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History categories by era

 
 
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 12:52 pm
I'm trying to categorize the history section of the portal. What I want to do is make sub-categories by topic and era.

I need suggestions for the eras. How are they commonly divided?

Below the era categories I'll do topic categories so please suggest them as well.

For e.g. under modern history there would probably be a WW1 and WW2 category.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 2,062 • Replies: 26
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Acquiunk
 
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Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 01:16 pm
It's a good thing you don't hold a tenured position in a history department, you'd probably be involved in a number of fist fights. Categorization is very much a subjective process, and you will get very little agreement as to the validity of your categories. I would suggest you stick to some very broad topics such a military, social, perhaps geographic such as European, American, Asian maybe some broad temporal categories such as ancient, modern, and a catchall miscellaneous and let it go at that.
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Setanta
 
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Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 01:17 pm
The difficulty i would see is that the eras to which you refer were never global, for example:

Encyclopedia-dot-com's Chinese Dynasty list[/color]

Now, scroll to the bottom, and look at the Manchu Dynasty, c. 1644 to 1912. To what do you compare that in European history? That's the middle of the first civil war to dreadnought race with Germany if you are looking at England, hardly a cohesive description of a period in it's history. In France, that would be from the end of the first year of the reign of Louis XIV (who was then six years old), to the rise of socialism in France's third republic, having had a bloody revolution, two emperor's, and a brief restoration of the monarchy. Were you to use the European eras, you create categories with no real relevance to Chinese historical eras, or the Subcontinent, Asia Minor, Africa . . . i'm sure you get my drift.

I would suggest dividing your categories by region, culture, and then only very general "age" or "era" categories--just a general category, and an "ancient" and "modern" subcategory, which would leave the middle in the general category.

Thematic topics would mirror your general categories in all of the fora: technology, medicine, language, writing, the plastic arts, the performing arts, commerce, navigation, economy, engineering . . . you would probably have difficulty with this, it would be necessary to have broad, general categories, which nonetheless didn't exclude areas of culture and development which you hadn't considered when you created your main headings.

Tough job, Boss, you a little masochistic here?
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 01:41 pm
Well, as already said, it's a masochistic job (I did such for two universities, with just a couple of links and not so clearly 'divided' - but was beaten from any section/chair there :wink: ).

I'd prefer Setanta's way to categorize it.
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 01:56 pm
I forgot to add that I will also have supply to consider.

For example, there are a wealth of WW2 sites out there. WW2 will get it's own subcategory.

There are fewer sites about ancient history..

That should also be a consideration.

Perhaps era defined by date (and not by an era's name) would help..

Or do you think it easier to just go by topic as they are made available by those submitting (mostly Walter in the case of History).
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 02:12 pm
My answer would definately be biased :wink:
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Setanta
 
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Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 02:18 pm
You're going to have a preponderance of European historical reference (meaning the inclusion of the European cultures of North and South America), just by the nature of the site and it's location and clientele.

Dividing by dates arbitrarily chosen would be a problem as well. To go back to the Chinese/European example, 1500 is a crucial dividing line in European history. It's the middle of the Ming Dynasty in China, and of nowhere near the significance that era had in European history.

I'd stick with regions or cultures, and maybe modestly subdivide in those areas.
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jespah
 
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Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 02:37 pm
I suggest dates. It's nothing if not definitive. Yes, there will be some things that overlap into more than one time period (e. g. the English Tudor dynasty hits the 16th and 17th centuries, yes?) but entries can always be duplicated.
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Asherman
 
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Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 07:05 pm
Some topical areas probably deserve their own category. Military History is a huge field with a large following among both scholars and the general public. The History of Technology is another example of special historical study and interest. Both of these examples, and others, have materials and interest that cut across other means of categorizing history, and the sub-categories are already pretty well developed.

It may be a good idea to have broad geographical areas, such as Euro-American History. Asian History and Indigenous History (preliterate societies and Pre-Colombian American History) are other broad areas. Each could be subdivided by nation, and period.

Periods might be:

Ancient History, before the 4th century CE,.
Medieval History, from the 4th century to the 15th century CE,
Early Modern History, from the 15th century to the beginning of the 19th century CE,
Modern History, from the 19th century to the end of the 20th century CE, and Contemporaneous History.

Of course these divisions are largely Eurocentric. European expansion, military and technological dominance, makes it the flywheel powering much of modern history. The amount of available materials in Euro-American history also tends to overwhelm others.
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Mr Stillwater
 
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Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 07:19 pm
I can only throw in my own profession's approach:

910 Accounts of travel
912 Atlases and maps
920 Genealogy and heraldry
930 Prehistory / Ancient History (subdivided by region)
940 Modern European History (first by a general chronological subdivision that covers big historical events - then by specific histories of regions and places)
950 Modern Asian History
960 Modern African History
970 Modern North American History
980 Modern South American History
990 Modern History of the Pacific Region, Australia, NZ, PNG, Antarctica, anywhere else not covered
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 07:35 pm
To me, the problem with region is how much I'd have to overlap. WW2 goes in what region again....
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dlowan
 
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Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 07:43 pm
Blimey - being a world war, it has a separate all on its own classification? It hardly makes real sense to break it up into European and Asia pacific regions - cos it also hit Africa and had big repercussions in South America...
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Craven de Kere
 
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Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 08:08 pm
Yeah, I'm just going to let it evolve. E.g. right now there are ww1 and ww2 cats, british and american history cats and if for example we get categories on other wars then they will all go under a military history cat, and if other european countries get their own then they'll all go under the european category.

At least this discussion has reinforced my initial notion that it's not simple and straightforward.
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Acquiunk
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 08:16 pm
arn't you giving an awful lot of space to cats? I think you should at lest make a category for dogs in history.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 08:20 pm
Heehee - I will try to find some nice Oz and Asian sites to up your cats.....
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 08:28 pm
I already have an oz one, I'll make an oz cat for you to add to.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 08:31 pm
That baby is playing with his diaper again.


<sigh>


I recall trying to get people to agree on poetry categories. <sigh> People and categories. Why not go with the 'proper' library classifications? That way you can blame it on a whole profession. (or take credit for choosing it, if it's universally admired)
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 09:27 pm
I think Ash has a good outline--you might also add major "History of . . . " categories: Tools and Technology; Science and Invention; Ideas, Philosophy and Religion; Arts and Letters; Discovery and Exploration--and definitely a History of Societies . . .

as you like it . . .
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2004 10:48 pm
Truth is - no matter what way one goes with ANY categorization, it's gonna upset those who wanna be upset.
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dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 3 Jan, 2004 01:26 am
Craven de Kere wrote:
I already have an oz one, I'll make an oz cat for you to add to.


Aaaaaaaah - as you know, I adore Oz cats.....
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