Cataloging and Classification/Dewey Decimal Classification

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The Dewey Decimal Classification system is named after Melvin Dewey, who created it in 1873. This system is widely used in public libraries, but in a few exceptions is also used in academic libraries.

Melvil Dewey 1891

Division fields

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Dewey Decimal serves to organize library materials by their general knowledge field. Every DDC number contains three digits, similar to a MARC tag, but rather than describing the item itself, the DDC number describes what the item is generally about. The first number of the DDC tag represents its broad general field--is it about religion or geography?--while the second and third numbers represent more specific topics.

Number Knowledge field
001-009 General knowledge
100-199 Philosophy and psychology
200-299 Religion
300-399 Social sciences
400-499 Languages
500-599 Science and mathematics
600-699 Technology
700-799 Arts and recreation
800-899 Literature
900-999 History and geography

Dewey classification resources

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