Dewey 22: the principal changes
The British Library implemented the Dewey Decimal Classification (22nd edition) in assigning class numbers in records created for the British National Bibliography (BNB) from 1st July 2003 (for details, see British Library and Dewey 22).
Dewey 22 contains major updates and new class numbers and topics, but no schedule has been changed so fundamentally that a complete re-ordering has been necessary.
Computer science has been updated to accommodate recent topics such as the World Wide Web, virtual reality and mark-up languages. There is a new development for general-purpose application programs at 005.5 to which programmes formerly found in 005.3 and word processing from 625.2 have been relocated.
Religion: specific aspects of religion have been moved from 291 to the vacant 201-209 span to complete the plan to reduce Christian bias in the schedule. There is an expansion for sources of the Bahai Faith at 297.938 and revised and expanded developments for Black African religions at 299.6 and American native religions at 299.7-299.8.
Social groups and cultural institutions: many near duplicate provisions have been consolidated, and revised developments and terminology introduced in 305-306.
Law includes several improvements at 340 relating to the law of nations, human rights and intergovernmental organisations.
Mathematics has been updated throughout to produce a general scheme for the organisation of mathematical knowledge. There is a new development of numerical analysis at 518, drawn from different parts of 510 in Dewey 21.
Chemistry features a new development for analytical chemistry in 543.1-543.8, bringing together material that, in Dewey 21, was developed elsewhere in 543, in 544 (Qualitative analysis), 545 (Quantitative analysis) and 547.3 (Analytical organic chemistry). As a result, classes 544 and 545 have been vacated in Dewey 22.
Medicine and health have been updated and expanded throughout and indexing of medical topics has been improved.
History and geography: historical periods throughout 930-990 have been updated in co-operation with national libraries and translation partners. Works on facilities for travellers have been moved from 647.94 in Dewey 21 to 910.46 and to area numbers in 913-919. There is an important expansion for the Holocaust at 940.5318.
Revisions to the Tables used for building Dewey numbers are as follows:
- Table 1: Discrimination or racism in relation to a topic is expressed through use of notation 08 applied to the class number for the topic.
- Table 2: Geographic provisions have been developed with the advice of national libraries and translation partners.
- Table 3C: Notation 3 has been revised so that the arrangement parallels the grouping of topics in the Dewey schedules.
- The name of Table 5 has been changed from 'Racial, Ethnic and National Groups' to 'Ethnic and National Groups' to reflect the de-emphasis on race in current scholarship. There is expanded provision for American native people in Table 5 and for their languages in Table 6.
- Table 7 has been replaced by direct use of notation already available in the schedules and in notation 08 from Table 1.
Throughout Dewey 22, there are many new numbers for emergent topics such as 302.231 Digital media, 523.24 Extra-solar systems, 621.38807 Digital television, 651.792 Intranets, to give a few examples. The Relative Index has been developed in respect of number entries and terminology to provide a wider base of vocabulary for entries.
The Manual has been relocated to volume 1 preceding the tables and the text has been streamlined to promote efficient use. Information that would be better accommodated in the notes to the tables and schedules has been transferred there, introductory and background materials have been revised and entries put in a consistent style. The application policies of the Library of Congress Decimal Classification Division have been converted into standard practice in Dewey 22.
Further details are available on the OCLC website.
For further information please contact:
The British Library
Boston Spa, Wetherby
Tel: + 44 (0) 1937 546548
Fax: + 44 (0) 1937 546586