So, what is the difference between the Library of Congress System and the Dewey Decimal System?
The two systems are based on entirely different theories of classification. The Dewey Decimal System, named for Melvil Dewey who created it in 1876, is a universal system that can categorize all knowledge. Including things that are impossible. If you write a book about Martian Polar Bears, you can give it a Dewey Decimal number.
Dewey is better for smaller, non-specialized collections because the numbers get longer and longer with each sub category. For example, 266.02373051 stands for foreign missions of the United States in China. That is a lot of information to put on a small call number label.
If you’d like to see more ridiculously long Dewey numbers, take a look at some of the 283s (Episcopal Church, of course) on the 3rd floor of the library.
We’ll take a look at the Library of Congress System tomorrow!
The following sections are now boxed (newest in bold):
Dewey Decimal 200-220
4th Floor Periodicals (to 1989) PER A-Z
Dewey Decimal Size 2 and Size 3 (+ and //)
Library of Congress Size 2 and Size 3
Dewey Decimal 000-199
Dewey Decimal 300-999