Category Archives: Classification Scheme

Universal Decimal Classification

The Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) is a bibliographic and library classification developed by the Belgian bibliographers Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine at the end of the 19th century. UDC provides a systematic arrangement of all branches of human knowledge organized as a coherent system in which knowledge fields are related and inter-linked.

Originally based on the Dewey decimal classification, the UDC was developed as a new analytico-synthetic classification system with a significantly larger vocabulary and syntax that enables very detailed content indexing and information retrieval in large collections. In its first edition in 1905, the UDC already included many features that were revolutionary in the context of knowledge classifications: tables of generally applicable (aspect-free) concepts – called common auxiliary tables; a series of special auxiliary tables with specific but re-usable attributes in a particular field of knowledge; an expressive notational system with connecting symbols and syntax rules to enable coordination of subjects and the creation of a documentation language proper. Although originally designed as an indexing and retrieval system, due to its logical structure and scalability, UDC has become one of the most widely used knowledge organization systems in libraries, where it is used for shelf arrangement, content indexing or both. UDC codes can describe any type of document or object to any desired level of detail. These can include textual documents and other media such as films, video and sound recordings, illustrations, maps as well as realia such as museum objects.

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Dewey Decimal Classification

The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system uses simple decimal notation to divide recorded knowledge into 10 main classes, 100 divisions and 1,000 sections. DDC 22 Summaries provides a complete list of these groupings. Browsing the summaries is fast and easy way to become familiar with the DDC’s structure.

First Summary

The Ten Main Classes

000 Computer science, information & general works

100 Philosophy & psychology

200 Religion

300 Social sciences

400 Language

500 Science

600 Technology

700 Arts & recreation

800 Literature

900 History & geography

Second Summary

The Hundred Divisions

000 Computer science, knowledge & systems

010 Bibliographies

020 Library & information sciences

030 Encyclopedias & books of facts

040 [Unassigned]

050 Magazines, journals & serials

060 Associations, organizations & museums

070 News media, journalism & publishing

080 Quotations

090 Manuscripts & rare books

100 Philosophy

110 Metaphysics

120 Epistemology

130 Parapsychology & occultism

140 Philosophical schools of thought

150 Psychology

160 Logic

170 Ethics

180 Ancient, medieval & eastern philosophy

190 Modern western philosophy

200 Religion

210 Philosophy & theory of religion

220 The Bible

230 Christianity & Christian theology

240 Christian practice & observance

250 Christian pastoral practice & religious orders

260 Christian organization, social work & worship

270 History of Christianity

280 Christian denominations

290 Other religions

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology

310 Statistics

320 Political science

330 Economics

340 Law

350 Public administration & military science

360 Social problems & social services

370 Education

380 Commerce, communications & transportation

390 Customs, etiquette & folklore

400 Language

410 Linguistics

420 English & Old English languages

430 German & related languages

440 French & related languages

450 Italian, Romanian & related languages

460 Spanish & Portuguese languages

470 Latin & Italic languages

480 Classical & modern Greek languages

490 Other languages

500 Science

510 Mathematics

520 Astronomy

530 Physics

540 Chemistry

550 Earth sciences & geology

560 Fossils & prehistoric life

570 Life sciences; biology

580 Plants (Botany)

590 Animals (Zoology)

600 Technology

610 Medicine & health

620 Engineering

630 Agriculture

640 Home & family management

650 Management & public relations

660 Chemical engineering

670 Manufacturing

680 Manufacture for specific uses

690 Building & construction

700 Arts

710 Landscaping & area planning

720 Architecture

730 Sculpture, ceramics & metalwork

740 Drawing & decorative arts

750 Painting

760 Graphic arts

770 Photography & computer art

780 Music

790 Sports, games & entertainment

800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism

810 American literature in English

820 English & Old English literatures

830 German & related literatures

840 French & related literatures

850 Italian, Romanian & related literatures

860 Spanish & Portuguese literatures

870 Latin & Italic literatures

880 Classical & modern Greek literatures

890 Other literatures

900 History

910 Geography & travel

920 Biography & genealogy

930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)

940 History of Europe

950 History of Asia

960 History of Africa

970 History of North America

980 History of South America

990 History of other areas