became an updated part of the KF Modified Classification scheme.

In September 2009, after obtaining the approval of our library management, I reclassified our Quebec civil law publications by using the new enhancement. Subsequently, in October, these books were all reprocessed as a part of our on-going reclassification project at the DOJ Library, in which we managed to reclassify our whole law book collection (approx. 14,500 titles). As a result, we were the first library to apply in its collection, the new Quebec Civil law enhancement of the KF Modified Classification scheme.

Two years have passed since then, and we can honestly say that we are very happy and satisfied with our new library classification arrangement. Once applied in a collection, the KF Modified Classification scheme is really advantageous in the sense that it allows staff and clients to search, retrieve and access the requested documents in a much quicker, economic and timely fashion (by subject instead of repeated searches by jurisdictions). And the fact that we were able to develop and enhance the Quebec Civil law section in the KF Modified scheme has proven how accommodating the system really is. It has allowed us at the DOJ Library to develop (amongst other things) our Quebec civil law collection (which is substantial enough), and at the same time, respect and maintain the jurisdictional integrity, unique terminology and specific character of the Quebec civil law. And all this by means of a classification system conceived as a common law library classification scheme from the start.

Alain Rochefort
Law Cataloguer
Department of Justice Canada
Ottawa, Ont.

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KF Modified and the Classification of Canadian Common Law

17Mar2010 at 11:39 am (General) (, , , )

My article on KF Modified has been published in the Canadian Law Library Review (CLLR)*.

KF Modified and the Classification of Canadian Common Law (2009)

Abstract: This article was inspired by a previous article written by Vincent DeCaen in an earlier issue of CLLR. It explores classification, the different approaches taken by KF Modified and LC Class KE, and the role KF Modified has had in organizing collections in Canadian law libraries. It argues that there is no right or wrong way to classify legal resources and suggests that KF Modified can benefit cataloguing workflow and is well suited to both the Canadian and common law library environments.

Thanks to Leslie Taylor at Queen’s for her editorial assistance. Also many thanks to Lenore Rapkin and Nancy McCormack for their encouragement and to Humayan Rashid and Judy Ginsberg for their ongoing support.

*v. 34, no. 5

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Finding KF Modified Class Numbers for Your Copy Cataloguing

26Oct2009 at 1:09 pm (Cataloguing) (, , )

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! 🙂

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