Classify is a FRBR-based prototype designed to support the assignment of classification numbers and subject headings for books, DVDs, CDs, and other types of materials.


This project applies principles of the FRBR model to aggregate bibliographic information above the manifestation level. Bibliographic records are grouped using the OCLC FRBR Work-Set algorithm to form a work-level summary of the class numbers and subject headings assigned to a work. You can retrieve a summary by ISBN, ISSN, UPC, OCLC number, author/title, or subject heading.

The Classify database is accessible through a user interface and as a machine-to-machine service. The database provides access to more than 46 million work summaries that contain Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) numbers, Library of Congress Classification (LCC) numbers, or National Library of Medicine (NLM) Classification numbers. Classify records also include subject headings from the Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST) scheme.


Click on the following examples or visit the prototype to view classification information and subject headings for a work.

link to The omnivore's dilema link to Persepolis link to Akahige link to Girl with Pearl Eering in Spanish link to On writing by Stephen King

Blog Articles

"Classify: A FRBR-based Research Prototype for Applying Classification Numbers." NextSpace, 14 (January): 14-15. Available online at:

Classify Web Service API

Access to the Classify API is provided through a secure endpoint.  

If you are an OCLC member library and you know your OCLC symbol and WorldShare username and password, please visit the API Keys page to request a key.  

If you do not know your OCLC symbol and/or your WorldShare username and password, or if you are associated with a commercial partner, please contact us.

Use of our prototypes is subject to OCLC's terms and conditions. By continuing past this point, you agree to abide by these terms.

Try the online demo


Visit the prototype - or click on the examples in the body of this page - to view classification information and subject headings for a work.




Diane Vizine-Goetz

Team Members

Harry Wagner

JD Shipengrover

Carol Hickey