Scholarship at Penn Libraries

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version

December 2006


We describe tools in development at the University of Pennsylvania to generate and display interactive "subject maps" for exploring library collections. Based on the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), these maps are automatically built from existing authority records, a collection's bibliographic records, and optional local "tweaks" for local interests and search patterns. Users can explore these maps via ordinary text- based web browsing, and browse clusters of related research resources. We now provide these maps for small collections like The Online Books Page, and are experimenting with maps for the entire Penn Library catalog. We hope to enable users to take full advantage of the rich conceptual relationships in LCSH-based library collections, and effectively browse increasingly diverse and dispersed library collections.


A white paper accompanying a presentation at the CNI Task Force Meeting, December 5, 2006. (The paper is misdated 2007.) The Powerpoint slides for the presentation are included as a supplementary file.


subject maps, topic maps, ontologies, information discovery, lcsh, library of congress subject headings, user interfaces

Additional Files

CNIFall06-maps.pdf (356 kB)
Slides of the CNI presentation



Date Posted: 23 January 2008