Thursday, June 17, 2010

52 Weeks to Better Genealogy - Week 24 - Library Classification Systems

I'm so behind on all these challenges! I decided to do a quick post on this one...being a librarian and all...

The Week 24 challenge (developed by my friend Amy of We Tree and hosted by was:

Read about the differences and understand the different ways of classification. You may have heard of the Dewey Decimal Classification system, but do you really know its nuts and bolts? What about the Library of Congress system? Check out some web sites for summary information on Dewey Decimal Classification, Library of Congress Classification (including Understanding LoC Call Numbers). Don’t worry if it seems confusing. Just look at the categories and ways library items are organized. Do you see other areas that may include books of genealogy interest? Explore those areas of your library for other materials. Bloggers are encouraged to share their experiences with this challenge.

I was reading Tina Lyons' post for this week about the classification system used at the Allen County (Indiana) Public Library's Genealogy Center and was thinking...hmm, that sure sounds like it's based on Dewey.

Looks like it is. I found a great guide at the St. Louis County (Missouri public) Library website: an alphabetical listing of counties in each state and their Dewey Decimal numbers. For example, here is the page for the 254 counties in Texas.

My workplace, being a university, uses Library of Congress, but we have added a few things to the call numbers in our Local History and Genealogy room. The call number starts with "LOCAL HIST" but then is followed with the location the book deals with - either US, TEXAS, or the county name, for our county (ERATH) and the seven counties bordering it. The books are shelved in this room by these locations, which makes it easier for our patrons to browse them.

© Amanda Pape - 2010

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