Briefs on the 19th (1979) to the 23rd Edition (2011) of Dewey Decimal Classification

  • M.P. Satija Dept. of Library & Information Science, Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar-143 005 E-mail:
Keywords: Abridged Dewey, Dewey database, DDC, editorial support system (ESS), European Dewey Users Group (EDUG), OCLC, WebDewey


The paper analise that the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) is the most popular library classification in the world. It states its use in 2 lac libraries, information centres and many national libraries in the world. Its’ translations exist in more than 30 major languages. It is being used in organising and searching the web and databases. The paper reviews the new features and changes in the five consecutive editions of the DDC since its 19th ed. (1979) to the current one 23rd (2011). It explains the management and tools like the ESS4.0 for revising the DDC. The paper finds the role of the OCLC and the DC Editorial Policy Committee (DCEPC) and the European Dewey Users Group (EDUG) in keeping the DDC update, relevant and remain connected with the users all over the world. It explains its various print and electronic versions, namely, Full edition in 4 volumes, Abridged Dewey in one volume, and its electronic editions since 1993 such as the Electronic Dewey, Dewey for Windows (DfW) and now the WebDewey and the Dewey database. The paper explains the organised and continued efforts of the OCLC to keep DDC popular and relevant to the use in libraries in the IT environment. It states the official efforts to make it a truly international classification by reducing the Western and Christian bias and make it more faceted with every edition.

How to Cite
Satija, M. (2013). Briefs on the 19th (1979) to the 23rd Edition (2011) of Dewey Decimal Classification. DESIDOC Journal of Library & Information Technology, 33(4).
Special Issue on Visualising Libraries