Dewey® Services

A legacy of helping libraries

Since the publication of its first edition in 1876, the Dewey Decimal Classification® (DDC®) system has crossed many milestones. Many of these milestones have advanced the organization of library collections to help librarians meet their users' information needs more efficiently.

1876 A Classification and Subject Index for Cataloguing and Arranging Books and Pamphlets of a Library—the first edition of the DDC—is published anonymously in Amherst, Massachusetts.
1885 Second edition of the DDC is published under Melvil Dewey's name.
1900 The first abridged edition of the DDC is published.
1911 The seventh edition of the DDC is published, which is the first to carry the Forest Press imprint.
1916 The Decimal Classification Advisory Committee—the American Library Association's (ALA) first advisory committee—is appointed.
1923 The DDC editorial office moves to the Library of Congress in Washington, DC.
1930 The Library of Congress begins to print Dewey numbers on catalog cards.
1931 Melvil Dewey, creator of the DDC, dies December 26 at age 80.
1937 The Decimal Classification Committee, a forerunner to the present-day Dewey Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee, is established.
1953 The Dewey Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee is reconstituted to represent the American Library Association, Forest Press and the Library of Congress to guide to editorial development of the DDC.
1958 The 16th edition of the DDC is published, which is the first to be edited under an agreement between the Library of Congress and Forest Press.
1988 Forest Press, based in Albany, New York, becomes a division of OCLC.
1993 OCLC Forest Press publishes Electronic Dewey, the first library classification scheme in electronic form.
1996 The 21st edition of the DDC and Dewey for Windows® are published, which is the first time print and electronic formats are published simultaneously.
1999 The OCLC Forest Press office moves from Albany, New York, to OCLC headquarters in Dublin, Ohio; three years later, the Forest Press imprint is retired.
2000 WebDewey® in CORC is published.
2002 WebDewey and Abridged WebDewey are published.
2003 The 22nd edition of the DDC is published.
2004 The 14th edition of the Abridged DDC is published.
2011 WebDewey 2.0 is released.
2011 The 23rd Edition of the DDC is published.
2012 The 15th Abridged Edition of the of the DDC is published.

The Dewey Decimal Classification® (DDC®) system is the world’s most widely used way to organize library collections. The DDC constantly updates to enable better discovery across any topic in multiple languages. Because the DDC is easy to use, you can increase the visibility of your materials quickly and efficiently.

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The Dewey blog is a great source for news and views on classification issues as well as interesting and unusual DDC resources and curiosities. It's also a convenient way to share feedback directly to the DDC editors to help shape the future of the DDC.

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All copyright rights in the Dewey Decimal Classification system are owned by OCLC. Dewey, Dewey Decimal Classification, DDC, OCLC and WebDewey are registered trademarks of OCLC.