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Dewey in Sweden : some experiences from the first year of the Swedish Dewey project. Presentation at the International Dewey Users Meeting Gothenburg, Sweden, Friday, 13 August, 16:00-18:00 Magdalena Svanberg, National Library of Sweden Ingrid Berg, National Library of Sweden. Outline.

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dewey in sweden some experiences from the first year of the swedish dewey project

Dewey in Sweden : some experiences from the first year of the Swedish Dewey project

Presentation at the International Dewey Users MeetingGothenburg, Sweden, Friday, 13 August, 16:00-18:00

Magdalena Svanberg, National Library of Sweden

Ingrid Berg, National Library of Sweden

  • Background
  • The Swedish Dewey translation – the mixed model
  • Some general experiences in translating DDC
  • Mapping Svenska ämnesord (SAO) to DDC
  • The National Library of Sweden and about 30 other research plan to abandon the Swedish classification system and switch to DDC in 2011.
  • A switch is under discussion at most Swedish research libraries.
  • The consequences of a switch for the public libraries is under further investigation.
  • Interest among public libraries, but no formal decisions.
the swedish dewey project
The Swedish Dewey project


  • Translate DDC to Swedish using the mixed model
  • Map Swedish subject headings to DDC
  • Update and revise the existing conversion table SAB-DDC
  • Develop tools for joint search and navigation of material with SAB codes and material with DDC numbers
  • Train librarians.
  • Started May 2009
what is the mixed model
What is the mixed model?
  • Use DDC data in the vernacular as framework
  • Insert English-language classes from full edition to complete hierarchies where needed
  • In most cases, translate the tables (Tables 1-6) in full
  • Use standard terminology for instructions in the language of each record (e.g., “Klassificera här:” / “Class here”)
  • Provide separate indexes featuring the terminology available in each language
the swedish mixed translation
The Swedish mixed translation
  • Use level of specificity found in SAB as the guide for building the vernacular framework
  • Use the level in the English-language abridged edition in cases where no SAB equivalent
  • Translate all classes superordinate to a class
  • Speed the translation process up
  • Reduce costs
  • Difficult to translate all of DDC with little previous experience of DDC
  • Work in progress, possible to start using the Swedish translation while the work is still going on
  • Translations of classes deep down in the hierarchy would sometimes be of limited value.
    • Few works on the subject in Sweden.
    • No Swedish terminology

324.52 Nominating by caucuses and co-optation Nominering vid caucusmöten och kooptation

  • Sometimes difficult to decide a resonable level for the translation
  • No exhaustive index in Swedish
  • Classes in Swedish and English are equal, is that obvious?
deciding the level 1
Deciding the level (1)

Possible disadvantages in using SAB to decide the level:

  • Are there important classes in DDC that we will miss?
  • Are the weaknesses of SAB brought into the Swedish translation of DDC?
  • Some examples from section 616 with more than 50 hits in LIBRIS, the Swedish union catalogue, that will not be translated initially.
deciding the level 2
Deciding the level (2)
  • Will we spend time translating not so important classes that are mapped to the DDC for completeness?
  • Most mappings are made on the level of the least specific system, often SAB.
  • However, some mappings are made on a more specific level, to handle differences between the systems
deciding the level 3
Deciding the level (3)
  • Using the Abridged edition as a complement to SAB in deciding the seems to be a good method to balance the bias in SAB
deciding the level 4
Deciding the level (4)

The mappings in the conversion table results in these classes being translated into Swedish:

…with additions from the Abridged edition

306.8 Marriage and family

306.81 Marriage and marital status

306.82 Patterns in mate selection)

306.83 Types of kinship systems

306.84 Types of marriage and relationships

306.85 Family)

306.87 Intrafamily relationships

306.872 Husband-wife relationship

306.874 Parent-child relationship

306.875 Sibling relationships

306.877  Incest

306.88 Alteration of family arrangements

306.882   Widowers

306.883 Widows

306.89 Separation and divorce

no exhaustive index in swedish
No exhaustive index in Swedish
  • What will happen when an index term is leading to both classes in Swedish and classes in English? Risk of classification by attraction.

Swedish index entries

  • Pingst—musik 781.7293

English index entries:

  • Pentecost  263.94 
  • Pentecost—customs 394.266
  • Pentecost—devotional literature 242.38 
  • Pentecost—Jewish   296.438
  • Pentecost—Jewish—liturgy   296.4538
  • Pentecost—music   781.7293 
  • Pentecost—sermons   252.64 
no exhaustive index in swedish 2
No exhaustive index in Swedish (2)

Possible solutions:

  • Translate every instance of an index term that has been translated to Swedish for some classDrawback: takes a lot of resources (that we tried to save)
  • Automatic translations of the additional entries in the index, based on the translated entry for the term.
  • The mapping SAO-DDC will sometimes help. Pingsten 263.94 Merged index
  • Switching between Swedish and English is easy.
  • Needs to be carefully discussed
the equality of languages
The equality of languages
  • Classes in Swedish and classes in English are equal
  • The switch from Swedish to English has no implications and is not intended to function as an abridgment mark.
  • Will that be obvious to the users of the Swedish WebDewey?
  • Swedish librarians are used to SAB that is a far less specific system, and this might influence the choice of numbers
  • Are we in fact creating an abridgment of our own, something we wanted to avoid?
some general experiences in translating ddc
Some general experiences in translating DDC
  • Cultural and social differences
  • The language dependence in classification systems
studief rbund
  • Translation of Swedish Wikipedia article
cultural and social differences
Cultural and social differences
  • Take Anglo-american phenomena in a broad sense that includes similar Swedish phenomena? or
  • Put the Swedish phenomena in a more general class, keeping the class Anglo-american in scope?
is sgf a greek letter society
Is SGF a Greek-letter society?
  • SGF (Sundsvalls gymnasiiförbund) is a gymnasistförening, a high school fraternity

371.85 Greek-letter societies


371.83 Student organizations

Class here student clubs

is this a lily 2
Is this a lily? (2)

Wikipedia: No

  • Nymphaeaceae is a family of flowering plants. Members of this family are commonly called water lilies and live in freshwater areas in temperate and tropical climates around the world.
is this a lily 3
Is this a lily? (3)

English language and DDC: Yes

584.3 *Liliidae

Class here Liliales, lilies

See also 583.29 for water lilies.

Swedish language: No, maybe it is a rose?

Näckrosor - Rosor

583.734 *Rosa (Rosor)

Se även583.29 för näckrosor.

is he jumping 2
Is he jumping? (2)

Wikipedia: Yes

  • Today, athletes compete in the pole vault as one of the four jumping events in track and field. Because the high jump and pole vault are both vertical jumps, the competitions are conducted similarly.
is he jumping 3
Is he jumping ? (3)

English language and DDC: No

796.432 JumpingIncluding long jump (broad jump), triple jump (hop, step, and jump), high jump

For pole vaulting, see 796.434

Swedish language: Yes

Stavhopp - Hopp

the language dependence in classification systems
The language dependence in classification systems
  • “Since a see-reference has structural implications, it would not be beneficial to introduce additional ones on a per language basis” (EPC Exhibit 133-28)
  • Reasonable rule
  • Not always easy to separate out the references based on a specific language
    • Does the reference from lilies to water lilies in DDC have something to do with the lilies in water lilies?
    • Does the lacking reference from jumping to pole vaulting have something to do with the last element of the term being vaulting and not jumping?
mapping svenska mnesord sao to ddc
Mapping Svenska ämnesord (SAO) to DDC


  • serve as an entry vocabulary to DDC for cataloguers and end users
  • be one of the sources for the terminology in the Swedish translation of DDC
  • semantic interoperability between different vocabularies are important for retrieval and especially in the union catalogue LIBRIS after the switch from SAB to DDC.
  • used behind the scene in retrieval systems to improve subject retrieval
mapping svenska mnesord sao to ddc 2
Mapping Svenska ämnesord (SAO) to DDC (2)
  • Mapping the most important and most commonly used subject headings of the 40 000 headings in Svenska ämnesord to DDC.
  • Editiorial work
  • DDC numbers in the authority records of Svenska ämnesord065 $a Rda $2 kssb/8083 0 4 $a 794.1 $2 22150 $a Schack750 0 $a Chess794.1 Chess
mapping svenska mnesord sao to ddc 3
Mapping Svenska ämnesord (SAO) to DDC (3)
  • Many subject headings in SAO are mapped to Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH)
  • Many LCSH terms are mapped to DDC
  • All subject headings have notations from the Swedish classification system (SAB).
  • SAB is mapped to DDCMapping is done mainly in three ways
skos mapping properties
SKOS mapping properties
  • For coding of relationship between the subject heading and DDC when the relationship is not expressed in DDC.
  • ExactMatch/CloseMatch. An exact match between class number and subject headingNo coding
  • BroadMatch: The scope of the class is broader than the scope of the subject heading.Heavily used.
  • NarrowMatch: The scope of the class is narrower than the scope of the subject heading.Rarely used.
  • RelatedMatch. Other type of relation between class and subject heading.Never used so far
  • Terms in DDC found in:- captions- index- class here notes- including notesandsynonyms

083 $a 958.1045 $c BroadMatch $2 22

150 $a Afghanistankriget 1979-1989

  • $a Afghanistan $x History $y Soviet occupation, 1979-1989
  • 958.1045 Period of Democratic Republic, 1978-1992

083 $a 796.325 $c BroadMatch $2 22

150 $a Beachvolleyboll

  • $a Beach volleyball
  • 796.325 Volleyball
more than one number
More than one number
  • Information about the different DDC numbers when multiple numbers are added

083 $a 362.19888 $c Interdisciplinary works $2 22

083 $a 618.88 $c Medicine $2 22

083 $a 618.29 $c Nonsurgical methods—medicine $2 22

150 $a Aborter

750 $a Abortion

name authorities
Name authorities
  • Names (people, corporate bodies, titles) are also mapped to DDC
  • 083 $a 220.5397 $2 22130 $a Bibeln.$l Svenska $s Bibel 2000
  • 083 $a 839.7374 $2 22 100 $a Mankell, Henning, $d 1948-
  • 083 $a 782.421660922 $2 22 110 $a Abba (musikgrupp)Useful tool: WorldCat Identities
experiences from the mapping sao ddc
Experiences from the mapping SAO-DDC
  • Not as easy as expected
  • Limited experience of DDC
  • Easier to map between different subject headings systems than between subject headings and classification
useful tools
Useful tools
  • Classification Web
  • Classify
  • BIBI emner
  • British Library Integrated Catalogue etc.
  • People, places and things for the choice of subject headings to map.
All controlled access points – persons, corporate bodies, subject headings, classification – are important for subject access
  • Do we have the information retrieval tools that can handle mappings efficiently?
but what about the reindeer
But what about the reindeer?
  • Visit poster 114 Bring out the reindeer – Swedish classification goes glocal
  • Listen to our presentation at Speaker’s corner, Swedish Library ArenaSaturday, 14 August, 11:00
thank you

Thank you!

Magdalena Svanberg

Ingrid Berg

National Library of Sweden

Telephone: +46 8 463 44 45, +46 8 463 42 10