Richard Smiraglia

  • Professor Emeritus, School of Information Studies

Professor Emeritus
Member, Information Organization Research Group


  • PhD, University of Chicago, Graduate Library School, 1992
  • MDiv, The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, New York, 1997
  • MLS, Indiana University, Graduate Library School, Bloomington, IN, August 1974
  • BA (Music), Lewis & Clark College, Portland, OR, June 1973


Richard P. Smiraglia has defined the meaning of “a work” empirically, and has revealed the ubiquitous phenomenon of instantiation among information objects. The Nature of ‘A Work’ (2001) was the first monograph-length treatment of the work, and was followed soon by the 2002 anthology Works as Entities for Information Retrieval. His article “The works phenomenon and best-selling books” was voted the best of Cataloging & Classification Quarterly for volume 44 (2007). He is preparing a monograph on knowledge organization in which he seeks to survey domain-distinct approaches to basic concepts such as taxonomy, typology, and ontology. He is also working with knowledge theory, with the phenomenological aspect of social tagging, and with cultural heritage ontology for data-mining. He is a former flautist, model railroader, an excellent chef, a priest of the Episcopal Church, and an amateur linguist. He is editor-in-chief of the journal Knowledge Organization, published by Ergon-Verlag of Würzburg.

Courses Taught

714 Metadata
791 Comparative Bibliography
791 Resource Description for Library Catalogs

Sample Publications

Smiraglia, R. (2005) Metadata: A Cataloger’s Primer. Binghamton, N.Y.: Haworth Press.

Smiraglia, R. (2002) Works as Entities for Information Retrieval. New York: Haworth Press.

Smiraglia, R. (2010) Perception, knowledge organization, and noetic affective social tagging. In Gnoli, Claudio and Mazzochi, Fulvio, eds., Paradigms and Conceptual Systems in Knowledge Organization, Proceedings of the 11th International ISKO Conference, 23-26 February 2010, Rome, Italy. Advances in knowledge organization v. 12. Würzburg: Ergon Verlag, 64-70.

Smiraglia, R. (2009) Bibliocentrism, cultural warrant, and the ethics of resource description: A case study. Cataloging & classification quarterly 47 (7): 671-86.