Arabic Library Standards


Arabic Dewey Decimal Classification


About Dewey

The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system is one of the most powerful knowledge organization tools. Conceived by Melvel Dewey in 1873 and first published in 1876, it has now successfully reached its 23rd Edition.

The DDC is considered the most widely used classification system internationally. It has been translated into more than 30 languages and is used in over 200,000 libraries in 135+ countries of which 60 use it to organize their national bibliographies. It is also the most widely used classification system in Arab libraries.

DDC classification schemes’ revisions and expansions are informed by trends in human literature. Its latest editions are undergoing adaptation and internationalization to accommodate the classification needs of a multiplicity of countries and cultures.

DDC has gained additional importance in the last few years. Nowadays, it is not only a classification system, but an online resource discovery tool, and a linked data product. Moreover, its carefully revised and refreshed terminology made it convenient to provide multilingual subject access to digital collections in large cooperative digitization projects like the World Digital Library (WDL).

Islamic Expansions

The DDC has been optimized for Arab and Islamic classification needs. Important expansions in several Islamic classification schemes were carefully planned and developed by Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) team and proposed to the Dewey Editorial Policy Committee (EPC). They were jointly finalized and included into the DDC through a process of long discussions and comments by the Dewey international Islamic community.

Expansions in Historical periods of Islam, Hadith and Koran classification schemes (class 297.1-.8 Islam) were included the international Dewey 23rd Print Edition. Other expansions, in class 297.1-.8 equally, followed, and were included in the WebDewey, including: Religious and ceremonial laws and decisions, Mecca, Sunnites, Alawīs. This is in addition to provisions for Islamic law in Law, including Schools of Law, and Marriage in Islam in classes 340.59 Islamic law, and 342-347 General patterns respectively. New expansions are planned and will be will be included in WebDewey subsequent updates and the next print Edition.