Dewey Number Essays

The Dewey Decimal Classification System

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Classification has a system within it that organises knowledge. There
is a system of symbols known as notation and this represents the
classes in a classification system. The notation is expressed in
Arabic numerals in the case of the Dewey Decimal System. It does not
matter what words are used to describe subjects the notation will give
a unique meaning of the class and say its association to other
classes. The notation has the ability to identify the class within
which the subject belongs and related classes. The classes get
identified and have linked classes found by using a universal
language, which is provided by the notation. Not all the books in the
Dewey Decimal system are non-fiction.

The Dewey Decimal Classification System is divided into tem main
categories. These range from 000-999. Each main category can further
be divided into nine sub categories, which have a range of 10-90. Each
category is divided into a further nine specialized topics ranging
from 1- 9. The specialised topics are broken down further by using

The Dewey Decimal Classification System is the most widely used
classification system in the world. Over 135 countries use the system.
Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey was 21 years old when he created The
Dewey Decimal Classification System. At the time he was working as a
student assistant in a college library. Dewey in the United States is
credited for beginning the field of library science. Dewey was born in
December 10 1851. His family were poor and lived in a small town upper
New York State. Later on he cut his name to Melvil dropped his middle
names and for a short time even spelt his last name as Dui. Dewey died
in 1931.

The ten main classes are as follows: 000 = Generalities, 100 =
Philosophy, Paranormal Phenomena, Psychology, 200 = Religion, 300 =
Social sciences, 400 = Language, 500 = Natural sciences and
mathematics, 600 = Technology (Applied sciences), 700 = The arts Fine
and decorative arts, 800 Literature (Belles-Lettres) and rhetoric and

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MLA Citation:
"The Dewey Decimal Classification System." 11 Mar 2018

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900 = Geography, History and Auxiliary disciplines.

Principally a classification system has been used to create an order
out of knowledge. Dewey put related topics in a hierarchal order from
general to specific. The system Dewey created made it possible for
more books to be added. The system enables books to be found
instantly. Whereas originally librarians would have to spend a long
time looking for a particular book. The Dewey Decimal Classification
system contains a single index.

Dewey decided to use decimal fractions to represent subjects of books.
Dewey numbered books by their intellectual content instead of physical
location. This was more effective as intellectual content could never
change but physical location could change. Dewey decided to do a
subdividing of books to a specificity that nobody was likely to write
about that particular subject. This is why he starts off with broad
subjects that are systematically broken down into more and more
specific subjects.

After the library of congressed moved to a new building after the old
one burnt down, they noticed that they needed a new system. The Dewey
Decimal Classification System contains a comprehensive index. The
Dewey Decimal System calls this a Relative Index. It arranges terms
alphabetically and links them to the disciplines in which they appear
in the schedules.

The Dewey Decimal Classification System was an immediate success and
by the end of the 19th century was the most popular system to be used.
Melvil Dewey founded the American library association and began
publication of the library journal in 1876. He became chief librarian
of Columbia University in 1883 and established the first school of
library there in 1887. From 1889-1906 he served as director of the New
York state library. Dewey died from a stroke in December 26th 1931.

The entries associated with a specific number are listed in the general order in which they are arranged on the shelves.

001.9                  Unexplained, UFO’s, Bigfoot, etc.

004 – 006          Computers

030                     Encyclopedias (032 – Guinness Records)

070                     Journalism (070.5 Desktop Publishing)

100                     Philosophy

130                     Paranormal, Dreams, Witches, New Age, Astrology, etc.

150                     Psychology (154.6 – Dreams; 155.4 – Children; 155.937 – Grief/Death; 158 – Self-improvement)

170                     Ethics, Animal Rights, Euthanasia

180 – 199          Philosophy

200                     Religion (289.7 – Amish; 290 – Non-Christian Religions, Mythology, Cults)

300                     Social Sciences (301.451 – Ethnic Groups)

305 – 306          Social/Family Relationships, Divorce, Single-Parenting (306.88 – Grief & Dealing with Death)

310                     Statistics, Almanacs, Population

320                     Political Science (323.6 – U.S. Citizenship)

330                     Economics, Communism

331                     Jobs, Careers

332                     Finance, Investments, Mutual Funds

333                     Real Estate

336                     Taxes

340                     Law (346-347 – Divorce, Wills, Living Trusts, Power of Attorney, Bankruptcy, Probate)

350                     Government, Civil Service

355 – 359          Military, ASVAB

361                     Fundraising, Foundations, Grants

362                     AIDS, Suicide, Alcohol/Drug Abuse, Day Care, Adoption, Child/Spouse Abuse, Date Rape

363                     Environment, Recycling, Acid Rain

363.46               Abortion

364                     Crime, Assassinations, Murders, Death Penalty

368                     Insurance

370                     Education, Home Learning, Reading

373                     GED (also 300.76, 428.2, 500.76, 510.76, 700.76)

378                     Colleges, SAT, ACT, GRE, CLAST, Scholarships

380                     Transportation, Post Office Exams, Railroads, Lighthouses, Airlines

391                     Costume, Folk Dress, Fashion

394                     Anniversaries, Holidays, Christmas, Customs

395                     Etiquette/Manners, Weddings

398                     Folklore, Legends, Fairytales

400 – 429          Dictionaries, Grammar, ESL/TOEFL (419 – Sign Language)

430 – 499          Foreign Languages (German, French, Italian, Spanish, etc.)

500                     Natural Sciences

510                     Mathematics, Algebra, Decimals, Fractions, etc.

520                     Astronomy, Space, Planets, Constellations

530                     Physics, Sound, Light, Electricity, Magnetism

540                     Chemistry

550                     Earth Sciences, Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Oceans, Weather, Rocks & Minerals

560                     Fossils, Dinosaurs

570                     Biology, Evolution (574.5 – Rain Forests)

580                     Botany, Herbs, Trees, Plants

590                     Animals (595.7 – Insects; 597.9 – Reptiles; 598 – Birds; 599 – Mammals)

600 – 609          Technology, Inventions, Patents (604 – Blueprints)

610                     Medicine (610.73 – Nurses)

612.6                  Pregnancy/Child Birth

613                     Health, Nutrition, Fitness

615                     Prescription Drugs, Natural Healing, Acupuncture

616                     Diseases (.1 – Heart; .85 – Anorexia, Depression; .89 – Mental Disorders, Alzheimer’s; .9 – AIDS, Cancer)

617                     Miscellaneous Medical (.56 – Back; .58 – Feet; .6 – Dentistry; .7 – Vision; .8 – Hearing)

618                     Gynecology, Pregnancy/Child Birth, Children’s Health

620                     Engineering (621.3 – Electricity, Electronics, Computer & VCR Maintenance/Repair)

621.4                  Lawnmowers, Internal Combustion Engines (623.8 – Outboard Motors)

629.1                  Paper Airplanes, Pilots, Air Traffic Controllers

629.2                  Automobile Repair (Chilton’s)

635                     Gardening, Hydroponics, Roses, Orchids, Citrus

636                     Pets:  Horses, Birds, Dogs, Cats, Fish (639 – Earthworms)

640                     Family Budgets, Clutter, Time Management

641.5                  Cooking (.563 – Special Diets; .59 – Regional; .6 – Specific Ingredients, e.g., Fish)

642                     Entertaining, Catering, Napkin Folding

643                     House Buying, Remodeling, Home Repair

646                     Sewing, Clothes, Draperies, Hair Cutting, Cosmetics

647                     Apartment Management, Hotels/Motels, Bed & Breakfasts, Restaurants

648                     Cleaning, Stain Removal, Insect Pests

649                     Child Development, Baby Care, Discipline

650                     Business, MBA Schools (650.14 – Resumes, Cover Letters, Job Hunting, Interviews)

651                     Business Communication, Secretaries, Business Letters

652                     Typing, Word Processing (653 – Shorthand)

657                     CPA, Accounting, Bookkeeping, Financial Reports

658                     Starting a Business, Entrepreneurs, Financing, Management, Interviewing

658.8                  Marketing, Sales, Franchising

659                     Advertising, Fashion Modeling

683                     Clocks, Guns, Appliance Repair

684                     Woodworking, Furniture Making, Upholstery

690                     Construction, Home Building, Swimming Pools, Carpentry, Plumbing, Air Conditioning

700                     Arts (709 – Art History)

710                     Landscaping

720                     Architecture (728 – House Plans)

730                     Sculpture (736.9 – Origami; 737.4 – Coin Collecting)

741.5                  Cartoons (743 – Drawing; 745.1 – Antiques, Collectibles)

745.5                  Crafts, Paper Airplanes, Balloons, Toys, Dolls (745.594 – Christmas Crafts, Wreaths)

745.6                  Calligraphy (745.9 – Flower Arranging, Potpourri)

746                     Needlework:  Macrame, Knitting, Needlepoint, Cross Stitch, Quilts

747                     Decorating, Interior Design

748                     Depression Glass, Stained Glass, Bottles

749                     Furniture (History, Antique)

751                     Painting Techniques (e.g., Watercolors)

759                     Painting Styles, Artists (by Country, Period – e.g., French Renaissance)

769                     Baseball Cards, Stamp Collecting

770                     Photography

780                     Music (780.92 & 784.092 – Musicians, Biographies; 787 – Musical Instruments)

791 – 792          Acting, Clowning (791.43 – Actors & Actresses, Movies; 791.45 – Television Shows)

792.8                  Ballet

793                     Parties, Showers, Balloon Sculpture, Party Games, Dancing (Ballroom, Folk, etc.),

                                  Role-playing Games (e.g., Dungeons & Dragons), Magic

794                     Indoor Games, Chess, Billiards, Computer Games (e.g., Nintendo), Gambling, Cards

796                     Sports (.32 – Basketball; .33 – Football; .34 – Tennis; .352 – Golf;

                                  .357 – Baseball; .41 – Weight Lifting; .42 – Track & Field, Olympics)

796.5                  Camping, Hiking

796.7                  Motor Racing (cars, motorcycles, motocross)

796.8                  Martial Arts, Boxing, Wrestling, Judo, Karate, etc.

797                     Boating, Canoeing, Swimming (797.5 – Air Sports, Flying, Ballooning, Skydiving)

798                     Horsemanship, Racing, Betting (799 – Fishing, Hunting)

800                     Literature

808                     Writing, Getting Published, Style Manuals, Public Speaking (808.8 – Quotations)

810                     American Literature (811 – Poetry, Haiku; 812 – Drama, Plays; 813 – Literary Criticisms)

814, 817, 818   Essays, Humor, Jokes (e.g., Robert Fulghum, Dave Barry, Erma Bombeck, Lewis Grizzard)

820                     English Poetry, Drama, etc. (822.3 – Shakespeare)

830 – 899          Other Literatures (by region)

900                     Geography, History (909 – World History)

910                     Geography & Travel

912                     Atlases, Maps

913 – 919          Travel & Description (913 – Ancient Civilizations, Egypt, Rome, Greece, etc.; 914 – Europe; 915 – Asia;

                                  916 – Africa; 917.1 – Canada; 917.2 – Mexico, Caribbean; 917.3 – USA; 917.59 – Florida;

                                  918 – South America; 919 – Pacific, Australia, Hawaii)

920                     Collective Biographies (923.173 – U.S. Presidents)

929                     Genealogy, Family Trees (929.4 – Baby Names; 929.9 – Flags)

930 – 999          History (by location, similar to 913 – 919, e.g., 975.9 – Florida)

                                  (940.1 – Middle Ages; 940.5 – World War II; 941 – British Royalty; 956 – Middle East;

                                  959 – Vietnam War; 970 – American Indian Tribes; 973.7 – U.S. Civil War)


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