The Rise and Fall of Union Classification

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Rebecca Butler


Thanks to the work of Julia Pettee in the early twentieth century, theological librarians had an effective system for the classification of theological books. Her work spanned more than 30 years and numerous volumes and resulted in a system that would be known as Union Classification. This article traces the rise and fall of Union from its beginnings at Rochester Seminary, to its widespread use and to its decline in recent years. Included are past and current data regarding the use of Union in ATS libraries as well as some libraries in Australia.

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Author Biography

Rebecca Butler, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

GSLIS Student at Dominican University, Candidate for MLIS May 2013 M.Div Lexington Theological Seminary May 2005 B.A. English and Secondary Education, Transylvania University 1997 Ordained Minister, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)