Dewey Table

Actors, film 791.4309 Put biographies and memoirs of movie stars here IF (1) they more or less tell a coherent life story from cover to cover (rather than present disconnected essays relating the individual’s observations on culture, politics, etc.) and (2) they incorporate anecdotes and stories from the actor’s professional career. See the “television actors” and “comedians” entries below for examples and alternative classification areas.
Actors, television 791.4502 Put biographies and memoirs of television stars here IF (1) they more or less tell a coherent life story from cover to cover (rather than present disconnected essays relating the individual’s observations on culture, politics, etc.) and (2) they incorporate anecdotes and stories from the actor’s professional career. For example, Colin Jost’s memoir has several chapters on his work as a staff writer and performer at SNL; one of Mindy Kaling’s has sections on The Office, SNL, and working in Hollywood generally. When the two broad criteria outlined here aren’t met, consider shelving the book by it’s narrower thematic focus (i.e., in the Dewey number for drug addiction or family relationships) or in literature (814 for essays or 818 for miscellaneous writings).
Architectural history 720.9XXX, 722-724 Use the 720.9 base plus a specific geographic facet (i.e., -52 for Japan) for historical analyses of architectural schools/styles limited to a specific country or locality. For comprehensive works on specific schools or styles not limited to a particular place, use a number in the 722-724 range.
Architectural history, Newport 720.97457 We have an in-depth collection on architecture (72X). To make sure our books on the City’s buildings are together, use the full Dewey number listed – do not truncate at 4 digits after the decimal point (adding the final “7” provides the geographic facet for Newport). Favor this number when processing most books on Newport architecture, regardless of their thematic focus. For example, a work on Trinity Church came in with 726.5097, the number for Christian religious structures — North America. While this fits the work, we’ve placed it at the long 720 number with our other books on Newport architecture. The only regular exception to 720.97457 as the default number: works on RI public buildings. Go ahead and put books on the State House and related buildings under 725.XXXX, the number for public structures (these are in much less demand than the other titles and we won’t worry about changing the number they come in with to match local practice).
Architectural history, Rhode Island 720.9745 Use this as the default number for books on Rhode Island buildings and estates that aren’t located in Newport. Do this for general RI architecture books, as well as structure-specific or thematic titles (i.e., RI churches or farms), even if they come in with a narrower 72X number. But don’t bother pulling government buildings from 725.XXXX if they come in that way. See the above entry on Newport architecture for comparable classification guidelines.
Architecture, expensive private homes 728.8XXX This is the number for Residential and related buildings– large and elaborate private dwellings. Dewey guidance is to class “chateaux, manor houses, mansions, plantation houses, villas” here. Follow this instruction for all books on these types of structures so long as they aren’t located here in Newport. (Many books on Newport’s mansions will come in with this 728 number. Do NOT put them here; use 720.97457 instead.)
Architecture, separate houses 728.37XX This is the number for Residential and related buildings– separate houses. Dewey guidance is to class “cottages” here. Follow this instruction for books on standalone homes so long as they aren’t located here in Newport. (Many of the books on Newport’s high-end, boutique homes – both historical and current – will be assigned this 728 number. Do NOT put them here; use 720.97457 instead.)
Art history, general works 709.XXXX Books covering specific styles, movements, or periods of art can go here OR (if they address a style as expressed in a particular medium) under the division for that medium — i.e., 73X for sculpture, 75X for painting, etc. Use this more encompassing 709 art history number for (1) comprehensive works on specific styles or movements and for (2) analyses of mixed-media arts that don’t fit easily into one recognizable form. Favor one of the more specific 73X-77X fine and decorative arts numbers for books about artistic styles in specific mediums. For example, put a general work on Romanesque art at 709.0216, and one on Romanesque painting at 759.0216.
Biography, multi-format artists (all arts) 700.92 Put critiques, collections, and life stories of artists who worked in two or more of the fine and decorative arts AND one or more of the other arts here. For example, a book about a painter who was also a sculptor and a poet: 700.92, not 73X (sculpture), 75X (painting), or 8XX (literature).
Biography, multi-format artists (fine and decorative arts) 709.2 Use for biographical studies and critical analyses of artists not limited to or chiefly associated with a single fine art. Check Wikipedia if unsure whether or not someone contributed extensively to one or more artistic fields. Also be sure to check the OPAC and see what our existing holdings are for a particular artist before placing him here. It’s easy for titles on a multi-format artist to get spread out — with ones on his sculpture work in the 73Xs, for example, and another on his prints in the 77Xs — and we want to avoid this (see the note on Picasso below). Basic approach: if we have more than one book on a multi-format artist, put them all under 709.2. If we only have one, put it in (1) 709.2 if it’s a straight bio OR in (2) the 700s division for the form if it only covers the artist’s work in that particular medium. For example, if we only had this one book on Chagall — Jewels for a crown: the story of the Chagall windows, a study of his glasswork, not a biography of his life — we’d shelve it at 748.5 (stained, painted, mosaic glass).
Biography, artists associated with a single format 73X – 77X For an individual artist known for his work in a particular medium, use the number for that medium. Henri Matisse, for instance, is known primarily for his paintings; so all our works on him are shelved under French painting (759.4), not under 709.2. NOTE: For very famous artists for whom we have more than 2 or 3 titles, use a hyphenated call number and spine label. For example, our works on Chagall: 709.2 Cha + Author
Comedians 792.7602 Many works by or about stand-up comics, sit-com writers, and related comedic artists will fit well here. In cases where a comic has written a collection of essays or mimicked, for humorous effect, another literary form (i.e., a guide to marriage, a travel guide), err on the side of the 800s. Use 814.XX for essay collections and 818.XXXX for miscellaneous writings that don’t meet the structural criteria of an essay (a well-structured, relatively concise narrative text with a clear thematic focus). Note: Dewey no longer considers “humor” a literary form, so avoid the 817 section number for individual authors (the number is still allowed for collections).
Dadaism, surrealism 709.0406 Class comprehensive works on these artistic movements here. For titles that present an individual artist’s work through the lens of either dadaism or surrealism, favor the number for the artist. Apply this approach generally to books about the relationship between an individual artist and a particular school.
Painters, specific individuals 759.1-759.9 Individual painters are classed in notation at country level. The -092 biography facet is not used. For example, critiques and/or collections of works by Max Beckman, a German painter, are shelved at 759.3.
Fashion design 746.92 Use for works on “costume” that focus on the artistic aspects of clothing, i.e., fashion design as a textile art incorporating the creative use of fabrics and patterns. Biographies and critiques of famous designers (Dior, McQueen, etc.) go here, if not in BIO. Also use for most titles on the ins-and-outs of the fashion industry. See 391 for interdisciplinary works on fashion history.
Fashion photography 746.920222, 749.9746 See the photography entries on this page for detailed guidance on handling collections of images. In brief, give primary weight to two factors when choosing between the divisions for fashion (74X) and photography (77X): (1) whether or not the work includes technical info about photography and/or biographical info about photographers (2) the audience most likely to look for the book (people interested in taking pictures or in clothing styles). Class appropriately.
Fly fishing 799.124 Also use this number for works on making artificial flies for catching trout or salmon; do NOT class fly tying in 688.7912.
Forgeries, alterations 702.874 Use this for general works on art forgeries. Titles here should focus on techniques of reproduction and authentication broadly, and/or cover the activity of multiple forgers. For books on forgers who copied a single artist, class the book with that artist. For example, The man who made Vermeer: unvarnishing the legend of the master forger Han Van Meegeren is with our other Vermeer books at 759.9492.
Galleries, museums, private collections 708.XXXX For collections and exhibitions of fine and decorative arts, use 708 as our default number. Add digits to specify the geographic area — i.e., 708.153 for art museums/collections in D.C., 708.145 for ones in RI.
Graphic design 74X.XXX Class comprehensive works on graphic arts in 740; this includes copy art made with rubbings, photocopy equipment, and typewriters, as well as two-dimensional mixed-media art and composites. For more commercially oriented works, favor the narrower 741.6XXX (Graphic design, illustration, commercial art) numbers. Use the 76X division for books on printmaking as a fine art (rather than a commercial endeavor), and 686 for histories and design guides on lettering.
Historic preservation, RI structures 720.9745 (RI), 720.97457 Use these numbers for works on the identification, designation, or promotion of historic structures located in RI (-7 is for NPT alone). If the item-in-hand is broader in scope (i.e., historic preservation policies and practices of another region or of the nation as a whole), use 363.69XX.
Landscape design 712 Class here general planning and design guides for gardens, parks, lawns, and other landscaped areas — either public (712.5) or private (712.6). Also use 71X for more focused design guides, i.e., works on laying out plants or grasses (715-716). Books on specific places and their aesthetic styles also go here; these include topics like “the gardens of Paris” or “English cottage gardens.” Put works on how to grow ornamental flowers and edible garden plants in 635.XXXX. See the 500s page for works on harvesting wild, edible plants.
Music, bands and solo musicians 782.XXXXXXX Class narrative texts on particular groups or individuals here. Dewey instructions are to reserve this area for performers known for their vocal work. Note that we use variations of 782 for pretty much every book we carry on popular musicians, regardless of whether or not they’re known for their instrumental work as much as their voice. Tend to stick to this practice. Use as many digits as needed to group the different genres together.
Music, individual composers 780.92 Prefer this over 789 for works on musicians who composed both vocal and instrumental music. Examples: Bach, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin.
Music, general principles/forms 781.XXXX Class music theory and composition here. Dewey guidance is to use this number as well for narrative works on hybrid styles and “musicians that are equally known for their vocal and instrumental work, e.g. Louis Armstrong, a jazz trumpeter, singer, and band leader” here. We’ve put most bands and solo musicians in 782, even if the group or person is known for singing as much as for playing a particular instrument. Generally, stick to this practice. Reserve 781 for (1) works covering multiple artists (2) general histories of specific musical traditions (i.e., the history of rock, 781.6609) and (3) thematic works on music, such as groupie subculture.
Music, scores (sheet music) 78X … 0263 To group our collection of printed music more logically, we’ve gone really long here. Open the PDF in the middle column for details on the breakdown. In brief:

  • The bulk of the collection — the popular vocal/piano scores — go in some variation of 782 0263. The -0263 facet is used to identify each title as sheet music; the middle portion can range from 2 to 6 digits and indicates which genre is covered (i.e., country, rock, folk, etc.).
  • Also getting their own numbers: (1) Christmas songs, 782.4217 (2) movies and television shows, 781.540263 and (3) musicals 782.140263.
  • Instrument-specific sheet music goes with the appropriate instrument in the 786-788 range. Note: the only exception here is piano music; instead of classing solo piano scores in 786, put them in 782 with the rest of the popular titles.
Music, songwriting 782.4213 Class all books on this topic here. Do not use various .4216XXX endings.
Photographers, biography 770.92
Dewey guidance is to class photographers associated with a specific application with the application, e.g., photojournalists 070.49092. In cases like photojournalism, nature photography, and fashion photography, we’ve often done that. Use your judgement. If an individual is famous primarily as a photographer, is known for his contributions to photography as an art form, favor the 77Xs. Otherwise, the topic photographed may be a better fit. Also, note that there are two biography numbers in the 77Xs: 770.92 seems to be the preferred number for largely narrative works on photographers, which may or may not include select representations of their work; 779.092 looks like the number for books that include both substantial collections of images and critical/biographical info.
Photographs, collections 000-999
There are 3 potential Dewey areas to place these: (1) in the class number for the subject matter of the collection (2) 778.XXXX or (3) 779.XXXX.

  • Favor numbers outside the 77Xs (option 1) if the collection isn’t “artsy” and patrons are likely to be interested in it primarily for the topic matter covered, for example Picturing resistance: moments of social social change from the 1950s to today is at 303.484 and America’s marine sanctuaries: a photographic exploration is at 578.7702.
  • As for 778 VS 779, 778 seems to be more for interdisciplinary works on the equipment and techniques associated with the photography of specific subjects (i.e, How to photograph water, 778.9955), while 779 seems to gather together straight collections of images, again broken down by subject matter (i.e., Bystander: street photography, 779.4). Going forward, try to stick to these distinctions.
Photography, general works 770 Use for broad works on conventional photography (photography using film) and digital photography.
Photography, techniques 771.XXXX Class here interdisciplinary works on “description, use, manufacture of apparatus, equipment, or materials.” Differentiate between this number and 778 based on the intent of the text – 771 one is more for general instruction, 778 is more for browsing and/or guidance on photographing specific subjects. Titles here should be in a broad “how-to” vein; 778 books should have substantial collections of (often subject-specific) images along with some info on technique.
Picasso, Pablo 709.2 Picasso’s a good example of how our titles on an individual artist can get away from us, with different ones receiving different numbers over time and the collection of related works ending up too spread out. One problem in Picasso’s case is geography: he was born in Spain but spent much of his career in Paris. Before cleaning up the 700s, we had some of his books at 759.4 (French painting) and some at 759.6 (Spanish painting). Another problem is format: though arguably most famous as a painter, he also sculpted, made prints and ceramics, and designed theater sets. Dewey guidance seems to call for 709.2 in this case, but we had most of our titles in 75X. To facilitate browsing and weeding, we pulled all his works together at 709.2.
Podcasts 791.46 Use this as the default number for books on podcasting as a form of digital media. Prefer it over alternate podcasting numbers under publishing (070.57973) and communications (302.234). For titles by specific show hosts that are more about the author’s life/world view than about podcasting itself, consider a number for the dominant theme in the text (see the TV actor and comedian entries on this page for more guidance).