Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto - OCS, 15th INTERNATIONAL ISKO CONFERENCE

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Ana Cristina de Albuquerque, Luciane de Fátima Beckman Cavalcante

Last modified: 2018-02-01


The documentation produced, of different types, has the role not only of proving, remembering, witnessing facts, but also, through complex structures, reflecting specific universes, condensed into characteristics and contradictions that will present a proper identity written by its holders which, by conferring on its documentation or collection a particular disposition, will present the ways and relations with the world and with people of the time.

This accumulate and store treasures to offer to the eye, even if its useful function is a matter that falls into the background, is a practice that goes through centuries. These objects, collected and differentiated, bring the possibility of forming a classification that, in turn, must be explained and understood according to its historical context. A collection shows the relationship between things collected, the collector, and their context. A collector keeps, discloses, and conveys what is precious. An informational unit institutionalizes, classifies, describes and makes available. The treatment of collections is born together with the development of the sciences and with the need to give a certain collection, within an environment of its own, access to its information.

It is organizing the volume of information that is available is a challenge. The organization of information and knowledge can not be by chance: it is the result of all the transformations and social, economic and cultural influences that take place in the environment in which it circulates. The order, given by its producers or keepers, as objects of use outside a file, library or museum reflects the meaning of an era, of a culture. In this context, this article proposes a reflection on the classification of the photographic document in the ambit of Archivology, Librarianship and Museology.

Considering the above, the objective of the article is to analyze methodological conceptions of the classification of photographs in each proposed field. In the scope of the research, photography is approached as a document full of peculiarities that accompanied the social changes and consolidated numerous uses within this one. The collections of photographs accumulated during the life of a person or an institution later became documents accumulated in institutions that also to suffer modifications and social influences.

The mapping of possible methodologies used in each field was carried out through research in periodicals related to the Brazilian Information Science area. The period was determined between the years of 2006 and 2016 and the Qualis A1, A2, B1 and B2 periodicals were analyzed. The analysis was made through the content analysis method that allowed categorizing and discussing about each point raised and systematized in the results.

It was considered that the organization and classification given to the collections of photographs that are forming, whether these collections of an institutional or personal nature, reflect the thought of an era. The ways in which documents are organized and classified must be maintained and respected by the institutions which collect them, so as not to erase the traces of their organicity, which is reflected in the manner and they were collected and in what was interchangeable at that meeting. This task is difficult and requires a research work of professionals involved in the process of treatment of institutions that have photographic collections, because the more one classification adapts to a given time, the less suitable it will be for another.

The classification in these fields is much debated about its theory, its forms of execution, its systems, however, when we go to the study of specific documents such as non-textual ones, literature does not give sufficient basis for the processes that documents different from the written ones have to pass.

Thus, classification is not limited to assigning numbers, codes and subdivisions to activities and documents, but rather is an intellectual organization process in which the characteristics, information and context of each document treated reflect, to a greater or lesser degree of complexity, the functions and activities developed by an institution, the life of a person or the facts of a city or country.

The main function of a filing document is the information about a given fact. It is clear those studies on archival classification, as well as general studies of classification in the field of Information Science should be deepened in order to give more theoretical subsidies to professionals, this will reflect when the documents arrive to the user.

In librarianship the emphasis is on the processes that allow the later retrieval of information. The instruments of knowledge organization give the possibility to work on important concepts and contents and provide a basis for reflections on the improvement of the treatment of these documents.

In Museology, following a "heritage" of the past and trying to establish relations with the functions and objectives of the institution, there is a contextualization and an understanding of how documentation can be used as a symbol of the development of an epoch and a given city, as well as can try to maintain unity and consistency, with the current modes of organization, and classification permeates this whole process of documenting.

The photography is a technological means of creating and reproducing images in series. Because it is determined by these material conditions of production, it develops consequently, its own expressive language, that is, form and content intertwine inseparably. For these reasons, photography, on the one hand, presents unique conditions that will determine its treatment in information units. So, whether in a file, in a library or in a museum, it will always present the same constituent traits and different functions will be given to your information in those collections. It’s depending on this function; its classification has an essential role for both the professional and the researcher user.