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The Dewey Program at the Library of Congress

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The Dewey Program has a threefold mission—to develop, apply, and assist in the use of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system. In 1930 the Library of Congress began to print DDC numbers on many of its cards, thus making the system immediately available to the nation’s libraries. Today the Dewey Program continues to support the nation’s libraries, especially public and school libraries, as well as many foreign libraries that classify their collections according to DDC. The Dewey Program, which includes the Dewey Section of classifiers and the editorial staff, resides in the U.S. Programs, Law, and Literature (USPRLL) Division.

The Dewey Program participates in the Cataloging in Publication (CIP) Program by assigning a Dewey Decimal Classification number to every CIP record. Because the CIP Program limits eligibility to titles that are most likely to be widely acquired by the nation's libraries, the Dewey Program directly serves those libraries. The Dewey Program also assigns Dewey numbers to books in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish.

The Dewey Program has four full-time staff dedicated to assigning DDC. In addition, several Library of Congress catalogers have been trained by Dewey classifiers to assign Dewey numbers to the works they catalog. Finally, all serial records assigned a U.S. ISSN are also assigned a Dewey number. In FY2013 the Dewey Program classifiers and others assigned DDC to 54,407 bibliographic records. An additional 5,158 literature records were assigned DDC with the AutoDewey software program, and 37,218 copy cataloging records included a copied DDC number. 

The Dewey Program editorial team, which reports to the DDC editor in chief based at OCLC in Dublin, Ohio, works closely with the classifiers. The editors work in the online Editorial Support System (ESS) to keep WebDewey updated with new Dewey numbers, Relative Index terms, and mappings to thesauri such as LCSH, Sears, BISAC, and MeSH. The editors also maintain a blog to provide tips for using the Classification and WebDewey. The editing is done under an agreement with OCLC, which holds the Dewey copyright.

Learn More

Library of Congress
Dewey Program
101 Independence Ave., S.E.
Washington, DC 20540-4284
Tel.: (202) 707-3317
Fax: (202) 707-0279
Email: csus@loc.gov