Library of Congress Classification

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The Library of Congress Classification (LCC) is a system of library classification developed by the Library of Congress. It is used by most research and academic libraries in the U.S. and several other countries — most public libraries and small academic libraries continue to use the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). It is not to be confused with the Library of Congress Subject Headings.

The classification was originally developed by Herbert Putnam with the advice of Charles Ammi Cutter in 1897 before he assumed the librarianship of Congress. It was influenced by Cutter Expansive Classification, DDC, and was designed for the use by the Library of Congress. The new system replaced a fixed location system developed by Thomas Jefferson. By the time of Putnam's departure from his post in 1939 all the classes except K (Law) and parts of B (Philosophy and Religion) were well developed. It has been criticized as lacking a sound theoretical basis; many of the classification decisions were driven by the particular practical needs of that library, rather than considerations of epistemological elegance.

Although it divides subjects into broad categories, it is essentially enumerative in nature. It provides a guide to the books actually in the library, not a classification of the world.

The National Library of Medicine classification system (NLM) uses unused letters W and QS-QZ. Some libraries use NLM in conjunction with LCC, eschewing LCC's R (Medicine).

[edit] The system

AGENERAL WORKS
BPHILOSOPHY. PSYCHOLOGY. RELIGION
CAUXILIARY SCIENCES OF HISTORY
DHISTORY: GENERAL AND OLD WORLD
EHISTORY: AMERICA
FHISTORY: AMERICA
GGEOGRAPHY. ANTHROPOLOGY. RECREATION
HSOCIAL SCIENCES
JPOLITICAL SCIENCE
KLAW
LEDUCATION
MMUSIC AND BOOKS ON MUSIC
NFINE ARTS
PLANGUAGE AND LITERATURE
QSCIENCE
RMEDICINE
SAGRICULTURE
TTECHNOLOGY
UMILITARY SCIENCE
VNAVAL SCIENCE
ZBIBLIOGRAPHY. LIBRARY SCIENCE. INFORMATION RESOURCES (GENERAL)

Letter classes I, O, W, X and Y are not in standard use.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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Indices:   Alphabetical | Categorical (LOC Classes • Dewey classes • Roget's)

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Library of Congress Classification

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