300s vs 600s
Guidance from WebDewey
Use 300 for works that discuss the social implications of a technology, e.g., the economic importance of lumbering 338.17498 (not 634.98). Use 300 for works on the social utilization, the social control, and the social effect of technology. Use 600 for works that discuss how to make, operate, maintain, or repair something, e.g., manufacture of motor vehicles 629.2.
Use 300 rather than 600 for the following categories of material:
- Works that emphasize the social use of the topic rather than operating or processing it, e.g., tea drinking in England 394.12 (not 641.33720942 or 641.63720942)
- Works that emphasize the overall perspective, e.g., the shift from coal to oil in American industry 333.82130973 (not 621.4023)
- Works that emphasize the social control as opposed to the control exercised during the manufacturing process, e.g., standards of drug quality imposed by a government agency or a trade association 363.1946 (not 615.19)
- Works that cite raw statistics, e.g., crop production, acreage, fertilizer consumption, farm size 338.1 (not 630)
Use 300 for technical and research reports that emphasize procedural technicalities and refer to economic, legal, administrative, or regulatory complexities. Consider the purpose of the writer and the mission of the agency authorizing the reports in determining the classification of a report series, and of individual reports in a series. Use 300 if the emphasis is on the exercise of social control over a process or the social aspects of technological processes, e.g., water quality monitoring systems 363.739463 (not 628.161), a work describing how railroads serve Argentina 385.0982 (not 625.100982); a report on fertilizer and rice studying production efficiency in developing countries 338.162 (not 633.1889).
Use 300 as the interdisciplinary number for a phenomenon of social significance, e.g., wind energy 333.92, railroad transportation 385; however, use 600 for works that emphasize descriptions of structures or products, e.g., windmills 621.453, locomotives 625.26.
Biography and company history
Use 600 for works on artisans, engineers, and inventors. However, use 338.7 for works on artisans, engineers, and inventors who are of more interest as entrepreneurs, e.g., Henry Ford 338.76292092.
Use 600 (or 700 if the interest is artistic) for works on the products of specific companies that emphasize the description and design of the products, e.g., Seth Thomas clocks or Ferrari automobiles. However, use 338.7 if the organization or history of the company receives significant attention, e.g., Seth Thomas clocks 681.113097461, but the Seth Thomas Clock Company and its clocks 338.7681113097461.