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Dewey Decimal

Classification System
The Purdue University Libraries use the Dewey Decimal Classification System to classify and
arrange their collections. In this system, all knowledge is represented by 10 broad subject
classes:

000
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900

Generalities
Philosophy and related disciplines
Religion
The social sciences
Language
Pure sciences
Technology (applied sciences)
The arts
Literature
General geography and history

The Dewey Decimal system is a hierarchical system, which means, within each broad class, it
develops progressively from the general to the specific.
For example:
600
640
646
646.7
646.72
646.724
646.7242

Technology (applied sciences)
Domestic arts and sciences
Sewing, clothing, personal grooming
Personal grooming
Personal appearance
Care of hair
Professional hairdressing for women and girls

Excerpts from Marty Bloomberg and Hans Weber, An Introduction To Classification and Number
Building In Dewey (Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited, Inc., 1976).

Each item in the Libraries has a unique call number and is filed under that number on the
shelves. To ensure that you find the exact item you want, be sure to copy the complete call
number.

10/90

b I In other words.31 comes before 611.How Call Numbers Work Using decimal notation.4 because it is a smaller number. they are arranged number by number. b first fi second alphabetically. . then number by number (D185n comes before D19a) and then alphabetically again by the last letter(s). For example 611. chronologically from oldest to newest. the books are h arranged d according di to then publication dates. If all the information in the call number is identical. All books of the same number group are then arranged according to the d line li off the h call ll number. Multivolume sets are filed numerically by volume number. books are shelved numerically (left to right) by the h first fi line li in i the h call ll number.