KRISHAN KUMAR. Editorial 17,1;1992;i-ii


Ninth August of Nineteen Ninety-Two marks the Birth Centenary of Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan. He lived and breathed library science throughout his professional career. He was truly a great scholar, who made rich contribution to different aspects of library science. His tireless efforts helped raise the status of library profession in India . Because of his contribution to Indian librarianship, he, is referred to as "'Father of Library Movement in India ." In order to honour him, we are privileged to bring out this issue (volume 17, number 1) of the Journal of Library and Information Science as a special issue on Ranganathan. For us in the Department of Library and Information Science ( University of Delhi ), it is a matter of great pride that Dr. Ranganathan was a Professor in the Department from 1947 to 1955. He was greatly responsible for establishing the library school in its early years. We pay our homage to the great scholar on the occasion of his Birth Centenary.

The First paper is by Girja Kumar. He traces the Indian roots of Ranganathan's thought. He argues that the mainsprings of his thought are derived from his oriental origins. He had a great moral sense due to his brahmanic background and considered librarianship as a social institution linking cosmic and personal dharma. Place of intuition, creativity, imagination and mysticism in the development of great master's thought are described in detail. He succeeded in liberating library science from its uncertainties, enriching knowledge at intuition and intellectual planes. P.N. Kaula writes on the work carried out by Ranganathan from 1947 to 1955 during his stay at Delhi . This was the period when he served as an Honorary Professor at the Department of Library Science, University of Delhi . His role as President of Indian Library Association and participation in international activities have been described vividly. Kaula considers him as a 'master educator'.

S. Parthasarthy has written on the contribution of Ranganathan to the development of documentation activities. He was a builder of institutions (INSDOC and DRTC) in the field of documentation and his efforts resulted in the formulation of a large number of standards for documentation.

D.J. Foskett has written on the 'personality facet' of Ranganathan. Interestingly, he points out that the use of facet analysis by the great master is a parallel with the central notion of General Systems Theory (GST) and his concept of 'personality facet' seems to correspond rather closely with GST concept of a "whole" and "wholeness". Foskett believes that none has yet advanced, or even attempted an alternative term to "personality" which so accurately mirrors the central concept of GST. Erililia Curras examines Ranganathan's theory of classification on the basis of systems science postulates. She concludes that the ideas of Ranganathan conform to the concept of 'unity of science' and principles of systems science or systems thinking are considered by her helpful in understanding his theory of classification. M.A. Gopinath identifies the contributions of Ranganathan towards scientific basis for classification and discusses their value in developing theory and practices y meet the present day requirements.


Krishan Kumar has examined the historical roots of Ranganathan's first edition of Colon classification (1933). He owed indebtedness to Melvil Dewey and UDC. He was influenced by W. Hulme, W.S. Biscoe and others. Kumar concludes that Ranganathan possessed an amazing degree of ingenuity to apply old ideas in such a way so as to look distinctive and original. J.C. Binwal writes on 'Modes of formation of subjects'. He has described an empirical study to test the model' proposed by Ranganathan. Binwal concludes that Ranganathan's model is a powerful tool for knowledge representation in an information retrieval system.

A.R. Sethi writes on 'Aesthetics in Ranganathan'. He critically examines aesthetics in Ranganathan's works, his style of writing and: his personality. Sethi points out that Ranganathan termed his own intensive aesthetics experiences as intuition and did not use the term' 'aesthetics', being obsessed with scientific method. The paper by C.P. Vashishth surveys the advancement of librarianship in India , giving an overview of the whole field. He points out to the rich tradition of: learning and libraries. The author describes the status of librarianship and also the role of the professional associations at the national level.

Dr. S.R. Ranganathan is considered as one of the greatest library scientist. His search for a unified theory of library science remains hi brilliant contribution. Many of his ideas are relevant even today. This issue of the Journal is a tribute to the great son of India . The papers included here aim to assess the value of his contribution. These will it is hoped, stimulate further interest on his ideas and also on him.



Chairman Editorial Board