THE TROUBLE WITH DS101-151 – Example

Okay, so following on the last post — y’all get the fundamental problem now with the DS101-151 section, here’s an example of that in action:



 History of Asia—Israel (Palestine). The Jews—Special topics—Jewish diaspora—By region or country—Other regions or countries, A-Z

In simplest terms, this single number is assigned to works on Jews not in Israel. (Yes, the Americas are in the Es and Fs, and three countries [Germany, Poland, and Russia] were moved from the DS135s to DS134.2-DS134.93.)

At my place of work for instance, we have over 7000 resources in that single number, DS135, sure they’re arranged A-Z and cuttered by country, but placing a book there irks me — every time.

Because in so doing I’m saying that this book is about the Jewish diaspora, that every Jew living in the Czech Republic, Australia, and Uganda is really just waiting for Eretz Yisrael to call them home, and that doesn’t jibe with me, neither as a cataloger, nor as a Jew.

For the former, when I’m cataloging a book about Jews in Prague in the 19th century, going about their business and lives — why on earth am I saying that they’re in a diaspora? A book about Prague Jews in the 19th century and their feelings as diaspora Jews – sure! But it shouldn’t be the default.

I understand that it’s a term used to mean “outside of Israel”, it’s not that I don’t ‘get it’. But to me it implies two things:

  1. That all works about Jews who happen to be outside of Israel are somehow about that outside of Israel-ness.
  2. That Israel is the Jewish homeland, and have an inherent right to it

As a final note, it’s interesting to me that LC has figured out that you can talk about Jews in other countries more neutrally.


Latin America. Spanish America—Mexico—Elements in the population, A-Z—Jews


British America—Canada—Elements in the population—Jews


Would that they’d extend this logic to the other countries.

2 thoughts on “THE TROUBLE WITH DS101-151 – Example

  1. I love this! By the same logic wouldn’t all Christians and Muslims also be Israel-diasporafied?


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