Z515 Spring 2015

Dewey Decimal system

So, I think the origin of card sorting goes back to library science. Librarians were trying to organize the books in the card catalog so that people can find them. Maybe they organize them by author for fiction and for non-fiction they organize them in the Dewey Decimal system (a proprietary library classification system first published in the US by Melvil Dewey) or The Library of Congress Classification (LCC) (a system of library classification developed by the Library of Congress). Those organize them by topic, and then they enforce a hierarchy, but the hierarchy is kind of a myth because books do not fit neatly into a hierarchy. So, for instance the list of Dewey Decimal System classes are as follows:

000 – General works, Computer science and Information

100 – Philosophy and psychology

200 – Religion

300 – Social sciences

400 – Language

500 – Pure Science

600 – Technology

700 – Arts & recreation

800 – Literature

900 – History & geography

So, as you see there is a category for history & geography and another one for technology. So then, if you have a book about the history of technology, what category does it go into? So hierarchies are not really clearly defined, and that is when we get into something called “Colon Classification”. The idea of Colon Classification is that you can put something in more than one category and use a colon to separate them.

Mehrdad Motamed

This entry was written by mehrdadmoatamed and published on February 23, 2015 at 2:30 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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