The Dewey Subjects
Dewey thought about all the knowledge in the world. How could he divide that knowledge? He decided on ten main classes and gave each a multiple of 100:
000 General Knowledge
100 Philosophy and Psychology
300 Social Sciences
700 The Arts
900 Geography and History
Mr. Dewey then divided each class into ten more divisions. Here are the divisions for Science:
500 General Science
550 Earth Sciences
570 Life Sciences
Each of these subjects are also divided into smaller divisions. Here are a few in 590:
Each of these are also didvided after adding a decimal point. Here are a few from 599:
All Dewey Decimal numbers have three whole number digits, including those below 100:
031 is encyclopedias
There may or may not be more digits after a decimal point.There may be many :
Find out more about call numbers here.
Two quotes from Mr. Dewey:
"Thus all the books on any given subject are found standing together, and no additions or changes ever separate them."
Melvile Dewey, 1876
In our digital world, Mr. Dewey's (1851-1931) thoughts are just as important today as they were in 1876 when he invented a way to arrange the books. Learning about how information is organized will help you find the information you need both in print or on the computer.
Understanding how Mr. Dewey arranged topics in a heirarchy will help you become a better searcher in the digital world.You will learn how topics are related to one another so you can change or modify your search to better find the information you need.
Here is a small part:
"Not only are all the books on the subject sought, found together, but the most nearly allied subjects precede and follow, they in turn being preceded and followed by other allied subjects as far as practicable." Melvile Dewey, 1876
What Dewey is saying here is that not only are all the books about the same topic grouped together on the shelf, but also that topics related to that group of books are also located near each other: so Reptiles will be near Mammals, not near World War II.