Information Studies


Deborah Lee

Deborah Lee

I joined the UCL Department of Information Studies in autumn 2020 as a Senior Teaching Fellow in Library and Information Studies.  I lead the core module INST0010 Cataloguing and Classification and the optional module INST0070 Knowledge Organisation, and am also involved with other LIS teaching. 

I am a researcher and educator in library and information studies.  Before joining UCL, I was a visiting lecturer at City, University of London, where I led modules including Information Organisation, and I also led a metadata module as a sessional lecturer at Charles Sturt University in Australia.  I have also worked as a professional trainer in the areas of cataloguing and classification, including as a CILIP onsite trainer.  Throughout my teaching, my primary aims are developing thinking and fostering deeper understanding, and linking the "why" with the "what" is a particular goal of my lecturing in cataloguing and classification. 

My research interests include music knowledge organisation, knowledge organisation systems, art cataloguing and classification, and cataloguing education.  My PhD was a deep analysis of the classification of notated Western art music, including consideration of how the music domain organises its knowledge.  I have further developed my research in music classification since then, delving into the classification intricacies of this complex subject and eliciting new methods to study classification and knowledge organisation systems.  I am really interested in how knowledge organisation systems function and how they are received.  My research has appeared in publications including Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST), Journal of Documentation, Knowledge Organization, Information Research, Journal of Library Metadata and Proceedings of the Document Academy, among others. 

I have spent many years working as a professional librarian, including as Joint Acting Head of the Book library and Senior Cataloguer at the Courtauld Institute of Art.  My roles have involved cataloguing, library management, personnel management, user services, organising large-scale moves of library collections, and redesigning library spaces.  I am a member of a number of professional committees, and during 2017 and 2018 served as co-editor of the journal Catalogue and Index. 


Select publications from 2014 onwards:

(Accepted). Lee, D., Robinson, L. & Bawden, D. Orthogonality, dependency and music: an exploration of the relationships between music facets.  Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology,

 (Accepted). Lee, D. Reality, unreality, and artistic deception: the ethical dimensions of the knowledge organization of art documentation.  Knowledge Organization47(8).

(Accepted). Lee, D., Robinson, L. & Bawden, D. Operatic knowledge organisation: an exploration of the domain and bibliographic interface in the classification of opera subgenres. Proceedings of the sixteenth international ISKO conference 6-8 July 2020, Aalborg, Denmark. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag.

​​Lee, D. (2020).  Hornbostel-Sachs classification of musical instruments. Knowledge Organization, 47(1), 72-91.

Lee, D. (2019). The classification of musical transformation: a conceptual approach to the knowledge organization of musical arrangements. Information Research, 24(4). Available at: http://InformationR.net/ir/24-4/colis/colis1919.html

Lee, D., Robinson, L. & Bawden, D. (2019). Modelling the relationship between scientific and bibliographic classification for music. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 70(3), 230-241. doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/asi.24120

Lee, D. (2019).  Hornbostel-Sachs classification of musical instruments. Version 1.0. In B. Hjørland and C. Gnoli (eds.), ISKO encyclopedia of knowledge organizationAvailable at: http://www.isko.org/cyclo/hornbostel

Lee, D., Robinson, L. & Bawden, D. (2018). Global knowledge organization, “super-facets” and music: universal music classification in the digital age.  In F. Ribeiro and M.A. Cerveira (eds.), Challenges and opportunities for knowledge organization in the digital age. Proceedings of the fifteenth international ISKO conference 9-11 July 2018, Porto, Portugal. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag.

Lee, D. (2018). Documenting performance and contemporary data models: positioning performance within FRBR and LRM. Proceedings of the Document Academy, 5(1).  http://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/docam/vol5/iss1/2/

Lee, D. & Robinson, L. (2018). The heart of music classification: towards a model of classifying musical medium. Journal of Documentation, 74(2), 258-277. doi: https://doi.org/10.1108/JD-08-2017-0120

Lee, D. (2017). Numbers, instruments and hands: the impact of faceted analytical theory on classifying music ensembles.  Knowledge Organization,  44(6), 405-415. [Conference paper selected for publication in a special issue of Knowledge Organization]

Lee, D. & Kontou, V. (2017). Art Libraries in the UK, 2011-2015. In J. Bowman (ed.), British librarianship and information work, 2011-2015. United Kingdom: Lulu, 239-252.

Lee, D. & Kerameos (2017). Classification in the U.K.: introducing the 2017 CILIP CIG classification survey. Catalogue & Index,188, 2-9.

Lee, D. (2017). Numbers, instruments and hands: the impact of faceted analytical theory on classifying music ensembles.  In A. Slavic and C. Gnoli (eds.), Faceted classification today: theory, technology and end users, proceedings of the 2017 UDC Seminar, 14-15 September 2017, Würzburg: Ergon Verlag, 77-92.

Lee, D. (2017). Conceptions of knowledge about classification schemes: a multiplane approach. Information Research 22(1). Available at: http://www.informationr.net/ir/22-1/colis/colis1648.html

Lee, D. (2015). Consumption, criticism and Wirkung: reception-infused analysis of classification schemes. Knowledge Organization, 42(7), 508-521.

Lee, D. (2014). Teaching cataloguing in a brave new world: training new cataloguers using RDA. Journal of Library Metadata,14(3-4), 166-189.

Lee, D. (2014). Webs of “Wirkung”: modelling the interconnectedness of classification schemes. In W. Babik (ed.), Knowledge organization in the 21st century: between historical patterns and future prospects.  Proceedings of the thirteenth international ISKO conference, 19–22 May 2014, Kraków, Poland. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag, 200–207. 

Lee, D. (2014). The art of RDA: the Courtauld’s experience of implementing a new cataloguing standard. Art Libraries Journal, 39(1), 35-40.

Lee, D., Arscott, T., Drumm, K. & Bawden, D. (2014). Learning cataloguing as part of an LIS course: the City University London experience. Catalogue & Index, 175, 2–8.

For a full list, see https://poulencing.wixsite.com/deborahlee

Office hours

Office hours: Mondays 13:00-14:00.

In 2020-21 these will be held online, and students can book appointments via this link calendly.com/deborah-lee-lis.  Alternatively, current students are very welcome to email me to arrange an alternative time.

Contact details

Email: deborah.lee@ucl.ac.uk

Correspondence address:

Dr Deborah Lee
Department of Information Studies
University College London
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT