Classification Scheme – All the Small Things

If you are a classification junkie, this will make you salivate: The Collier Classification Scheme for Very Small Objects, a project by Brian Collier.

An attractive, clean and intriguing website design, a very cool classification scheme for things that might have previously been considered “square pegs”. An interesting choice of everyday English instead of Latin for the taxonomy. Don’t miss the introduction, which I found fascinating.

Check out the database of collected and classified very small objects. Don’t you want to collect, classify and contribute one of your own? I’m going to be looking in my library corners for something very small that just screams to be collected and classified.

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  1. And as a Friday Fillip just for classification junkies here is a link to
    ‘El idioma analítico de John Wilkins’ by Jorge Luis Borges at http://www.alamut.com/subj/artiface/language/johnWilkins.html which has the following classification fantasies:

    These ambiguities, redundancies and deficiencies remind us of those which doctor Franz Kuhn attributes to a certain Chinese encyclopaedia entitled ‘Celestial Empire of benevolent Knowledge’. In its remote pages it is written that the animals are divided into: (a) belonging to the emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (l) et cetera, (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies.

    The Bibliographic Institute of Brussels exerts chaos too: it has divided the universe into 1000 subdivisions, from which number 262 is the pope; number 282, the Roman Catholic Church; 263, the Day of the Lord; 268 Sunday schools; 298, mormonism; and number 294, brahmanism, buddhism, shintoism and taoism. It doesn’t reject heterogene subdivisions as, for example, 179: “Cruelty towards animals. Animals protection. Duel and suicide seen through moral values. Various vices and disadvantages. Advantages and various qualities.”

  2. How utterly delightful, Heather. It should be required reading for all taxonomists.