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JohnnyGottaKeyboard
03-28-2017, 08:16 PM
It was my understanding that the system was uniform across libraries (i.e., a knowledgeable person could go to any library and find the section s/he wanted based on the numbers). Searching the internet, I can only find general listings however. Does anyone know, is there a specific numeric designation for local area maps? That's really the only number I need.

Thanks!

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
03-28-2017, 08:25 PM
Natch, the minute after posting I stumbled onto this: http://msrosenreads.com/2011/05/03/dewey-decimal-classification-system/

So, maps and atlases would be 912. It doesn't get any more specific. Is there a sub numeration for local maps? Or by state?

Duncan J Macdonald
03-28-2017, 08:33 PM
I'm not a Librarian, nor do I play one on TV.

However, a quick search shows that 912 (Atlases, maps, charts & plans) is the first three digits you'd need. After that, more specificity comes after a decimal point. See Dewey Services (https://www.oclc.org/en/dewey.html)for a free 30 day trial!

Duncan J Macdonald
03-28-2017, 08:39 PM
From the Library of Congress Web Site: There is no comprehensive resource or database that you can check to locate a book's Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) number or Dewey call number. The best place to begin your search is the Library of Congress Online Catalog (http://catalog.loc.gov/). When you open a record for a book in the catalog, look for a field labeled "Dewey Class No."

AW Admin
03-28-2017, 09:10 PM
Natch, the minute after posting I stumbled onto this: http://msrosenreads.com/2011/05/03/dewey-decimal-classification-system/

So, maps and atlases would be 912. It doesn't get any more specific. Is there a sub numeration for local maps? Or by state?

Ask your local reference librarian. They will know the cataloging librarian, who can probably provide you with either the complete list of Dewey tables (A large multivolume work) or will, given a specific question, be able to proved the base Dewey number.

The same book in three different libraries could have three very different Dewey shelf numbers, based on the rest of the library's collection and the personal judgement of the cataloging librarian.

Shakesbear
03-28-2017, 09:24 PM
What AW Admin said.

I used to be a librarian and cataloging was a specialist area. The Dewey system will differ from country to country as well - so complex!

WeaselFire
03-28-2017, 10:04 PM
Local maps will be in a section up front labeled "Local" and not filed by their numbering system. :)

Jeff

Shakesbear
03-28-2017, 10:59 PM
Local maps will be in a section up front labeled "Local" and not filed by their numbering system. :)

Jeff

Not in my local library. Is that common on t'other side of the Pond?

Casey Karp
03-28-2017, 11:32 PM
I'm speaking here as a former cataloger, so you know the information is correct. ;) Or at least it was 20+ years ago, before I was a former cataloger.


The same book in three different libraries could have three very different Dewey shelf numbers, based on the rest of the library's collection and the personal judgement of the cataloging librarian.

Absolutely correct. At the library where I worked, for example, we never went beyond two digits after the period. A specialist library might go to half a dozen digits or more.

So in your position, if you're dealing with a public library (which generally use abbreviated numbers), you might be able to just go with that 912 number to get to the right general area, and then check the shelves.

Or, yeah, ask your local librarian how they'd catalog the item in question. It won't be a universally-applicable answer, but it'll be a defensible answer.

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
03-29-2017, 01:34 AM
Thanks all! I did visit my library this morning and spoke first to the main researcher and then to the chief (?) cataloger. Both were very enthusiastic. We decided since the library in question was the Chancellor Green (Princeton U), I could go with 912.7 for NA cartography and then 48 as a guess for the state of PA (My MC just needs a guess to get the right area and then he *does* browse the shelves for completely fictional atlases of the counties of PA and NJ).

Again major thank youse to everyone!

the bunny hugger
03-29-2017, 05:51 PM
I work with a specialty library and the base Dewey is not sufficient. We use some US conventions for going beyond the base but some numbers that are just in this location. This is because we have entire sections on extremely detailed aspects of a particular subject, and they are ordered to be logical for our users.

That said I grew up with both a public library and university library that used Dewey. I can recite numbers relating to my profession and my main hobby interests from memory even today. And there is a general uniformity to the subject "rainbow" and so the order books will be shelved in.

lonestarlibrarian
03-29-2017, 07:35 PM
Just a comment, but--- only some academic libraries use Dewey. Many academic libraries use the LC (Library of Congress) cataloging system, which is a totally different animal.

I've never visited the Princeton campus or its libraries, but it seems that Princeton may have used the LC cataloging system (http://library.princeton.edu/departments/tsd/katmandu/class/systems.html) since the mid-70's, and has been using it for at least some of its cataloging needs since the 30's.

Try doing a search for the sort of object you want in the Princeton library catalog (http://library.princeton.edu/), and see what comes up. It's common for many academic libraries to have their collections split between multiple buildings, which may or may not be attached, or jumps through several physical locations through the course of time. Or you might find [this sort of reference material] in *this* building, but [this other sort of reference material] is in *that* building. If you're in a fictitious university, you can get away with anything you want; but if you're going to set it in famous institutions, like Princeton, or Oxford, or Cambridge, or Harvard, or Yale, or wherever--- people will say, "Ahhh!" when you've got your details mixed up.

So, for example, since you're using Chancellor Green as a library, I'm presuming that this is set in the distant past, since Chancellor Green hasn't been used as a library since Firestone was built in 1948. Nowadays, it's sort of a coffeehouse/student center (https://etcweb.princeton.edu/Campus/text_Chancellor.html). So, if you're writing about Princeton in the 1920's, it might be worth dropping a note to their refdesk and ask, "Hey, what sort of classification system did your university use in this particular decade?" since I'm not seeing anything that explicitly says Princeton has ever used the Dewey Decimal System at all.

the bunny hugger
03-29-2017, 07:40 PM
I think Dewey is generally fading from favor. Most of the places I go these days are using library of Congress.

JohnnyGottaKeyboard
03-29-2017, 11:57 PM
The story takes place in 1912. I have two emails out, one to the Ref desk and one to the PU Historical Society.

lonestarlibrarian
03-30-2017, 04:42 AM
Awesomesauce. :)