July 2013

This experimental research project has concluded. The research prototype application is no longer supported or maintained by OCLC services.

The information on this page is provided for historical purposes only. Please note this content may include details that are out-of-date and broken links.

Thank you for your interest, and please explore the OCLC Research website to learn more about our current research.


The DeweyBrowser was a prototype system for searching and browsing millions of WorldCat® records classified by the Dewey Decimal Classification® (DDC®) system. The interface was available in English, French, German, and Spanish, and users could navigate the DDC Summaries in several languages (See DDC Summaries).

In addition to its multilingual capabilities, the Dewey Browser incorporated many characteristics of "next generation catalogs" such as tag clouds, faceted searching and navigation, and flexible sorting and display options.

Why we developed this Prototype

The DDC is the most widely used classification system in the world. It is built on sound principles that make it ideal as a general knowledge organization tool: meaningful notation, well-defined categories and well-developed hierarchies.

Libraries have a large investment in Dewey, for example, when weighted by library holdings, 70% of resources in WorldCat are categorized by Dewey. The DeweyBrowser can help users access these collections.


The DeweyBrowser, beta version 2.0, had a new interface and updated database. Users could search for a topic or drill down through the summaries by clicking on a caption in the Dewey clouds. New features included the ability to filter search results by format, language of resource, and OCLC Audience Level. Users could also search within a results set.

The interface provided the option of displaying the captions in one of several languages. Available languages were English, French, German, Norwegian, Spanish, and Swedish.

The prototype provided access to approximately 2.5 million records from the OCLC Worldcat database. The records were indexed and searched using Apache Solr. The prototype ran on a Linux platform, using the Apache HTTP and Tomcat servers.




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Diane Vizine-Goetz