Dewey Decimal Classification

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Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC)

The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system is one of the world’s most widely used library classification system; but not in law libraries.

The four-volume print last edition includes thousands of updates added to the system over the past seven years. The electronic version, WebDewey, enhances the print updates with online updated delivery. Abridged Edition 15 is a simplified version used by smaller collections.

Editions

The publication of a 42-pages pamphlet entitled “A classification and subject index for cataloging and arranging the books and pamphlets of a library”. This was the first edition, which consisted of 12 pages of preparatory matter, 12 pages of tables and 18’pages of index, a total of 42 pages. It contained nearly 1000 classes.

  • 16th edition -1958 (edited by Benjamin A Custer )
  • 17th edition -1965 edited by Benjamin A Custer )
  • 18th edition -1976 edited by Benjamin A Custer ) (in 3 volumes)
  • 19th edition – 1979 edited by Benjamin A Custer )(in 3 volumes)
  • 20th edition -1989 (edited by John P Comaromi) (in 4 volumes)
  • 21st edition -1996 (edited by Joan S. Mitchell) (in 4 volumes)
  • 22nd edition -2003 (edited by Joan S. Mitchell)
  • 23rd edition – 2011 (in 4 vol) Joan S. Mitchell, Julianne Beall and Rebecca Green.

WebDewey® 2.0 is an online version of the complete Dewey Decimal Classification system, since the classification will be no printed in the future. Web Dewey is a subscription based service.

Tables

There are six numbered tables in DDC 23 (there were 7 in DDC 21):

  • T1 Standard Subdivisions
  • T2 Geographic Areas, Historical Periods, Biography
  • T3 Subdivisions for the Arts, for Individual Literature, for Specific Literary Forms
  • T3A Subdivisions for Works by or about Individual Authors
  • T3B Subdivisions for Works by or about More than One Author
  • T3C Notation to Be Added Where Instructed in Table 3B, 700.4, 791.4, 808-809
  • T4 Subdivisions of Individual Languages and Language Families
  • T5 Ethnic and National Groups
  • T6 Languages

Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme (DDC), class Law

The Classification system treated law as a division, in the social science discipline. It provides class
mark of 340 349 for law collections. These class marks are:

  • 340 Law
  • 340.02-09 Standard sub-divisions
  • 3401-9 Philosophy, and theory of Law, Comparative law, Law reforms, legal systems, Conflicts of law
  • 341 International Law
  • 342 Constitutional and Administrative law
  • 343 Military, defence, public property, public finance tax, trade(commerce), industrial law
  • 344 Labor, social problems and services, Education cultural law
  • 345 Criminal law
  • 346 Private law
  • 347 Civil procedure and courts
  • 348 Law (statutes), regulations, cases
  • 349 Law of specific socio-economic regions and of specific jurisdiction and areas.

In the past, the Dewey Decimal scheme law class was:

  • 340 General and comparative law
  • 341 International law
  • 342 Constitutional law
  • 343 Criminal law subjects sub-arranged by country
  • 344 Martial law
  • 345 U.S. primary materials
  • 346 U.K. and Commonwealth primary materials
  • 347 Private law subjects, sub-arranged by country
  • 348 Religious law
  • 349 Rest of world primary materials, by country, sub-arranged by form

Predefined Groups in Law are:

  • Clinical Training
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Environmental Law
  • Health Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • International Law
  • Legal Writing
  • Tax Law
  • Top 10 Law Schools
  • Trial Advocacy

Example: Branches of law; laws, regulations, cases; law of specific jurisdictions, areas, socioeconomic regions (342-349)

Classification numbers for law of specific jurisdictions and areas are built from five elements, which can be arranged in different ways to produce standard or optional numbers, according to instructions following this table:
(1) 34, the base number, indicating law
(2) A digit indicating specific branch of law, original materials, or comprehensive works as follows:
2 Constitutional and Administrative law
3 Military, defense, public property, public finance, tax, trade (commerce), industrial law
4 Labor, social service, Education , cultural law
5 Criminal law
6 Private law
7 Procedure and courts
8 Laws, regulations, cases not limited to a specific branch
9 Comprehensive works
(3) The facet indicator 0*
(4) One or more digits indicating a subject subordinate to specific branch of law or type of original material
Example: 1 Courts (from 345.01 under 345 Criminal law)
(5) Notation from Table 2 indicating the jurisdiction or area
Example: -94 Australia
To show comprehensive works on a specific jurisdiction or area in modern world, arrange the elements as follows, using law of Australia as an example:
Base number: 34
Digit indicating comprehensive works: 9
Jurisdiction or area: Australia, -94
The complete number is 349.94

To show a specific branch, a specific subject, or a kind of original material, arrange the elements as follows, using criminal courts of Australia as an example:

  • Base number: 34
  • Branch of law: Criminal law, 5
  • Jurisdiction or area: Australia, -94
  • Facet indicator: 0*
  • Subordinate subject in branch of law: Courts, 1

The complete number is 345.9401

Class comprehensive works in 340; class comprehensive works on law of
specific ancient jurisdictions, areas, socioeconomic regions in 340.53; class
comprehensive works on law of specific jurisdictions, areas, socioeconomic
regions in 349.

*Add 00 for standard subdivisions; see instructions at beginning of Table 1

Options:

To give preferred treatment to the law of a specific jurisdiction, to jurisdictions in general, to branch of law and its subordinate subjects, or to subject, use one of the following options or the option at 342-347:

Option A:

To give local emphasis and a shorter notation to law of a specific jurisdiction or area, e.g., Australia, arrange the elements as follows, using criminal courts of Australia as an example:

  • Base number: 34
  • Branch of law: Criminal law, 5
  • Facet indicator: 0*
  • Subordinate subject in the branch of law: Courts, 1

The complete number is 345.01
(For law of a jurisdiction subordinate to the emphasized jurisdiction or area, insert between the branch of law and facet indicator the notation indicating the subordinate jurisdiction)

(To show subordinate jurisdictions of an area with regular notation from Table 2, derive the notation by dropping from the area number for subordinate jurisdiction all digits that apply to preferred jurisdiction.)

For example, drop area number for Australia -94 from area number for Tasmania -946 to obtain notation 6, which is used for Tasmania. Thus, the number for criminal procedure of Tasmania is 345.605

(To show subordinate jurisdictions of an area with irregular notation from Table 2, i.e., with numbers for subdivisions that are coordinate with the number for the entire area, derive notation by dropping the digits from area number that all subdivisions have in common. For example, Sudan’s area number is -624, while the numbers for its regions and provinces are -625-628. Drop -62 from full area number for Darfur region -627 to obtain the notation 7, which is used for Darfur region.
Thus, the number for criminal procedure of the Darfur region is 345.705).

*Add 00 for standard subdivisions.

(Class comprehensive works on law of the preferred jurisdiction or area in 342; class comparative law and law of other jurisdictions and areas in 349)

Option B:

To give preferred treatment to jurisdictions in general, arrange the
elements as follows, using criminal courts of Australia as an example:

  • Base number: 34
  • Jurisdiction or area: Australia, -94
  • Facet indicator: 0*
  • Branch of law: Criminal law, 5
  • Subordinate subject in branch of law: Courts, 1

The complete number is 349.4051. Other examples: criminal courts of Tasmania 349.46051, texts of welfare laws of Hobart 349.4610430263

(Class law of jurisdictions in the ancient world in 340.53-340.54; class comparative law in 342; class law of socioeconomic regions in 343.1; class law of regional intergovernmental organizations in 343.2)

Option C:

To give preferred treatment to branch of law and its subordinate subjects, arrange the elements as follows, using criminal courts of Australia as an example:

  • Base number: 34
  • Branch of law: Criminal law, 5
  • Subordinate subject in branch of law: Courts, 1
  • Facet indicator: 0
  • Jurisdiction or area: Australia, -94

The complete number is 345.1094)

Dewey Decimal and Moys Classification Schemes

Moys used the Dewey Decimal in the layout of the schedules of her classification scheme, with the K (from the Library of Congress scheme) notation to the left and the 340 notation to the right of the page

In the first edition of her “Moys Classification and Thesaurus for Legal Materials “book, Moys required the telescoping of the seventeen legal classes (by definition the non-legal class was not needed) of her classification scheme into ten decimal classes. This was achieved by putting together in one general class the subjects contained in the first three fairly general classes of the class K scheme, by using a single class instead of three, for Common law primary materials, and by combining the four classes allocated to continents into another single class. In this way, the basic arrangement by legal system were maintained in the decimal framework, in contrast to the Dewey subject-oriented arrangement. The Dewey scheme’s tables of standard divisions for countries were used in classes 344, for Common law jurisdictions, and 349 for the rest of the world.

Class Law

In the edition 18 of the Dewey systeme, published in 1971, the classification introduced the term “phoenix schedule” for its fully revised classes 340 (Law).

There have long been questions about the structure of Law (340), and indecision has wreaked havoc on the division. When work on the 340s began, it was thought that there were three ways to arrange the materials in it. Using traditional Dewey practice, jurisdiction could be attached to type of law by means of -09. Thus, 345.0973 would be used for a work on criminal law in the United States. A second method was to add jurisdiction directly to 34, thus gathering law books together first by jurisdiction and then by type of law, as law is generally studied [i.e., 347.305 would be the number of criminal law in the United States]. A third way was to add jurisdiction directly to type of law [i.e., 345.73 for the same subject as above]. This would be followed by standard subdivisions or the special subdivisions peculiar to that type of law. Of the three ways, the third was the second choice of librarians in the United States, who preferred arrangement by the -09 method, and of librarians in Great Britain and elsewhere outside the United States, who preferred arrangement by jurisdiction first.

British law librarians in particular called for a citation order that reflected the way law was actually studied-first by jurisdiction, then by type of law. The opinion of American law librarians-who usually do not use the DDC-and of American librarians of general collections-in which law is of secondary importance-weighed equally, however, in the scales of judgment. Hoping to alienate no one, the Decimal Classification Division opted for everyone’s second choice, namely, number three. The editors reasoned that in this way no one would be offended by having someone else’s first choice allowed. It appears, however, that two second choices do not make a first, for many British librarians have called for reversal of the decision in favor of the second method. The Americans have said little on the matter (Comaromi 1976, 594)

The British eventually broke with the Dewey preferred practice? they chose the option putting jurisdiction before type of law. Edition 20, under Comaromi’s guidance, put in place the Division policy of assigning in the classification legal materials, both the British first choice (which the British National Bibliography uses) and the American second choice. The American first choice was never honored.

Some Notations in Law

Note: these notations may change. Here are showed only as an example.

In 340 Law

  • 340.07 Legal research and skills
  • 340.1 Philosophy and theory of law
  • 340.109 Historical, geographic, persons treatment of legal theories and schools
  • 340.11 Special topics of philosophy and theory of law340.112 Law and ethics
  • 340.115 Law and society
  • 340.12-.19 Specific aspects of philosophy and theory
  • In 342 Constitutional and administrative law
  • 342.02 Basic instruments of government
  • 342.04 Structure, powers, functions of government
  • 342.05 Legislative branch of government
  • 342.06 Executive branch of government
  • 342.07 Election law
  • 342.08 Jurisdiction over persons
  • 342.088 Government liability
  • 342.09 Local government
  • 342.73 Constitutional law — United States.

In 343 Military, defense, public property, public finance, tax, commerce (trade), industrial law

  • 343.01 Military and defense law, veterans’ law
  • 343.02 Law of public property
  • 343.03 Law of public finance
  • 343.04 Tax law
  • 343.09 Control of public utilities
  • In 344 Labor, social service, education, cultural law
  • 344.01 Labor law
  • 344.04 Miscellaneous social problems and services
  • 344.05 Police services, other aspects of public safety, matters concerning public morals and customs
  • 344.07 Education law

In 345 Criminal law

  • 345.02 Criminal offenses
  • 345.04 Criminal liability
  • 345.05 Criminal procedure
  • 345.06 Evidence
  • 345.07 Trials
  • 345.1 Session laws — United States.
  • 345.73 Criminal law
  • 345.774 Criminal law — Michigan., Criminal procedure — Michigan.

In 346 Private law

  • 346.01 Persons and domestic relations
  • 346.02 Juristic acts, contracts, and agency
  • 346.021 General considerations of juristic acts
  • 346.022-346.025 Contracts
  • 346.022 General considerations of Contracts
  • 346.03 Torts (Delicts) (extracontractual liability)
  • 346.04 Property
  • 346.072 Sale
  • 346.073 Loan
  • 346.0682 Partnership contracts
  • Including breach of contract, parties to contract, rescission, subcontracting

    Class here comprehensive works on liability

    Class general considerations of contracts applied to specific kinds of contracts in 346.023-346.025
    Class sale in 346.072; class loan in 346.073. Class contracts dealing with a specific legal aspect not provided for here with the aspect in 342-347, e.g., partnership contracts 346.0682; class contracts concerning a specific nonlegal subject with the subject, plus notation 0687 from Table 1, e.g., roofing contracts 695.0687

    ; for liability of schools, of school officials, of school districts, see 344.075; for criminal liability, see 345.04; for specific kinds of contracts, see 346.023-346.025; for extracontractual liability, see 346.03

In 347 Procedure and courts

  • 347.01 Courts
  • 347.05 Procedure
  • 347.06 Evidence
  • 347.07 Trials
  • 347.08 Appellate procedure
  • 347.09 Dispute resolution

In 348 Laws, regulations, cases

  • 348.02 Laws and regulations
  • 348.04 Cases
  • 348.05 Advisory opinions of attorneys-general (ministers of justice)

See Also

Conclusion

Notes

References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

Mentioned in these Entries

Administrative law, Advocacy, Cataloging for legal materials, Classification for Law Libraries, Classification schemes in the UK, Common law, Comparison of Library of Congress and Dewey classifications about Law, Education, KF Modified, Law Classification, Law Classification, Historical, Moys Classification and Thesaurus for Legal Materials, Religious law, country.

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