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Non-Fiction Numbers

May 29th, 2012 · No Comments · Books, Children, City Library, Main Branch, NH Room, Teens, West Branch

Have you ever wondered what those numbers are on the side of the non-fiction books?  They are not randomly chosen numbers!  There is a four volume book set that tell us what numbers to use, based on the main subject of the book.  Very generally, the structure use in Dewey Decimal Classification system is:

000  Generalities  (example 020 is Library and Information Sciences)

100  Philosophy and Psychology

200   Religion

300   Social Sciences

400    Language  (English and other languages of the world)

500    Natural Sciences and Mathematics

600    Technology and Applied Science

700    The Arts (includes music, recreation,  sports and performing arts also movies, television, etc)

800   Literature and Rhetoric

900    Geography and History

Within each group of hundreds, it is broken down more specifically:

910  Geography and travel

920   Genealogy, Insignia

930    History of the Ancient World

940    General History of Europe

950    General History of  Asia

960    General History of Africa

970    General History of North America

980     General History of South America

990     General History of Other Areas

This is just a very brief overview of the subject classification system initially organized by Melvil Dewey in 1876.  For a specific breakdown of today’s system; you can look in the Reference Collection for 025.431 DEW (Dewey Decimal Classification System Edition 22).

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