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Classification Dewey Decimal Classification. Classification in Context . Obtain information package. Describe information package in surrogate record. Subject analyze information package in surrogate record: Verbal Classification . Classification.

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Classification Dewey Decimal Classification

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Classification dewey decimal classification

ClassificationDewey Decimal Classification

Classification in context

Classification in Context

  • Obtain information package.

  • Describe information package in surrogate record.

  • Subject analyze information package in surrogate record:

    • Verbal

    • Classification



  • The intellectual process by which things or concepts are organized to have likeness or unity and by this likeness or unity are set in relation to one another

  • The sorting and grouping of things

  • Putting together of like things

  • Sorting items into “conceptual classes”



  • Context can be expressed in notation but must be understood to be useful.

  • Notation: brief symbols for subject terms in a classification scheme

  • Functions

    • Represent subjects

    • Show relationships among subjects

    • Provide a sequential order for a logical arrangement



  • Purpose is to bring related items together in a helpful sequence from the general to the specific.

  • Properties

    • Must be inclusive as well as comprehensive. Must encompass the whole field of knowledge as represented in collectible media.

    • It must be systematic

    • It must be flexible and expansible

    • It must employ terminology that is clear and descriptive with consistent meaning for both the user and the classifier

Classification types

Classification Types


One that attempts to assign designations for all the single and composite subject concepts required in the system (eg., LCC)

Classification types1

Classification Types


Based on the assumption that the process of subdivision and collocation must exhibit as much as possible the natural organization of the subject, proceeding from classes to divisions to subdivisions, and following a logic of subdivision (e.g., DDC)

Classification types2

Classification Types


A classification that assigns designations to single, unsubdivided concepts and gives the classifier generalized rules for combining these designations for composite subjects

Classification types3

Classification Types


Combination, in prescribed sequence, of clearly defined, mutually exclusive, and collectively exhaustive properties, or characteristics of a subject

Draft of a faceted classification scheme for literature

Draft of a Faceted Classification Scheme for Literature

Classification by discipline

Classification by Discipline

  • Basic classes are organized by traditional academic disciplines or fields of study. The parts of the classification are arranged by discipline, not by subject

Classification dewey decimal classification


  • Built by Dewey on principles of organization advanced by Bacon, 1874-1876

  • Most widely used worldwide

    • 95% of U.S. public & school libraries

    • 25% of U.S. college & university libraries

    • 20% of special libraries

  • Translated into 30+ languages

  • Developed and maintained by the Decimal Classification Division of LC

    • LC supplied DDC for >110,000 items/year

Melville louis kossuth dewey 1851 1931


6 things you didn t know about melvil dewey


  • he was born on the tenth day of the “tenth month”

  • he sometimes spelt his name “Dui”

  • he was very busy when he was 24

  • he took a “keen interest” in co-education

  • he used to have really bad seasonal allergies

  • his country club was pretty “exclusive”

Classification dewey decimal classification


  • Published by Forest Press

    • a division of OCLC

  • Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee (ALA & LA (Great Britain))

  • Decimal 000 through 999.9999999…..

  • Is enumerative, hierarchical, and decimal, and includes faceting

  • Ten Main Classes; ten subclasses, etc.

Classification dewey decimal classification


  • Discipline based, not subject based

  • Synthetic: Number building

  • Relative Index

  • Tables

  • Standard Subdivisions

    • “place or time but not both except when specified”

Relative index

Relative Index

  • Disciplinary focus of DDC causes subjects to be scattered across the classification; therefore, a centralized subject index (the Relative Index) to the schedules is needed.

  • Relative index relates subjects to the various disciplines to which they may belong:

    • Journalism – generally found at 070.4

    • Journalism – civil rights issues at 323.445

    • Journalism – sociology at 302.23

  • Dewey’s theoretical contribution to library classification



  • Volume 1: Introduction, Tables 1-7

  • Volume 2: Schedules 000-599

  • Volume 3: Schedules 600-699

  • Volume 4: Index, Manual

    • “Relative Index” = one of Dewey’s most important contributions

    • entries partly based on LCSH

Conceptual framework of ddc

Conceptual Framework of DDC

  • Basic classes are organized by discipline (i.e., fields of study).

  • Divisions of DDC:

    • Ten main classes (0XX, 1XX, 2XX, etc), which together cover the entire world of knowledge

    • Each main class is divided into ten divisions (100 total divisions in DDC)

    • Each division is divided into ten sections (1000 total sections in DDC)

Conceptual framework of ddc1

Conceptual Framework of DDC

  • Class 000 is most general:

    • Used for works not limited to any on specific discipline (e.g., encyclopedias, newspapers, general periodicals)

    • Used for certain specialized disciplines that deal with knowledge and information (e.g., library science, computer science, journalism)

  • Each of the other main classes (1XX to 9XX) comprises a major discipline or group of related disciplines.

  • DDC IS ARRANGED PRIMARILY BY DISCIPLINE AND NOT BY SUBJECT; therefore, a given subject is likely to appear under more than one class numbers.

Principle of hierarchy

Principle of Hierarchy

  • Structural hierarchy (inheritance):

    • Whatever is true of the whole is true of the parts

    • This is termed “hierarchical force”

    • Example:

      • All classmarks under 5XX are related to the natural sciences and/or mathematics

      • All classmarks under 612.1… are related to blood and circulation

  • Notational hierarchy (relationships between concepts):

    • Subordinate: 621.4 is subordinate to 621

    • Coordinate: 621.4 is coordinate with 621.6

    • Superordinate: 621 is superordinate to 621.4

Structure of schedules


  • 0: Generalities

  • 1-7: “Realm of reason”

    • [Sciences and Arts]

  • 8: “Realm of imagination”

    • Literature (Belles-lettres) and rhetoric

  • 9: “Realm of memory”

    • Geography, history, and auxiliary disciplines

Realm of reason


  • 1: Philosophy, paranormal phenomena, psychology

  • 2: Religion

  • 3: Social sciences

  • 4: Language

  • 5: Natural sciences and mathematics

  • 6: Technology (Applied sciences)

  • 7: The arts Fine and decorative arts

Schedule entries


  • class number (or span of numbers)

  • heading

  • notes

    • on what is found in that class

    • on what is found in other classes

    • explaining changes or irregularities

    • directing to Manual

    • on number-building (“Add” notes)

  • notes are the key to correct classification

Ddc the ten main classes

DDC: The Ten Main Classes

  • 000Computers, information & general reference

  • 100Philosophy & psychology

  • 200Religion

  • 300Social sciences

  • 400Language

  • 500Science

  • 600Technology

  • 700Arts & recreation

  • 800Literature

  • 900History & geography

Ddc the 100 divisions

DDC: The 100 Divisions

  • 500 Science

  • 500 Science

  • 510Mathematics

  • 520Astronomy

  • 530Physics

  • 540Chemistry

  • 550Earth sciences & geology

  • 560-590 Life sciences

Ddc the 1000 divisions

DDC: The 1000 Divisions

  • 510Mathematics

  • 510 Mathematics

  • 511General principles of mathematics

  • 512 Algebra, number theory

  • 513 Arithmetic

  • 514 Topology

  • 515 Analysis

  • 516 Geometry

  • [517] [Unassigned]

  • [518] [Unassigned]

  • 519 Probabilities and applied mathematics

Classification dewey decimal classification


The longer the number, the greater the specificity


Methods & materials for teaching Spanish in the elementary school

Number building

Number Building

  • 2 methods of number-building

    • without instructions, using Table 1

    • only on instructions by ‘Add’ notes, using

      • Tables 2-7

      • schedules

372 6561044


3xx Social Sciences

37x Education

372 Elementary education

372.6 Language arts

372.65 Foreign languages

372.6561 Spanish

372.6561044 Teaching methods & materials

Another example

Another example

  • 325.2 class number for immigration

  • geographic notation for New York City is -097471

  • geographic notation for Italy is -45

  • Both of these could be added 325.2, to create a specific number for emigration from Italy to NYC:

  • 325.245097471



  • Dewey number that is divided with prime (') or slash (/) marks, often in the Cataloging in Publication (CIP) data

  • practice developed by Library of Congress

  • 363.73'94526'091638

  • could be cut off after the first mark by a small library

  • after the second by a medium sized library.

Finding ddc numbers

Finding DDC Numbers

1st Choose among the 10 classes

2nd Choose among the 10 divisions under the chosen class

3rd Choose among the 10 sections under the chosen division

4th Go to the schedule

-Alternately, use the relative index, but don’t class from the index

5th Follow all the instructions at that number

Ddc tables

DDC Tables

  • Table 1 – Standard Subdivisions:

    • Contains mnemonics for standard subdivisions

    • Used to add facets to the class number (education is 072, geographical is 09, etc)

  • Table 2 – Geographic Areas, Historical Periods, Persons:

    • Contains mnemonics for geographical areas, etc

    • Used to add geographic facets to the class number:

      • United States is 973

      • Southeastern states is 975

      • Alabama is 976.1

      • Tuscaloosa County is 976.184

Ddc tables1

DDC Tables

  • Table 3 – Subdivisions for the Arts, for Individual Literatures, for Specific Literary Forms:

    • Contains mnemonics for subdivisions for the arts, for individual literatures, for specific literary forms

  • Table 4 – Subdivisions of individual languages and language families.

  • Table 5 – Racial, ethnic, national groups.

  • Table 6 – Languages.

  • Table 7 – Groups of persons.

Using table one

Using Table One

  • Used to connect a subject with a standard facet:

    – 01 Philosophy and theory

    – 02 Miscellany

    – 03 Dictionaries, encyclopedias, concordances

    – 04 Special topics

    – 05 Serial publications

    – 06 Organizations and management

    – 07 Education, research, related topics

    – 08 History/description w/ respect to kinds of persons

    – 09 Historical, geographic, persons treatment

Using table one1

Using Table One

  • When analyzing Table One numbers (and Table One numbers ONLY), looking for the connecting “0” between subject and facet.

  • Look up subject class in the schedules.

  • Look up facet class in Table One.

  • Most of the time, the connecting “0” is the first occurrence:

    • 635.13074 = 635.13 for Carrots and 074 for catalogs

    • But not always: 020.25 = 020 for LIS and 025 for Directories

Cutter numbers

Cutter Numbers

  • Used to create call numbers for individual library collections.

  • Provides the link between the surrogate record and the actual item in the collection.

  • Alpha-numeric representation of main entry

  • Sub-arranges works in the same class

Cutter numbers1

Cutter Numbers

  • After the class notation is determined, then the cuttering process begins.

  • Use a cutter table:

    • C. A. Cutter’s Two-Figure Author Table

    • C. A. Cutter’s Three-Figure Author Table

    • Cutter-Sanborn Three-Figure Author Table

    • OCLC Dewey Cutter Macro (four-figure)

    • Cuttering is a flexible process; only use table as a guide

Steps for cuttering

Steps for Cuttering

  • Determine first letter of main entry (most often taken from 100 tag; but could be 245 tag)

  • Use number associated with second letter of main entry

  • Add additional numbers until call number is unique

  • Add date

Cutter numbers2

Cutter Numbers

Smaller libraries: alpha-only

Air Transportation by Robert Bartlett



Judith Watkins

Cutter 2-Figure


Cutter 3-Figure


Cutter-Sanborn 3 Figure


Strengths of ddc

Strengths of DDC

  • Most commonly used classification scheme in the world

  • Practical

  • Relative location places topics in an intellectual framework rather than physical

  • Pure numerical notation is understandable across languages and cultures

  • Self-evident numerical sequence facilitates filing and shelving

Strengths of ddc1

Strengths of DDC

  • Hierarchical nature of the notation expresses the relationships between class numbers, enables online searching

  • Infinitely expandable

  • Mnemonic nature helps library users navigate

  • Continuous revision of the schedules ensures currency

Weaknesses of ddc

Weaknesses of DDC

  • Anglo-American bias

  • Related disciplines are separated (e.g. Social sciences is 300, Geography & History is 900, Languages is 400, Literature is 800)

  • Within 800, works by the same author may be divided by form

  • Base 10 limits capacity for putting subjects at the same level to 9

Weaknesses of ddc1

Weaknesses of DDC

  • Different rates of growth have resulted in uneven structure -- Social sciences 300s, Natural sciences 500s and Technology 600s are all very crowded!

  • You can't put a new subject between numbers, say between 610 and 620, without it being a subclass of 610.

  • Even though the system can expand infinitely, those numbers get mighty long and awkward!

  • The occasional complete relocations and revisions, while necessary, are a pain

Quote of the week

Quote of the Week

  • “The smallest error at the subject analysis stage of classification can defeat the purpose of classification, because misclassed works are lost to readers. ... Thus, care and circumspection must be constant companions in subject analysis.”

  • [Chan et al. 1996]

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