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Library of Congress System vs. Dewey Decimal System — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on December 5, 2023
The Library of Congress System categorizes books by subject using a combination of letters and numbers, while the Dewey Decimal System uses only numbers.
Library of Congress System vs. Dewey Decimal System — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Library of Congress System and Dewey Decimal System

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Key Differences

The Library of Congress System (LCS) is a method of classifying books and other materials in libraries based on subjects and is primarily used in research and academic libraries. The Dewey Decimal System (DDS), on the other hand, is a numeric system, often found in public and school libraries.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023
The Library of Congress System uses a combination of letters and numbers to represent subjects and subtopics. For instance, books on American literature might be categorized under "PS." The Dewey Decimal System, in contrast, assigns a numeric code, such as "813" for American fiction.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023
Both the Library of Congress System and the Dewey Decimal System aim to organize library materials in a systematic and logical manner. However, while the LCS is more detailed and can be more specific to particular subjects, the DDS offers a broader classification.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023
Another notable difference is that the Library of Congress System has been updated and expanded over time to accommodate new topics and areas of study. The Dewey Decimal System, while also updated, follows a more traditional and long-standing structure.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Comparison Chart

Structure

Combination of letters and numbers
Only numbers
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023
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Common Usage

Research and academic libraries
Public and school libraries
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Specificity

More detailed for specific subjects
Broader classification
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Dec 05, 2023

Updates & Expansion

Regularly updated for new subjects
Traditional structure, less frequent updates
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Dec 05, 2023

Origin & Development

Developed by the Library of Congress
Developed by Melvil Dewey
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Dec 05, 2023

Compare with Definitions

Library of Congress System

A system employed mainly in academic and research libraries for organizing materials.
Many university libraries prefer the Library of Congress System for its detailed categorization.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 24, 2023

Dewey Decimal System

Developed by Melvil Dewey in the 19th century for efficient library organization.
The Dewey Decimal System has been a staple in libraries for over a century.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 24, 2023

Library of Congress System

Originated from the Library of Congress to organize its vast collection.
The Library of Congress System was designed to manage the extensive holdings of the Library of Congress.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 24, 2023

Dewey Decimal System

A globally recognized system used in more than 200,000 libraries worldwide.
Libraries around the world adopt the Dewey Decimal System for its universal appeal.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 24, 2023

Library of Congress System

A system that provides both broad and specific classifications for materials.
Using the Library of Congress System, one can find materials on general topics or delve into niche subjects.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 24, 2023

Dewey Decimal System

A numeric classification system for organizing library materials.
The Dewey Decimal System is popular in public libraries for its straightforward structure.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 24, 2023

Library of Congress System

A classification system for books based on subjects using alphanumeric codes.
The Library of Congress System makes it easier to locate specific subjects in research libraries.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 24, 2023

Dewey Decimal System

A hierarchical system where each class can be further divided into ten subclasses.
In the Dewey Decimal System, the 500s represent natural sciences, with further divisions for specific subjects.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 24, 2023

Library of Congress System

A regularly updated system accommodating new topics and areas of study.
The Library of Congress System constantly evolves to reflect contemporary subjects and knowledge.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 24, 2023

Dewey Decimal System

A system that groups books into 10 main classes.
With the Dewey Decimal System, fiction and literature have their designated numbers.
Tayyaba Rehman
Oct 24, 2023

Common Curiosities

Which libraries typically employ the Dewey Decimal System?

Public and school libraries often use the Dewey Decimal System.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

How is the Dewey Decimal System different from the Library of Congress System?

The Dewey Decimal System uses only numbers for classification, while the Library of Congress System uses both letters and numbers.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

What is the Library of Congress System?

It's a classification system for books based on subjects using alphanumeric codes, primarily used in research and academic libraries.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

How specific can the Library of Congress System get with its classifications?

It offers both broad and specific classifications for materials, accommodating even niche subjects.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Is the Library of Congress System updated regularly?

Yes, it's regularly updated to accommodate new topics and areas of study.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Do both systems require regular manual updating?

While both systems undergo updates, the Library of Congress System tends to have more frequent expansions to accommodate modern subjects.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Where is the Library of Congress System commonly used?

It's mainly used in research and academic libraries.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Are there major categories in the Dewey Decimal System?

Yes, it groups books into 10 main classes, with each class further divided into ten subclasses.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Why might a library choose the Library of Congress System over the Dewey Decimal System?

Libraries might prefer the detailed subject specificity and flexibility in updates offered by the Library of Congress System.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Can non-books be classified using the Dewey Decimal System?

Yes, while it's primarily for books, the Dewey Decimal System can be adapted for other materials like CDs and DVDs.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Who developed the Dewey Decimal System?

It was developed by Melvil Dewey in the 19th century.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Which system is more widely recognized globally?

The Dewey Decimal System is used in over 200,000 libraries worldwide and is globally recognized.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Do both systems use a hierarchical approach to classification?

Yes, both the Library of Congress System and the Dewey Decimal System use a hierarchical approach, but they differ in their structures and categorization methods.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

What kind of materials can be classified using the Library of Congress System?

Books, periodicals, sound recordings, digital materials, and other items can be classified using the system.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

Which system is older: the Library of Congress System or the Dewey Decimal System?

The Dewey Decimal System is older, having been developed in the 19th century, while the Library of Congress System was later adopted in the 20th century.
Tayyaba Rehman
Dec 05, 2023

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to askdifference.com. As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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