Using Dewey

The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system was first conceived by Melvile Dewey in 1873, and it’s now used libraries in over 140 countries. DDC arranges all subjects into numbered categories from 0-999. It’s overseen by Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) and is being revised and updated all the time to better fit today’s information needs.

These are the basic categories:

000 – Computer science, information & general works
100 – Philosophy & psychology
200 – Religion
300 – Social sciences
400 – Language
500 – Science
600 – Technology
700 – Arts & recreation
800 – Literature
900 – History & geography
Those are pretty vague groups, though, so each hundred is broken down into another ten categories, and those ten are broken down into another ten, and so on.

Here are some of the highlights:

000 -Computer science, knowledge & systems
030 – Encyclopedias & books of facts
070 – News media, journalism & publishing
100 -Philosophy
150 – Psychology
170 – Ethics
200 – Religion
210 – Philosophy & theory of religion
220 – The Bible
230 – Christianity & Christian theology
240 – Christian practice & observance
270 – History of Christianity
290 – Other religions, including ancient Greek & Roman
300 – Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
320 – Political science
330 – Economics
340 – Law
350 – Public administration & military science
360 – Social problems & social services
370 – Education
390 – Customs, etiquette & folklore, including fairy tales
400 – Language, including dictionaries and language learning
500 – Science
510 – Mathematics
520 – Astronomy
530 – Physics
540 – Chemistry
550 – Earth sciences & geology
560 – Fossils & prehistoric life
570 – Life sciences; biology
580 – Plants (Botany)
590 -Animals (Zoology)
600 – Technology
610 – Medicine & health
620 – Engineering
630 – Agriculture & Farming, including home gardening
640 – Home & family management, including cooking & parenting
650 – Management & public relations, including business
660 – Chemical engineering
690 – Building & construction
700 – Arts
730 – Sculpture, ceramics & metalwork
740 – Graphic arts & decorative arts, including crafts & comics
750 – Painting
770 – Photography & computer art
780 – Music
790 – Sports, games, & entertainment, including tv/movies
800 – Literature, rhetoric & criticism
810 – American literature in English
820 – English & Old English literatures
900 – History
910 – Geography & travel
920 – Biography & genealogy
930 – History of ancient world (to ca. 499)
940 – History of Europe
950 – History of Asia
960 – History of Africa
970 – History of North America
980 – History of South America
990 – History of other areas, like Alaska or Mars

Still want to dig deeper?

OCLC has a lot of resources available via their website: http://www.oclc.org/dewey/resources.en.html
Check out their Dewey Summaries pdf. It breaks down the DDC categories even further.