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The Dewey Program at the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress > Acquisitions, Cataloging > Dewey > LC Dewey Practices > AutoDewey
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AutoDewey is a cataloging ILS application designed to take advantage of those areas where Library of Congress Classification (LCC) and Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) are similar enough that semi-automatic assignment of DDC number based on LCC number is useful.   AutoDewey is designed for easy use by the same catalogers who assign LCC numbers. Catalogers have already analyzed the material to assign LCSH and LCC, and AutoDewey takes advantage of this subject analysis. The books can be sent directly to the library stacks instead of coming to the Dewey Section, and this enables Dewey Section classifiers to spend time classifying more complex material.

The scope of AutoDewey is limited to works of poetry, fiction, and drama by individual authors, including anonymous authors, and works about those individual authors.  It can also be used for general criticisms of a literary author as long as it is an individual author and it is clear that the author is primarily known for one form of literature and that one form is fiction, poetry, or drama.  Those also happen to be the most common and most easily identifiable forms of literature.   If the author is primarily known for another form, e.g., essays, catalogers are instructed to send the material to the Dewey Section.  LCC and DDC are similar enough in treatment of individual literary works and individual literary authors for inclusion in AutoDewey to be useful.

The cataloger must select the form of literature, because LCC does not separate by form and DDC does.  Sometimes it is necessary for the cataloger to select the literary time period that reflects when the author was active because LCC and DDC use different time spans for literature.   AutoDewey assigns standard DDC numbers with segmentation marks to show where the abridged number ends.  AutoDewey inserts the full MARC 082 field, e.g. 082 00 ‡a 821/.914 ‡2 23 into the bibliographic record.  The processing time is about 10 seconds unless the cataloger needs to select a literary time period.  In FY2013, 5,158 Dewey numbers were assigned using AutoDewey, which is approximately 430 per month.  Many of these works are titles included in the Cataloging in Publication Program

AutoDewey has been implemented in three divisions at the Library of Congress:  U.S. Programs, Law, and Literature Division, U.S./Anglo Division, and African, Latin American, and Western European Division, with plans to implement in Germanic and Slavic Division in the near future.  AutoDewey includes literary authors from the following regions and countries:  Australia, Austria, Belgium (French), Canada (English and French), Denmark, Estonia, Finland (Finnish and Swedish), France, Germany, Iceland, Italy , Latin America, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland (French and German), South Africa (English), the United Kingdom, and United States (English and Spanish).

This PowerPoint presentation (PDF, 823 KB) from the Dewey Update Breakfast at ALA Midwinter, January 2013, provides more background information.