Document (#28630)

Author
Dewey, M.
Title
Decimal classification and relativ index : introduction
Source
Theory of subject analysis: a sourcebook. Ed.: L.M. Chan, et al
Imprint
Littleton, CO : Libraries Unlimited
Year
1985
Pages
S.21-34
Abstract
To those outside the field of library science, the name Melvil Dewey (1851-1931) is virtually synonymous with library classification. To those in the field, Dewey has been recognized as the premier classification maker. His enormously successful system (i.e., successful in terms of the wide adoption of the system around the world for over one hundred years) has now undergone nineteen editions. The Dewey Decimal Classification has been translated into more than twenty languages and is the most widely adopted classification scheme in the world. Even in its earliest manifestations, the Dewey Decimal Classification contained features that anticipated modern classification theory. Among these are the use of mnemonics and the commonly applied standard subdivisions, later called "common isolates" by S. R. Ranganathan (q.v.), which are the mainstays of facet analysis and synthesis. The device of standard subdivisions is an indication of the recognition of common aspects that pervade all subjects. The use of mnemonics, whereby recurring concepts in the scheme are represented by the same notation, for example, geographic concepts and language concepts, eased the transition of the Dewey Decimal Classification from a largely enumerative system to an increasingly faceted one. Another significant feature of the Dewey Decimal Classification is the use of the hierarchical notation based an the arabic numeral system. To a large extent, this feature accounts for the wide use and success of the system in the world across language barriers. With the prospect of increasing online information retrieval, the hierarchical notation will have a significant impact an the effectiveness of the Dewey Decimal Classification as an online retrieval tool. Because the notation is hierarchical, for example, with increasing digits in a number representing narrower subjects and decreasing digits indicating broader subjects, the Dewey Decimal Classification is particularly useful in generic searches for broadening or narrowing search results. In the preface to the second edition of his Decimal Classification Dewey explained the features of his "new" system. The excerpt below presents his ideas and theory concerning the rational basis of his classification, the standard subdivisions, the hierarchical notation based an decimal numbers, the use of mnemonics, the relative index, and relative location. It also reflects Dewey's lifelong interest in simplified spelling.
Footnote
Nachdruck des Originalartikels mit Kommentierung durch die Herausgeber
Original in: Decimal Classification and Relativ Index for Arranging, Cataloging, and Indexing Public and Private Libraries and for Pamflets, Clippings, Notes, Scrap Books, Index rerums, etc. 2nd, rev. and greatly enlarged ed. Boston: Library Bureau 1885
Theme
International bedeutende Universalklassifikationen
Geschichte der Klassifikationssysteme
Object
DDC

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  5. Beall, J.: Editing the Dewey Decimal Classification online : the evolution of the DDC database (1992) 0.30
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