KF Modified

KF Modified Classification (Canada)

KF Modified is the short form for KF Classification Modified for Use in Canadian Law Libraries and is a classification suitable for legal collections in any common Law library . Generally, and contrary to the Library of Congress (LC) classification scheme, KF Modified organizes legal information by topic first and then by legal jurisdiction. The Canadian Law Subgroup of the
Canadian Task Group on Classification found that “the majority of responding libraries keep all Common law texts together, regardless of jurisdiction.” (1) In the Common law context this helps facilitate Legal Research by allowing easy reference to resources in a topic area across jurisdictions.

Because the common law is homogeneous at the core. Elizabeth Moys explained this in her introduction for A Classification Scheme for Law books :
The common law systems are widely considered to be homogeneous at the core with local differences of detail. That there is indeed a sort of general common law applicable in several countries is proved by the fact that judges can and frequently do consult decisions from other common law jurisdictions to
determine the law applicable to cases before them.(2)


With the development and application of the Library of Congress (LC) Class
K schedules for law in the second half of the twentieth century, the issues surrounding classification have been largely settled, at least in the U.S. At the time KF Modified was conceived in 1968 there was no formal classification scheme for law.

The Library of Congress had just released a draft copy of the KF Class for American federal law and the decision to group the common law jurisdictions first by subject in Canadian law libraries was the natural route to takeIn the Canadian Law library community, however, there remains a quiet rivalry between “KF Classification Modified for Use in Canadian Law Libraries”or KF Modified (which organizes law resources by subject then jurisdiction) and Class KE (the Canadian part of the larger LC Class K, organizing law resources by
jurisdiction then subject).

KF Modified success

KF Modified has often been cited as useful because it does facilitate at the shelf can still be a useful avenue for legal researchers. It is much easier for cataloguers to consult only one schedule for all common law

The larger academic libraries, especially those supporting law schools, have decided not to use KF Modified. Llibraries that are currently using KF Modified include the Great Library, Law Society of Upper Canada; Osgoode Hall Law School Library, York University; University of Western Ontario; University of New Brunswick; University of Saskatchewan; University of Windsor. KF Modified has become very popular in law firm, court house, government, and law society law libraries.

Civil Law

KF Modified was intended to be used for common law materials, which take up the bulk of most collections in Canadian law libraries. Except for the table found at KF385.ZB5, KF Modified was never intended to handle civil law, and to consider this a failing of the classification scheme is simply unfair. However, some libraries have expressed interest in arranging all of their resources using
KF Modified only. In response to this need the editorial committee has been developing an expansion of KF385.ZB5 for Quebec civil law. There is also Class KE Quebec.


1 Canadian Task Group on Cataloguing Standards, Cataloguing Standards: the Report of the Canadian Task Group on Cataloguing Standards (Ottawa: National Library of Canada, 1972) at 28.

2 Elizabeth Moys, A Classification Scheme for Law books , 2d ed. (London: Butterworths,1982) at 1.

See Also



References and Further Reading

About the Author/s and Reviewer/s

Author: international

Mentioned in these Entries

Cataloging for legal materials, Classification for Law Libraries, Classification of Law Materials, Classification schemes in the UK, Common law, Dewey Decimal Classification, Law books, Law library, Legal Research, Library of Congress Classification Class K, Moys Classification and Thesaurus for Legal Materials, Thesaurus.



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