Library Classification Systems: The Dewey Decimal System vs. The Library of Congress System Melvil Dewey Library of Congress
The Dewey Decimal System (Used at NTUT) • Melvil Dewey invented the system in 1876. • Before that, libraries often didn’t have a subject-based classification system. Instead books were often shelved based on their height and when they were bought by the library. • Dewey divided books into ten major subject categories and many smaller sub-categories.
Dewey Decimal System Do you know your Dewey Decimal System? What types of works does each set of numbers contain? 000 100 200 300 400 500 600 700 800 900
Dewey Decimal System Generally, the categories are as follows: • 000 – General works, Computer science and Information • 100 – Philosophy and psychology • 200 – Religion • 300 – Social sciences • 400 – Language • 500 – Science • 600 – Technology • 700 – Arts & recreation • 800 – Literature • 900 – History & geography But things can also get pretty specific: 370 Education 371 School management; special education 372 Elementary education 373 Secondary education 374 Adult education 375 Curriculums 376 Education of women 377 Schools & religion 378 Higher education 379 Government regulation, control, support 380 Commerce, communications, transport 381 Internal commerce (Domestic trade) 382 International commerce (Foreign trade) 383 Postal communication 384 Communications Telecommunication 385 Railroad transportation 386 Inland waterway & ferry transportation 387 Water, air, space transportation 388 Transportation Ground transportation 389 Metrology & standardization 390 Customs, etiquette, folklore 391 Costume & personal appearance 392 Customs of life cycle & domestic life 393 Death customs 394 General customs 395 Etiquette (Manners) 398 Folklore 399 Customs of war & diplomacy
Dewey Decimal System Making sense of a call number Here is a sample of a book title and Dewey decimal call number. Note how, as we analyze the call number, each line leads to more specific information about the book's topic: Existential America by George Cotkin 142. 780973 C 826 e What can we tell from this call number? 100 = Philosophy & psychology 140 = Specific philosophical schools 142 = Critical philosophy 142. 7 = Phenomenology 142. 78 = Existentialism 142. 780973= About Existentialism in America (0973 at the end means history and description about America) The second line in the call number is called the Cutter number, which indicates the author of a book (or the title if there is no author). The Cutter Number is taken from a table matching names to a set of numbers: Cotkin=C 826. If the author has several works in a subject area, you will see a work mark at the end of the Cutter Number. The work mark is usually the first letter or letters of the first distinctive word in the title. Existential= C 826 e Since the libraries often have a large collection, there may be some additional information after the Cutter Number line. Some examples include: 813 Sa 33 c 1994 (1994 is the year of the edition) and Q 503 G 131 2004 v. 3 (Q means that the book is oversized [quarto]). Oversized books may be organized together or they may be integrated into the rest of the collection. This depends on the library. V. 3 is the volume number. From "How to Read a Call Number. ” University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 27 July 2012. Web. 27 Sept. 2013.
Dewey Decimal System: Literature 810 811 812 813 814 815 816 817 818 American literature in English Poetry Drama Fiction Essays Speeches Letters Satire & humor Miscellaneous writings 820 821 822 823 824 825 826 827 828 829 English & Old English literatures English poetry English drama English fiction English essays English speeches English letters English satire & humor English miscellaneous writings Old English (Anglo-Saxon) If you know what the numbers ought to be, sometimes you can just go to the shelf directly without looking up your subject in a catalog. However, the neat 817/827 satire correlation here does not continue: 837 is German American Literature (not satire), 847 is French Canadian Literature, 857 is Sardinian Literature, 867 is Catalan, and 1897 is literature in North and South American native languages. Literature in East Asian AND African Languages are grouped together in 895– 96.
The Dewey Decimal System: Advantages and Disadvantages Advantages of the Dewey Decimal Disadvantages of the Dewey System Decimal System • • It’s easy to learn the general categories, and then you can go directly to the shelf that interests you. It’s a number-based system, which can be used in any language. • • There are only ten major categories. Some books can be categorized in more than one subject area, so things get confusing. The numbers can get really long, to the point that it is difficult, not only for library patrons, but even for library employees to shelve the works correctly The system was invented by an American in the nineteenth century. It is both Americancentric and limited by its time (though it has been updated).
Library of Congress Classification (Used at NTU) A -- General Works M -- Music B -- Philosophy, psychology, and religion N -- Fine arts C -- History: Auxiliary Sciences D -- History: General and Old World E -- History: America and U. S. , general F -- History: America and U. S. , local G -- Geography, anthropology, folklore, etc. P -- Philology, linguistics, language, and literature Q -- Science R -- Medicine S -- Agriculture H -- Social sciences, economics, business, sociology T -- Technology J -- Political Sciences U -- Military Science K -- Law V -- Naval science L -- Education Z -- Bibliography and library science I, O, X, and Y are not used
LC P call numbers (a selection) P—Philology, linguistics, language, and literature PA—Philosophy PC—Romance Languages PD—Germanic Languages PE—English Languages PG 2900– 3698—Russian Languages and Lit PL 901– 998—Korean Language and Lit PL 1001– 1960—Chinese Language PL 2250– 3208—Chinese Literature PN—Literature: General PR—English Literature PS—American Literature PZ—Fiction and Juvenile Literature
How the LC system works The three main parts are organized in this way: a letter or letters (KF 801. C 65) 1. A single letter represents a broad, general subject. For Example: K = Law; Multiple letters mean a narrower subject within it. For Example: KF = US federal law. This part of the call number is arranged alphabetically on the shelves, so J would come before K which would come before KF 2. A number (KF 801. C 65) This middle part further defines the subject. For Example: In the subject area of law, it designates a type of material. 801 = general/comprehensive works. To determine the arrangement of the call number on the shelves, read these numbers the way you would count: 30 comes before 300 which comes before 3000. 3. A Cutter numbers (KF 801 . C 65) Named after a cataloguer, this number represents the beginning letter of a person's (author, editor, etc. ) last name with a number that interpolates it between other names beginning with the same letter For Example: Calamari, John D. =. C 26 Corbin, Arthur L. =. C 65 From "Library Organization and Classification Systems. " Learn: Insider's Guide to the Library. University of Illinois at Urbana. Champaign, 9 July 2013. Web. 27 Sept. 2013.
What do you have to remember? When looking for a Dewey decimal number, long numbers are classified by their beginning, not the entire number: If you have the number 142. 78 C 18 z, that will be shelved before 142. 7894579 B 43 a and both will be before 142. 8 A 18 a. So 810. 7 does NOT come before 810. 63. The first number after the decimal point always takes precedence. (If the NTUT books are occasionally not shelved like that, some confused person put them in incorrectly. ) When looking for an LC number, it is the opposite: P 105 comes before PN 30 which comes before PR 60 which comes before PR 185 which comes before PR 1740.