Harvard Sussex Program
on chemical and biological warfare armament and arms limitation

Sussex Harvard Information Bank (SHIB)

Storage principles

The initial sorting of SHIB holdings and newly acquired documentation is chronological: everything in SHIB is filed first in date order of publication or of initial distribution unless there is some good reason for not doing so (e.g. that an item is of a confidential nature, or that its date seems to add nothing obviously useful to its information content), in which case it goes directly into the subject or source-type files. Material in the chronological files is then copied, as appropriate, into the non-chronological files, or else is transferred there with only a copy of its title page retained in the chronological files. On whatever remains of it in the chronological files, an entry is made of its new location (or locations if more than one copy has been made). The chronological files thus serve an indexing function for SHIB as a whole. Items too bulky to go into SHIB files, such as books, are boxed or shelved, their whereabouts recorded on filed copies of their title-pages. The chronological files are stored on shelves, in loose-leaf binders, currently about 250 of them.

An increasing proportion of incoming SHIB items is now in electronic form, and quite soon we expect that incoming hard-copy items will represent the minor proportion. This is a trend that we are encouraging, even to the point of scanning certain hard-copy SHIB items into searchable/retrievable electronic storage. In future, electronic items will be downloaded as hard copy only if there are good grounds for storing them in the subject or source-type files of SHIB. The principal reason for doing so is in order to facilitate constructive browsing by SHIB-users.

The system of non-chronological - subject and source-type -- files that SHIB employs needs to be fine-grained and expansible if it is to work properly. To this end the files are hierarchically ordered within nine different primary storage categories:

A CBW Technology & Applicable Science
B Military Aspects of CBW
C Countries and Alliances
D Conflicts
E CBW Arms Control & Disarmament
F Special Topics
G Related Topics
H Documentary Sources
I Author Files

Categories J, K, L, M, N, O, P and Q are reserved. The next hierarchical level down in this arrangement is as follows:

A CBW Technology and Applicable Science
A1 Toxic agents
A2 Infective agents
A3 Applicable technique
A4 Emergent CBW technology
A5 CBW equipments

B Military aspects of CBW
B1 General
B2 Historical
B3 Utility of CW weapons
B4 CBW intelligence
B5 Consequences of CBW
B6 CBW threat reduction

C Countries and alliances (CBW policies, forces, &c)
C1 Overview
C2 Intergovernmental organisations
C3 Countries

D Conflicts. Each of the following secondary categories comprises a collection of conflict files, each one including material on a particular conflict in which CBW has been used or alleged to have been used. Each such file may also include background material on the conflict itself.
D1 Pre World War I
D2 World War I
D3 Inter World War period
D4 World War II
D5 1945 60
D6 Since 1960

E CBW arms control and disarmament
E1 Existing anti-CBW regime
E2 Future anti-CBW regime

F Special topics. This is a convenience category: everything filed within it could also be filed in categories A-E. Its subcategories correspond to specific topics that are under active study, that study requiring information otherwise banked in several different places:
F1 New history
F2 Psychological, societal and cultural factors in CBW
F3 Human exposures to CBW agents
F4 The Sverdlovsk anthrax
F5 The Yellow Rain
F6 Elimination of CW-weapons capability
F7 Ethnic weapons
F8 Poisoned arrows &c
F9 The chemical industry
F10 Manufacturers of CBW equipments
F11 Leads
F12 Spinoff and spinon
F13 CW aspects of Kuwait crisis
F14 Military herbicides
F15 Disabling chemicals
F16 Criminalization of CBW

G Related topics.
This category is for banking information not expressly on CBW but nonetheless helpful to have in SHIB. It provides, in effect, a special reference collection useful for exploiting information banked in earlier categories. Its primary subcategories correspond to main categories A-I:
GA Scientific topics
GB Military topics
GC Country topics
GD Conflict topics
GE Arms-control topics
GF Special topics
GH Documentary sources
GI Author files

H Documentary sources.
This category is for the storage of documentary and unpublished source materials on CBW matters. The subcategories are by source-type, not subject matter. The category is also used for filing source-materials by originating agency, where that seems useful.

I Author files.
This category is for the storage of published papers on CBW matters by particular authors, with subfiles for each author.

Associated with each of the subcategories outlined above are hierarchies of subsidiary files, each with a unique alphanumerical label denoting its content. Subsidiary subcategories are created -- i.e. new files opened -- whenever a higher subcategory becomes too heavily populated with reference items to be convenient for research purposes or manageable for storage purposes. As the collection grows, new subfiles may be split out from the existing files. Especially in category E, which is still in a primitive state, the still-continuing development work may lead to the merging of certain subfiles and then different disaggregations of them.

A separate paper, SHIB Fine Structure, lists all the 3000-odd files in the current structure.