05 November 2016

materials science?

One of the oft-used subject headings in the Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals is "Building materials." Very handy in an architectural index but we also index lots of articles on design, including those on the materials used. Fabrics, plastics, paper, glass, substances of various sorts. The collective term in the literature is often just "Materials" so I suggested to editor Ted that we might want to add the subject heading "Materials."

First stop: AAT. There, I found "materials (matter)" which is in the Materials hierarchy of the Materials facet. My first reaction was that the qualifier "(matter)" was unnecessary but it does make it clear that we're not talking about cloth. AAT often uses qualifiers that you don't necessarily need in context.

A couple days later. I'm up at the library for Team Trivia where we three older librarians (60, 70, and 80) actually finished with the highest score. We always decline the prize (tonight, a coupon for a pizza from a local pizza parlor). I checked the McNaughton leisure reading shelves before I left the library and noticed Stuff matters: exploring the marvelous materials that shape our man-made world by Mark Miodownik (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014).
Obviously, I had to check to see what subject heading(s) the book had been given. The only subject heading in the CIP on the title page verso is "Materials science--Popular works." Nope. Won't do. I wonder why they didn't just use "Materials" which is in LCSH. The scope note there is somewhat restrictive: "Here are entered comprehensive works on the basic engineering and industrial materials used in the construction of devices, apparatus, structures, equipment, etc."

For your information, "Materials science" in LCSH is related to the broader term "Physical sciences." In AAT, "materials science" is in the Disciplines hierarchy of the Activities facet. That is, you can get a college degree in materials science. Materials are what you make something out of. cf http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2011/11/grammar-myths-prepositions/

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