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5.1.7: Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC)

  • Page ID
    • Walter D. Butler; Aloha Sargent; and Kelsey Smith
    • Pasadena City College, Cabrillo College, and West Hills Community College
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    The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) was created by Melvil Dewey in 1873 and is still used by libraries today to organize their collections. The DDC strives to assign all the knowledge in the world to 10 different topical areas organized by number so that each range of numbers (starting with 000–099) is assigned a broad topic area. Below is an outline of these topics.

    Dewey Decimal Classification System: Topics

    000–099: Computer Science, Information and General Works

    100–199: Philosophy and Psychology

    200–299: Religion

    300–399: Social Sciences

    400–499: Languages

    500–599: Science

    600–699: Technology

    700–799: Arts & Recreation

    800–899: Literature

    900–999: History & Geography

    These 10 broad topics are then subdivided into 10 more specific topics. As an example, the 900s–History & Geography is divided below.

    900s: History & Geography

    900–909: History

    910–919: Geography & Travel

    920–929: Biography & Genealogy

    930–939: History of the Ancient World (to ca. 499)

    940–949: History of Europe

    950–959: History of Asia

    960–969: History of Africa

    970–979: History of North America

    980–989: History of South America

    990–999: History of Other Areas

    And then these get broken down even further! Let’s look at the 970s.

    970s: History of North America

    970: History of North America

    971: Canada

    972: Mexico, Central America, West Indies

    973: United States

    974: Northeastern United States

    975: Southeastern United States

    976: South Central United States

    977: North Central United States

    978: Western United States

    979: Great Basin & Pacific Slope region

    When we look at this book that we found with OneSearch, we can see that its Dewey number is in the 900s. That means it is part of History & Geography. Specifically, it is a 973, which means it is about History of North America–United States. The .3 refers to the time period between 1775 – 1789.

    OneSearch record for the American Revolution, showing call number 973.3 A 11

    This page titled 5.1.7: Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Walter D. Butler; Aloha Sargent; and Kelsey Smith via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.