Miskatonic University Press

Ranganathan's Monologue on Melvil Dewey

This was on cassette in the collection of the Faculty of Information Studies at the University of Toronto and I digitized it. It's a 1964 recording of the great librarian S.R. Ranganathan giving a fifteen-minute talk about his connections with Melvil Dewey. They never met, but they did correspond, and Ranganathan recounts that and four other anecdotes, including an amusing one he was told about Dewey conniving so that his female employees could enter his library by the front door and not the fire escape. (Ranganathan jokingly relates the number five to his Colon Classification.)

S.R. Ranganathan's Monologue on Melvil Dewey (3.5 MB MP3).

A warning about the audio quality: the first 1m56s were damaged on the cassette, and Ranganathan's voice was very faint and almost overwhelmed by hiss. In March 2007 Rafael Ortega cleaned up the audio and Ranganathan's voice is now much easier to hear. After that, the rest of the speech is of much better quality and very easy to understand, but watch out for the jump in volume

There is a transcript available: David Weinberger did the hard work of transcribing the speech.

Updated: 27 March 2009