Please note: This research project was discontinued on 31 January 2024.
Information on this page is provided for historical purposes only. Some portion of this content may be out-of-date and include broken links.

Please visit the OCLC Research website to learn more about our current research.

OCLC Cataloging and Metadata subscribers can use WorldShare Record Manager or the WorldCat Metadata API to perform similar searches to find classification numbers. ​


Classify was 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 applied principles of the FRBR model to aggregate bibliographic information above the manifestation level.

Bibliographic records were 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.

The Classify database was accessible through a user interface and as a machine-to-machine service.

The database provided access to more than 46 million work summaries that contain

  • Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) numbers, 
  • Library of Congress Classification (LCC) numbers, 
  • National Library of Medicine (NLM) Classification numbers.

Users were able to retrieve a summary by ISBN, ISSN, UPC, OCLC number, author/title, or subject heading.

Classify records also included subject headings from the Faceted Application of Subject Terminology (FAST) scheme.


Blog Articles

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