Genealogical Purposes and other "equi-level" categories [20 April 2011]
I imagine this was all discussed elsewhere long ago...nonetheless:
"Purposes" seems to me to be the partner of Methods (a fascinating category). All content serves particular purposes: e.g., legal, biological, anthropological, sociological, bio-medical, recreational . The methods include the ways to obtain facts (data), and the standards of reliability required by those purposes. The collected purposes can be generalized under the primary activity of genealogy: the definition of the biological and/or familial (sociological) relationship between individuals for the general purpose of determining inheritance, ranging from the specific, like property, personal and real, or genetic, to the general, like cultural.
Other missing subcategories might include the obvious: Events (vital; otherwise biographical) and Chronology. 4D is more descriptive than 3D.
I was going to say that repositories should be under sources, although there is a degree to which a source can become a different source when obtained by a new repository. But, I would say the source is a record of fact made by a recorder or author, and the repository is a holder of a copy of that source. Whether the facts can and should be questioned, is itself partly a question of the general credibility of the recorder/author, and secondary disseminators of their sources, but also on the statistical introduction of error by repeated replication or change of custody, viz genetic mutation and the children's game "telephone". Maybe they're not really separate: a source is just the initial repository for a group of facts. A doctor "witnesses" (at the least!) a birth; he records his own attestation to the fact as well as the facts presented about and by the parties to the birth; the county may record it's own copy of the doctor's record; it may then be reported to the state. The same with marriages and deaths. Or maybe there's four sister categories: a fact or set of facts, the source for those facts (a person, the author, not the book), the record of the facts by the source (the certificate, the book, the difference is only in the variety and arrangement of facts), and finally the holder of the record or repository.
Don--Brear47 01:53, 20 April 2011 (EDT)