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Classification Systems

The JFKI Library applies two different systems to classify and arrange its holdings:


The Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC)

Example for a DDC call number:: 327.73/A512

All monographs purchased since 2000 are classified and arranged in the stacks by Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC). You can find all monographs with DDC call numbers (beginning with numbers) in stack 3 at the second floor.

The DDC is the most widely used library classification. The focus lies on the Anglo-American language area (in the USA 85% of all libraries). The DDC had been developed by the American librarian Melvil Dewey (1815-1931) on the base of a draft by the German scholar Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. In relevance to the mathematical decimal system the DDC contains ten main classes that are divided in hundreds and thousands.


The JFKI Library’s Special Classification

Example for a JFKI special classification call number: KA 4205/ C 587

All monographs purchased up to and including 1999 are classified and arranged by a system especially developed for the JFKI. You can find all these call numbers beginning with letters in stacks 1 and 2 at the ground level of the library (X: reading room area).

A new classification system especially for the JFKI Library’s acquisition profile was developed from 1960 to 1980. This classification only exists in print – please see the blue volumes in the bottom part of the new acquisition shelf in the library hall.

This classification system is divided into the following main classes:


A General reference works
AA Scholarship and research in general
AB Library and information sciences, Book arts
  History of Civilization and Culture
B General works (incl. national characteristics and types, social life and customs, etiquette)
BA Recreation (incl. hobbies, sports and games)
BB Travel and Description
BD Ethnography, ethnic groups and minorities (incl. African American and Native American studies)
BF Folklore
C-CB General, Christianity, other religions
CD Occultism
D-DB General, Logic, Ethics, Aesthetics
DD Psychology
E-EB Education
F Linguistics
G General and Universal, English literature
GA American literature
GB Canadian and other literatures in English
GC Literature in European languages
  Performing Arts
H-HB General, Theater, Film, Radio, TV, etc.
HD Music
HF-HG Fine Arts (incl. architecture, sculpture, painting, etc.)
K-KB General (incl. historiography, diplomatic and political history, KA: History of the USA)
KC-KH Auxiliary disciplines (Chronology, Archaeology, Genealogy, etc.)
  Political Science
L-LB General (incl. constitutional history and law, government and administration, practical politics)
LD International law, International relations (incl. international organizations)
M-MB General
MD Religious law
N-NB Social Sciences in General, Sociology

(incl. social history and conditions, environmental studies, women’s studies, urban studies)

P-PB Economics (incl. economic history and conditions)
R Geography
S Science and Technology
V Periodicals
X Books in reading room area
Z Rare books in closed stack