The process of dividing objects or concepts into logically hierarchical class es, subclass es, and sub-subclasses based on the characteristic s they have in common and those that distinguish them. Also used as a shortened form of the term classification system or classification scheme. See also : cross-classification .
Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science
A list of class es arranged according to a set of pre-established principles for the purpose of organizing item s in a collection , or entries in an index , bibliography , or catalog , into groups based on their similarities and differences, to facilitate access and retrieval . In the United States, most library collection s are classified by subject . Classification systems can be enumerative or hierarchical , broad or close . In the United States, most public libraries use Dewey Decimal Classification , but academic and research libraries prefer Library of Congress Classification . See also : Classification Society of North America , Colon Classification , and notation .
A library classification is a system of coding and organizing library materials ( books , serials, audiovisual materials, computer files, maps , manuscripts , realia ) according to their subject. A classification consists of tables of subject headings and classification schedules used to assign a class number to each item being classified, based on that item's subject.
Until the 19th century , most libraries had closed stacks, so the library classification only served to organize the subject catalog . In the 20th century , libraries opened their stacks to the public and started to shelve the library material itself according to some library classification to simplify subject browsing.
The most common classification systems, LC and DDC, are essentially enumerative, though with some hierarchical and faceted elements, especially at the broadest and most general level. The first true faceted system was the Colon classification of S. R. Ranganathan .
The Library of Congress Classification (LCC) is a system of library classification developed by the Library of Congress .
The classification was originally developed by Herbert Putnam with the advice of Charles Ammi Cutter in 1897 before he assumed the librarianship of Congress. It was influenced by Cutter Expansive Classification , DDC [i.e. Dewey], and was designed for the use by the Library of Congress.
A system of classify ing book s and other library materials developed and maintained over the last 200 years by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. In LCC, human knowledge is divided into 20 broad categories indicated by single letter s of the roman alphabet , with major subdivision s indicated by a second letter, and narrower subdivisions by decimal number s and further alphabetic notation .
In the example given above (assigned to the book Juba to Jive: A Dictionary of African-American Slang , edited by Clarence Major), P represents the main class "Language and literature," PE the class "English language," 3727 the subclass "English slang," and N4 African Americans as a special group. M34 is the Cutter number for the editor 's surname and 1994 the year of publication .
The Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) is the world's foremost multilingual classification scheme for all fields of knowledge, a sophisticated indexing and retrieval tool. It was adapted by Paul Otlet (1) , (2) , (3) and Nobel Prizewinner Henri La Fontaine from the Decimal Classification of Melvil Dewey, and first published (in French) from 1904 to 1907. Since then, it has been extensively revised and developed, and has become a highly flexible and effective system for organizing bibliographic records for all kinds of information in any medium (it is well suited to multi-media information collections). [ Used mostly in Europe or anglophone countries outside North America ]
What is the UDC? See also UDC Flyer 2001(Word document)
Each book (or other item) has its own unique call number which is taped to the lower outside edge of the book's spine. The call number is also written or taped inside the book, usually on the reverse side (verso) of the title page.
A miniature subject formula
Books written about the same subject have similar call numbers, which groups them together on the shelf, making it easier for you to browse the library's holdings on a specific topic.
This part is made up of all numbers, ranging from 3 to 10 or more digits (depending on how narrowly focused the topic of the book).
This part begins with a letter that matches the first letter of the author's last name, followed by 2 or 3 numbers, and then usually another letter that matches the first letter of the first word of the title.
For the book by Jeffrey Pfeffer entitled The Human Equation: Building Profits by Putting People First :
The Dewey call number might be 658.314 P524h http://www.emu.edu/library/tutorials/Tutorial_dist/Mod1Bdewey.htm
The DDC attempts to organize all knowledge into ten main classes that, excluding the first class (000 Computers, information and general reference), proceed from the divine (philosophy & religion) to the mundane (history & geography). DDC's cleverness is in choosing decimals for its categories; this allows it to be both purely numerical and infinitely hierarchical.
Each of the above classes each have ten divisions . These divisions are further divided--and then further divided. Each division becomes more specific. The more numbers, the more specific the subject. In this way, the Dewey classification system progresses from the general to the specific. For a detailed summary for each number see the Dewey Decimal Classification System . The decimal place is used to make the number even more specific.
Among his other contributions to the wonderful world of librarianship, Charles Ammi Cutter devised a way to assign an alpha-numeric code for authors' last names. Use of this system allows all books within a particular Dewey Decimal number to be arranged alphabetically on the shelf, usually by title.
The Cutter system works as follows--a large book of tables consists of pages and pages of the following sort of thing. Catalogers try to assign distinct numbers for each name.
The Cutter Number from Dewey Decimal in the UIUC Bookstacks
The cutter number for a book usually consists of the first letter of the author's last name and a series of numbers. This series of numbers comes from a table that is designed to help maintain an alphabetical arrangement of names.
Conley, Ellen C767
Conley, Robert C768
Cook, Robin C77
Cook, Thomas C773
What if the library has several works by the same author? How do we keep the call number unique? To do that a work mark or work letter is used to distinguish the various works of a single author.
Saltwater Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico by James Ferguson
This book is about fishing, which is included as a part of the 700 class. In fact, the class subdivision 799 is designated as Fishing, Hunting, and Shooting. Within this class, there are more decimal subclasses that provide a very detailed Dewey description of this book. The Dewey number 799.166 describes the subject matter of the book.
Major Dewey Class 700 The Arts Dewey SubClass: 790 Recreational & Perf. Arts Dewey SubClass: 799 Fishing, Hunting, Shooting Subdivision 799.1 Fishing Subdivision 799.16 Saltwater Fishing Subdivision 799.166 Saltwater Fishing in Specific Bodies of Water
A standard subdivision represents a recurring physical form (such as a dictionary, periodical, or index) or approach (such as history or research) and thus is applicable to any subject or discipline that covers or approximates the whole of the meaning of the number.
Introduction to Dewey Decimal Classification , para. 8.3
For example, if the item being cataloged is a magazine, the Standard Subdivision –05 could be used with the notation for the subject to indicate this.
Or an agricultural dictionary can be indicated by using the correct notation for the subject from the schedules, and adding the notation –03 from Table 1 to indicate a dictionary.
Examples from http://www.lili.org/forlibs/ce/able/course7/34subdivisions.htm
Standard subdivisions may be listed in the schedules when the subdivisions have special meanings, when extended notation is required for the topic in question, or when notes are required. The rest of standard subdivisions from Table 1 may be used with their regular meanings.
The major use of Table 2 is with notation 09 from Table 1, where it can be added to every number in the schedule unless there are specific instructions to the contrary.
For example, reading instruction in the primary schools of Australia is 372.40994 (372.4 reading instruction in primary schools + 09 Historical, geographic, persons treatment from Table 1 + 94 Australia from Table 2).
Recommendation: Dewey, Melvil and J. S. Mitchell. Abridged Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index . 14th ed. Albany, NY: Forest Press, 2004.
For libraries with collections of 20,000 titles or fewer, the abridged edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system provides the level of detail needed to classify the materials in those collections.
Abridged WebDewey gives you access to an enhanced version of the Abridged 14 database.
Abridged WebDewey is available on an annual subscription basis, according to [ this table ]. You may start your subscription at any time of year. If your library has more than 20,000 items in its collection, you may want to consider WebDewey .
Let our tutorial show you how WebDewey works! Using WebDewey : An OCLC Tutorial