Dewey Decimal Classification
OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. Dublin, Ohio 2003
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The three summariesare reprinted from Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index, Edition 22 (DDC 22).
A Brief Introduction to the Dewey Decimal Classification
History and Current Use The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system is a general knowledge organization tool that is continuously revised to keep pace with knowledge. The system was conceived by Melvil Dewey in 1873 and first published in 1876. TheDDC is published by OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. OCLC owns all copyright rights in the Dewey Decimal Classification, and licenses the system for a variety of uses. The DDC is the most widely used classification system in the world. Libraries in more than 135 countries use the DDC to organize and provide access to their collections, and DDC numbers are featured in the nationalbibliographies of more than 60 countries. Libraries of every type apply Dewey numbers on a daily basis and share these numbers through a variety of means (including WorldCat, the OCLC Online Union Catalog). Dewey is also used for other purposes, e.g., as a browsing mechanism for resources on the web. The DDC has been translated into over thirty languages. Translations of the latest full and abridgededitions of the DDC are completed, planned, or underway in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Icelandic, Italian, Korean, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Development One of Dewey’s great strengths is that the system is developed and maintained in a national bibliographic agency, the Library of Congress. The Dewey editorial office is located in the Decimal ClassificationDivision of the Library of Congress, where classification specialists annually assign over 110,000 DDC numbers to records for works cataloged by the Library. Having the editorial office within the Decimal Classification Division enables the editors to detect trends in the literature that must be incorporated into the Classification. The editors prepare proposed schedule revisions and expansions, andforward the proposals to the Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee (EPC) for review and recommended action. EPC is a ten-member international board whose main function is to advise the editors and OCLC on matters relating to changes, innovations, and the general development of the Classification. EPC represents the interests of DDC users; its members come from national, public, special,and academic libraries, and from library schools. Editions The DDC is published in full and abridged editions in print and electronic versions. The abridged edition is a logical truncation of the notational and structural hierarchy of the corresponding full edition on which it is based, and is intended for general collections of 20,000 titles or less. WebDewey and Abridged WebDewey, the electronicversions of the full and abridged editions, respectively, are updated frequently and contain additional index entries and mapped vocabulary. The electronic versions and supplemental web postings are the chief sources of ongoing updates to the DDC. On the Dewey web site (www.oclc.org/dewey), selected new
Brief Introduction to the DDC numbers and changes to the DDC are posted monthly, and...