This project is building new tools for browsing and discovering library resources, using conceptual maps based on Library of Congress subject headings. The aim is to provide more effective subject-based discovery that takes maximum advantage of the investments libraries have made in subject cataloging.
The tools cluster and link library item information using existing subject metadata cataloged according to the LCSH subject ontology, letting users "browse the shelves" along multiple topical dimensions, using ordinary text-based web pages. The online "maps" feature side-by-side display of subject terms and items described by those terms, and clustered display of items with related subject terms. These let users quickly see what's available under different catagories, and quickly navigate to promising items and topics. The maps are automatically adjusted to the characteristics of the collection being browsed, and can also be adapted to local communities and alternative subject ontologies. They can be applied to small-scale or large-scale collections.