Q. Does LC use the Dewey Decimal Classification?


The Library of Congress does not use the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) to organize any part of its own collections. The Dewey Program maintained at the Library serves an outreach function to the Library's national and international constituencies. The Dewey Decimal Classification is the most widely used library classification in the world, and the mission of the Dewey Section of the U.S. Programs, Law, and Literature Division in the Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate is, on behalf of library users everywhere, to develop, apply, and assist in the use of the DDC.

A Dewey editorial operation has been maintained at the Library since 1923, and cataloging staff began adding Dewey numbers to bibliographic records (printed cards) for books being processed in the 1930s. Dewey Section classifiers now add numbers to approximately 88,178 records each year, in all subject fields, for items in English and the major European languages. These records are distributed through the MARC delivery services of the Cataloging Distribution Service.

The editorial staff, which is funded by the Classification's current owners, OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc., revises and updates the DDC continuously, with revisions appearing on the Dewey home page and WebDewey. Edition 23, the last published edition, was published in mid-2011.

  • Last Updated May 22, 2020
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  • Answered By Melanie Polutta

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