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.|
|1927||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.|
|2005||The German edition of DDC 22 is published.|
|2007||EDUG (European DDC Users Group) was established.|
|2009||The Italian edition of DDC 22 is published.|
|2011||WebDewey 2.0 is released.|
|2011||The 23rd Edition of the DDC is published.|
|2011||Swedish WebDewey is released.|
|2012||The 15th Abridged Edition of the of the DDC is published.|
|2012||Electre Guide (a French abridgement) of DDC 23 is published.|
|2012||German WebDewey is released.|
|2013||The Vietnamese edition of DDC 23 is published.|
|2014||Italian WebDewey is released.|
|2015||The French edition of DDC 23 is published.|
|2015||Norwegian WebDewey is released.|
|2015||French WebDewey is released.|
|2017||The Spanish edition of DDC 22 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.
All copyright rights in the Dewey Decimal Classification system are owned by OCLC, Inc. Dewey, Dewey Decimal Classification, OCLC and WebDewey are registered trademarks of OCLC, Inc.