Q. What is the difference between Library of Congress Classification and Dewey Decimal Classification?


The Library of Congress Classification (LCC) system was developed at the turn of the 20th century and was specifically created to categorize books and other items held in the Library of Congress.   It features 21 subject categories with resources being identified by a combination of both letters and numbers.   For example, books on education are identified with a call number that begins with the letter “L” and those on political science under “J.”  The number of classes and numerous subclasses is not restricted.  Specific topics and geographic areas are often represented by alphabetic Cutter lists.  LCC notation does not lend itself to abridgment, except all the way to the summary level.

The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system was developed in 1876 as a means to organize all knowledge.   The DDC uses notation in Arabic numerals, well-defined categories, well-developed hierarchies, and a rich network of relationships among topics.  The ten basic classes are organized by disciplines or fields of study.   Each main class is further divided into ten divisions, and each division into ten sections.  Except for a few optional provisions, the DDC notation is strictly numeric. (See Alternate DDC notation for information about the optional alphabetic notation applied by the Library of Congress.)  In addition to summaries, the DDC has an abridged edition, with numbers that are the same as the numbers of the full edition, except shorter. (See Segmentation for information about segmentation marks that show the end of abridged numbers.)

  • Last Updated May 14, 2020
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  • Answered By Veronica Ranieri

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