Ranganathan and the faceted classification theory

<div><p>Abstract The present study contextualizes Ranganathan’s main theoretical contributions to the classification theory and addresses the Five Laws of Library Science. The major milestones in philosophical and bibliographic classifications are presented to show that the classification system has evolved from purely philosophical schemes, which were focused on the systematization of knowledge, into modern bibliographic classification systems. Facet analysis is considered a contribution to the classification process since it allows the use of an approach that encompasses different points of view of the same subject, as opposed to the enumerative systems. This article also discusses Ranganathan’s five fundamental categories, known as Personality, Matter, Energy, Space and Time, and points out to criticism of this form of categorization in the literature. The Spiral of Scientific Method and the Spiral Model of Development of subjects are presented; the latter is the meta-model of the former. The Colon Classification, which was first published in 1933, was also discussed. Finally, the applicability of the faceted classification in today’s world was addressed.</p></div>