I have made this presentation for my students of MS in Library and Information Science at DRTC, Indian Statistical Institute, Bangalore
Text of Dewey decimal classification
Dewey Decimal Classification(DDC)
Class on “Classification Practice”
DRTCIndian Statistical Institute
DDC (General Information)
• World’s most widely used library classification system• More then 135 countries use DDC• DDC numbers are featured in the national bibliographies of more then 60
countries• DDC has been translated into over 30 languages
– E.g. Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek• DDC is maintained in a national bibliographic agency, Library of Congress• DDC’s basic classes are organized by disciplines or fields of study• A subject may appear in more than one class
DDC (Background)• Melville Dewey devised the system in 1873 while he was a student
at Amherst College in Massachusetts• First published in 1876. • as “A Classification and Subject Index for Cataloguing and Arranging
the Books and Pamphlets of a Library”.• It appeared in the form of a small book of 44 pages. • The Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee (EPC) was
established in 1937. • In 1988, Online Computer Library Centre (OCLC) acquired the DDC. • The editorial headquarters was located at the Library of Congress in
the Decimal Classification Division. • DDC is published by Online Computer Library Centre, in full and
abridged editions. The abridged edition targets the general libraries having less than
20,000 titles.• Both the full and abridged editions are available in print as well as
in electronic version.
• Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey • Dewey was born in Adams Centre,
New York• Born in 10 December, 1851• His intense interest in simplified
spelling caused him to once change his name Melvil Dui
• Established the American Library Association in 1876
• Co-founded and edited Library Journal
• Died 26 December, 1931 at age 80
The caveman’s Guide to the DDC
• DDC groups books by topic by dividing them into 10 basic categories, and each of those categorises is further split into 10 categories, and so on
• It has been explained that he devised the system by imagining himself as a prehistoric or primitive man or a caveman and asked himself question he believed such a man would ask
Before I Begin
• Information I need to know before I begin
– These are books which contain information on many subjects
• Such as encyclopaedias and other reference books
100(Philosophy)Who am I ?
• Man thinks about himself
Who made me ?
• Man thinks about his Creator
Who is the man/woman in the next cave ?
• Man thinks about other people
How can I make that man/woman Understand me ?
• Man learns to communicate with others through words and sign
How can I understand nature and the world around me ?
• Man learn to understand the nature of air, land, and sea
How can I use what I know about nature ?
• Primitive man learn about fire and how to make weapons; over time, he also learn about the wheel, medicine, planting crops, cooking food, building useful structures, and how to make things to ease our burdens
700(Fine Arts and Recreation)
How can I enjoy my leisure time ?
• As time passes, man learns about painting pictures, creating music, as well as dancing to music, playing games, sports, and hunting
How can I give my children a record of man’s heroic does ?
• Man become a storyteller; he creates sagas, fables, epics, poems, plays about relatives, friends and characters; he writes for others to read, learn and enjoy
900(History, Geography and Biography)
How can I leave a record for people of the future ?
• Man writes about what happened, where it happened, and who made it happen
Understanding the Structure of DDC
• DDC system uses simple decimal notation to divide recorded knowledge into 10 main classes at the broadest level– which together cover the entire world of knowledge
• Each main class is further divided into 10 divisions
• Each division into 10 sections – giving 100 divisions and 1000 sections
• All the numbers for the divisions and sections have not been used
Tables• T1 Standard Subdivisions• T2 Geographic Areas, Historical Periods, Persons• T3 Subdivisions for the Arts, for Individual Literatures, for
Specific Literary Forms• T4 Subdivisions of Individual Languages and Language
Families• T5 Ethnic and National Groups• T6 Languages
(The notation from T1can be added to any numbers unless there is an instruction in the schedules or tables to the contrary. The other table notations may be added only when instructions are given in the schedules or tables)
Introduction to 22nd Edition of DDC• DDC 22 is composed of the following major parts in four
volumes.– Volume 1: It includes special features of edition 22, introduction
regarding how to use the DDC, glossary, index to the introduction and glossary, a manual (guide to the use of the DDC), and six numbered tables. It also has the lists that compare editions 21 and 22 with the list of relocated, discontinued and reused numbers
– Volume 2: It includes DDC summaries (the top three levels of the DDC), and schedules (from 000-599). The summaries will help you to visualize at a glance the structure and scope of various subjects as laid down in DDC.
– Volume 3: It includes the organization of knowledge schedules from 600-999
– Volume 4: It includes a relative index. The relative index (it relates subjects to discipline) contains an alphabetical list of subjects with the disciplines in which they are treated as sub-arranged alphabetically under each entry