Dewey Decimal Classification

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"Dewey Decimal" redirects here. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_0

It is not to be confused with Duodecimal. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_1

The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), colloquially the Dewey Decimal System, is a proprietary library classification system first published in the United States by Melvil Dewey in 1876. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_2

Originally described in a four-page pamphlet, it has been expanded to multiple volumes and revised through 23 major editions, the latest printed in 2011. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_3

It is also available in an abridged version suitable for smaller libraries. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_4

OCLC, a non-profit cooperative that serves libraries, currently maintains the system and licenses online access to WebDewey, a continuously updated version for catalogers. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_5

The Decimal Classification introduced the concepts of relative location and relative index which allow new books to be added to a library in their appropriate location based on subject. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_6

Libraries previously had given books permanent shelf locations that were related to the order of acquisition rather than topic. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_7

The classification's notation makes use of three-digit numbers for main classes, with fractional decimals allowing expansion for further detail. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_8

Numbers are flexible to the degree that they can be expanded in linear fashion to cover special aspects of general subjects. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_9

A library assigns a classification number that unambiguously locates a particular volume in a position relative to other books in the library, on the basis of its subject. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_10

The number makes it possible to find any book and to return it to its proper place on the library shelves. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_11

The classification system is used in 200,000 libraries in at least 135 countries. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_12

History Dewey Decimal Classification_section_0

1873–1885: early development Dewey Decimal Classification_section_1

Melvil Dewey (1851–1931) was an American librarian and self-declared reformer. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_13

He was a founding member of the American Library Association and can be credited with the promotion of card systems in libraries and business. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_14

He developed the ideas for his library classification system in 1873 while working at Amherst College library. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_15

He applied the classification to the books in that library, until in 1876 he had a first version of the classification. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_16

In 1876, he published the classification in pamphlet form with the title A Classification and Subject Index for Cataloguing and Arranging the Books and Pamphlets of a Library. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_17

He used the pamphlet, published in more than one version during the year, to solicit comments from other librarians. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_18

It is not known who received copies or how many commented as only one copy with comments has survived, that of Ernest Cushing Richardson. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_19

His classification system was mentioned in an article in the first issue of the Library Journal and in an article by Dewey in the Department of Education publication "Public Libraries in America" in 1876. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_20

In March 1876, he applied for, and received copyright on the first edition of the index. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_21

The edition was 44 pages in length, with 2,000 index entries, and was printed in 200 copies. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_22

1885–1942: period of adoption Dewey Decimal Classification_section_2

The second edition of the Dewey Decimal system, published in 1885 with the title Decimal Classification and Relativ Index for arranging, cataloging, and indexing public and private libraries and for pamflets, clippings, notes, scrap books, index rerums, etc., comprised 314 pages, with 10,000 index entries. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_23

Five hundred copies were produced. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_24

Editions 3–14, published between 1888 and 1942, used a variant of this same title. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_25

Dewey modified and expanded his system considerably for the second edition. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_26

In an introduction to that edition Dewey states that "nearly 100 persons hav [spelling of 'have' per English-language spelling reform, which Dewey championed] contributed criticisms and suggestions". Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_27

One of the innovations of the Dewey Decimal system was that of positioning books on the shelves in relation to other books on similar topics. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_28

When the system was first introduced, most libraries in the US used fixed positioning: each book was assigned a permanent shelf position based on the book's height and date of acquisition. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_29

Library stacks were generally closed to all but the most privileged patrons, so shelf browsing was not considered of importance. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_30

The use of the Dewey Decimal system increased during the early 20th century as librarians were convinced of the advantages of relative positioning and of open shelf access for patrons. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_31

New editions were readied as supplies of previously published editions were exhausted, even though some editions provided little change from the previous, as they were primarily needed to fulfill demand. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_32

In the next decade, three editions followed closely on: the 3rd (1888), 4th (1891), and 5th (1894). Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_33

Editions 6 through 11 were published from 1899 to 1922. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_34

The 6th edition was published in a record 7,600 copies, although subsequent editions were much lower. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_35

During this time, the size of the volume grew, and edition 12 swelled to 1243 pages, an increase of 25% over the previous edition. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_36

In response to the needs of smaller libraries which were finding the expanded classification schedules difficult to use, in 1894, the first abridged edition of the Dewey Decimal system was produced. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_37

The abridged edition generally parallels the full edition, and has been developed for most full editions since that date. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_38

By popular request, in 1930, the Library of Congress began to print Dewey Classification numbers on nearly all of its cards, thus making the system immediately available to all libraries making use of the Library of Congress card sets. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_39

Dewey's was not the only library classification available, although it was the most complete. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_40

Charles Ammi Cutter published the Expansive Classification in 1882, with initial encouragement from Melvil Dewey. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_41

Cutter's system was not adopted by many libraries, with one major exception: it was used as the basis for the Library of Congress Classification system. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_42

In 1895, the International Institute of Bibliography, located in Belgium and led by Paul Otlet, contacted Dewey about the possibility of translating the classification into French, and using the classification system for bibliographies (as opposed to its use for books in libraries). Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_43

This would have required some changes to the classification, which was under copyright. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_44

Dewey gave permission for the creation of a version intended for bibliographies, and also for its translation into French. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_45

Dewey did not agree, however, to allow the International Institute of Bibliography to later create an English version of the resulting classification, considering that a violation of their agreement, as well as a violation of Dewey's copyright. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_46

Shortly after Dewey's death in 1931, however, an agreement was reached between the committee overseeing the development of the Decimal Classification and the developers of the French Classification Decimal. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_47

The English version was published as the Universal Decimal Classification and is still in use today. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_48

According to a study done in 1927, the Dewey system was used in the US in approximately 96% of responding public libraries and 89% of the college libraries. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_49

After the death of Melvil Dewey in 1931, administration of the classification was under the Decimal Classification Committee of the Lake Placid Club Education Foundation, and the editorial body was the Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee with participation of the American Library Association (ALA), Library of Congress, and Forest Press. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_50

By the 14th edition in 1942, the Dewey Decimal Classification index was over 1,900 pages in length and was published in two volumes. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_51

1942–present: forging an identity Dewey Decimal Classification_section_3

The growth of the classification to date had led to significant criticism from medium and large libraries which were too large to use the abridged edition but found the full classification overwhelming. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_52

Dewey had intended issuing the classification in three editions: the library edition, which would be the fullest edition; the bibliographic edition, in English and French, which was to be used for the organization of bibliographies rather than of books on the shelf; and the abridged edition. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_53

In 1933, the bibliographic edition became the Universal Decimal Classification, which left the library and abridged versions as the formal Dewey Decimal Classification editions. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_54

The 15th edition, edited by Milton Ferguson, implemented the growing concept of the "standard edition", designed for the majority of general libraries but not attempting to satisfy the needs of the very largest or of special libraries. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_55

It also reduced the size of the Dewey system by over half, from 1,900 to 700 pages. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_56

This revision was so radical that an advisory committee was formed right away for the 16th and 17th editions. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_57

The 16th and 17th editions, under the editorship of the Library of Congress, grew again to two volumes. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_58

However, by now, the Dewey Decimal system had established itself as a classification for general libraries, with the Library of Congress Classification having gained acceptance for large research libraries. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_59

The first electronic version of "Dewey" was created in 1993. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_60

Hard-copy editions continue to be issued at intervals; the online WebDewey and Abridged WebDewey are updated quarterly. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_61

Administration and publication Dewey Decimal Classification_section_4

Dewey and a small editorial staff managed the administration of the very early editions. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_62

Beginning in 1922, the Lake Placid Club Educational Foundation, a not-for-profit organization founded by Melvil Dewey, managed administrative affairs. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_63

The ALA set up a Special Advisory Committee on the Decimal Classification as part of the Cataloging and Classification division of ALA in 1952. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_64

The previous Decimal Classification Committee was changed to the Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee, with participation of the ALA Division of Cataloging and Classification, and of the Library of Congress. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_65

Melvil Dewey edited the first three editions of the classification system and oversaw the revisions of all editions until his death in 1931. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_66

May Seymour became editor in 1891 and served until her death in 1921. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_67

She was followed by Dorcas Fellows, who was editor until her death in 1938. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_68

Constantin J. Mazney edited the 14th edition. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_69

Milton Ferguson functioned as editor from 1949 to 1951. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_70

The 16th edition in 1958 was edited under an agreement between the Library of Congress and Forest Press, with David Haykin as director. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_71

Editions 16–19 were edited by Benjamin A. Custer and the editor of edition 20 was John P. Comaromi. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_72

Joan Mitchell was editor until 2013, covering editions 21 to 23. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_73

In 2013 Michael Panzer of OCLC became Editor-in-Chief. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_74

The Dewey Editorial Program Manager since 2016 has been Dr. Rebecca Green. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_75

Dewey himself held copyright in editions 1 to 6 (1876–1919). Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_76

Copyright in editions 7–10 was held by the publisher, The Library Bureau. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_77

On the death of May Seymour, Dewey conveyed the "copyrights and control of all editions" to the Lake Placid Club Educational Foundation, a non-profit chartered in 1922. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_78

The Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) of Dublin, Ohio, US, acquired the trademark and copyrights associated with the Dewey Decimal Classification system when it bought Forest Press in 1988. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_79

In 2003 the Dewey Decimal Classification came to the attention of the U.S. press when OCLC sued the Library Hotel for trademark infringement for using the classification system as the hotel theme. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_80

The case was settled shortly thereafter. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_81

The OCLC has maintained the classification since 1988, and also publishes new editions of the system. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_82

The editorial staff responsible for updates is based partly at the Library of Congress and partly at OCLC. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_83

Their work is reviewed by the Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee, a ten-member international board which meets twice each year. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_84

The four-volume unabridged edition was published approximately every six years, with the last edition (DDC 23) published in mid-2011. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_85

In 2017 the editorial staff announced that the English edition of DDC will no longer be printed, in favor of using the frequently updated WebDewey. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_86

An experimental version of Dewey in RDF was previously available at dewey.info beginning in 2009, but has not been available since 2015. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_87

In addition to the full version, a single-volume abridged edition designed for libraries with 20,000 titles or fewer has been made available since 1895. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_88

The last printed English abridged edition, Abridged Edition 15, was published in early 2012. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_89

Dewey Decimal Classification_table_general_0

Full editionDewey Decimal Classification_header_cell_0_0_0 Publication yearDewey Decimal Classification_header_cell_0_0_1 Abridged editionDewey Decimal Classification_header_cell_0_0_2 Publication yearDewey Decimal Classification_header_cell_0_0_3
1stDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_1_0 1876Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_1_1 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_1_2 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_1_3
2ndDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_2_0 1885Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_2_1 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_2_2 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_2_3
3rdDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_3_0 1888Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_3_1 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_3_2 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_3_3
4thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_4_0 1891Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_4_1 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_4_2 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_4_3
5thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_5_0 1894Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_5_1 1stDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_5_2 1895Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_5_3
6thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_6_0 1899Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_6_1 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_6_2 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_6_3
7thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_7_0 1911Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_7_1 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_7_2 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_7_3
8thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_8_0 1913Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_8_1 2ndDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_8_2 1915Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_8_3
9thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_9_0 1915Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_9_1 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_9_2 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_9_3
10thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_10_0 1919Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_10_1 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_10_2 Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_10_3
11thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_11_0 1922Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_11_1 3rdDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_11_2 1926Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_11_3
12thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_12_0 1927Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_12_1 4thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_12_2 1929Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_12_3
13thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_13_0 1932Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_13_1 5thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_13_2 1936Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_13_3
14thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_14_0 1942Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_14_1 6thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_14_2 1945Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_14_3
15thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_15_0 1951Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_15_1 7thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_15_2 1953Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_15_3
16thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_16_0 1958Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_16_1 8thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_16_2 1959Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_16_3
17thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_17_0 1965Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_17_1 9thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_17_2 1965Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_17_3
18thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_18_0 1971Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_18_1 10thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_18_2 1971Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_18_3
19thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_19_0 1979Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_19_1 11thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_19_2 1979Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_19_3
20thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_20_0 1989Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_20_1 12thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_20_2 1990Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_20_3
21stDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_21_0 1996Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_21_1 13thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_21_2 1997Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_21_3
22ndDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_22_0 2003Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_22_1 14thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_22_2 2004Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_22_3
23rdDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_23_0 2011Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_23_1 15thDewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_23_2 2012Dewey Decimal Classification_cell_0_23_3

Design Dewey Decimal Classification_section_5

The Dewey Decimal Classification organizes library materials by discipline or field of study. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_90

Main divisions include philosophy, social sciences, science, technology, and history. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_91

The scheme comprises ten classes, each divided into ten divisions, each having ten sections. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_92

The system's notation uses Indo-Arabic numbers, with three whole numbers making up the main classes and sub-classes and decimals designating further divisions. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_93

The classification structure is hierarchical and the notation follows the same hierarchy. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_94

Libraries not needing the full level of detail of the classification can trim right-most decimal digits from the class number to obtain more general classifications. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_95

For example: Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_96

Dewey Decimal Classification_description_list_0

  • 500 Natural sciences and mathematicsDewey Decimal Classification_item_0_0
    • 510 MathematicsDewey Decimal Classification_item_0_1
      • 516 GeometryDewey Decimal Classification_item_0_2
        • 516.3 Analytic geometriesDewey Decimal Classification_item_0_3
          • 516.37 Metric differential geometriesDewey Decimal Classification_item_0_4
            • 516.375 Finsler geometryDewey Decimal Classification_item_0_5

The classification was originally enumerative, meaning that it listed all of the classes explicitly in the schedules. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_97

Over time it added some aspects of a faceted classification scheme, allowing classifiers to construct a number by combining a class number for a topic with an entry from a separate table. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_98

Tables cover commonly used elements such as geographical and temporal aspects, language, and bibliographic forms. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_99

For example, a class number could be constructed using 330 for economics + .9 for geographic treatment + .04 for Europe to create the class 330.94 European economy. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_100

Or one could combine the class 973 (for the United States) + .05 (for periodical publications on the topic) to arrive at the number 973.05 for periodicals concerning the United States generally. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_101

The classification also makes use of mnemonics in some areas, such that the number 5 represents the country Italy in classification numbers like 945 (history of Italy), 450 (Italian language), 195 (Italian philosophy). Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_102

The combination of faceting and mnemonics makes the classification synthetic in nature, with meaning built into parts of the classification number. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_103

The Dewey Decimal Classification has a number for all subjects, including fiction, although many libraries maintain a separate fiction section shelved by alphabetical order of the author's surname. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_104

Each assigned number consists of two parts: a class number (from the Dewey system) and a book number, which "prevents confusion of different books on the same subject". Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_105

A common form of the book number is called a Cutter number, which represents the author and distinguishes the book from other books on the same topic. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_106

Classes Dewey Decimal Classification_section_6

Main article: List of Dewey Decimal classes Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_107

(From DDC 23) Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_108

Dewey Decimal Classification_unordered_list_1

  • 000 – Computer science, information & general worksDewey Decimal Classification_item_1_6
  • 100 – Philosophy & psychologyDewey Decimal Classification_item_1_7
  • 200 – ReligionDewey Decimal Classification_item_1_8
  • 300 – Social sciencesDewey Decimal Classification_item_1_9
  • 400 – LanguageDewey Decimal Classification_item_1_10
  • 500 – Pure ScienceDewey Decimal Classification_item_1_11
  • 600 – TechnologyDewey Decimal Classification_item_1_12
  • 700 – Arts & recreationDewey Decimal Classification_item_1_13
  • 800 – LiteratureDewey Decimal Classification_item_1_14
  • 900 – History & geographyDewey Decimal Classification_item_1_15

Tables Dewey Decimal Classification_section_7

(From DDC 23) Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_109

Dewey Decimal Classification_unordered_list_2

  • T1 Standard SubdivisionsDewey Decimal Classification_item_2_16
  • T2 Geographic Areas, Historical Periods, BiographyDewey Decimal Classification_item_2_17
  • T3 Subdivisions for the Arts, for Individual Literatures, for Specific Literary FormsDewey Decimal Classification_item_2_18
    • T3A Subdivisions for Works by or about Individual AuthorsDewey Decimal Classification_item_2_19
    • T3B Subdivisions for Works by or about More than One AuthorDewey Decimal Classification_item_2_20
    • T3C Notation to Be Added Where Instructed in Table 3B, 700.4, 791.4, 808–809Dewey Decimal Classification_item_2_21
  • T4 Subdivisions of Individual Languages and Language FamiliesDewey Decimal Classification_item_2_22
  • T5 Ethnic and National GroupsDewey Decimal Classification_item_2_23
  • T6 LanguagesDewey Decimal Classification_item_2_24

Relative Index Dewey Decimal Classification_section_8

The Relative Index (or, as Dewey spelled it, "Relativ Index") is an alphabetical index to the classification, for use both by classifiers and by library users when seeking books by topic. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_110

The index was "relative" because the index entries pointed to the class numbers, not to the page numbers of the printed classification schedule. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_111

In this way, the Dewey Decimal Classification itself had the same relative positioning as the library shelf and could be used either as an entry point to the classification, by catalogers, or as an index to a Dewey-classed library itself. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_112

Influence and criticism Dewey Decimal Classification_section_9

Dewey Decimal Classification numbers formed the basis of the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC), which combines the basic Dewey numbers with selected punctuation marks (comma, colon, parentheses, etc.). Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_113

Adaptations of the system for specific regions outside the English-speaking world include the Korean Decimal Classification, the New Classification Scheme for Chinese Libraries, and the Nippon Decimal Classification (Japanese). Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_114

Despite its widespread usage, the classification has been criticized for its complexity and limited capability for amendment. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_115

In particular, the arrangement of subheadings has been described as archaic and biased towards an Anglo-American world view. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_116

In 2007–08, the Maricopa County Library District in Arizona abandoned the DDC in favor of the Book Industry Standards and Communications (BISAC) system commonly used by commercial bookstores, in an effort to make their libraries more accessible for patrons. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_117

Several other libraries across the United States and other countries (including Canada and the Netherlands) followed suit. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_118

The DDC has also been criticized for being a proprietary system licensed by a single entity (OCLC), making it expensive to adopt. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_119

However, book classification critic Justin Newlan stands by the Dewey Decimal System, stating that newer and more advanced book classification systems "are too confusing to understand for newcomers". Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_120

Treatment of homosexuality Dewey Decimal Classification_section_10

In 1932, topics relating to homosexuality were first added to the system under 132 (mental derangements) and 159.9 (abnormal psychology). Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_121

In 1952, homosexuality was also included under 301.424 (the study of sexes in society). Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_122

In 1989, it was added to 363.49 (social problems), a classification that continues in the current edition. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_123

In 1996, homosexuality was added to 306.7 (sexual relations); this remains the preferred location in the current edition. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_124

Although books can also be found under 616.8583 (sexual practices viewed as medical disorders), the official direction states: Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_125

Treatment of religion Dewey Decimal Classification_section_11

The top-level class for religion heavily favors Christianity, dedicating nearly all of the 200 division to it: the world's thousands of other religions were listed under the 290s. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_126

For example, Islam is under just DDC 297, despite being almost as large as Christianity by population. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_127

The entire 200 section has remained largely unchanged since DDC 1, since restructuring would pose significant work to existing libraries. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_128

The motivation for this change is ideological rather than technical, as appending significant figures can add space as needed. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_129

Treatment of women Dewey Decimal Classification_section_12

The placement of topics related to women have shown implicit bias as well, but have proven simpler to amend than the religion schema. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_130

Some changes made so far have been in numerical proximity, altering the placement of topics relative to each other. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_131

For example: in previous DDC versions, some categories regarding women were adjacent to categories on etiquette; the placement of these categories next to each other imposes an association of etiquette with women, rather than being gender neutral. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_132

This was changed in DDC version 17. Dewey Decimal Classification_sentence_133

See also Dewey Decimal Classification_section_13

Dewey Decimal Classification_unordered_list_3


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dewey Decimal Classification.