Dewey Table

African Americans, civil rights movement 323.1196 Use for interdisciplinary works on the topic, titles examining the issue from various cultural/political/economic perspectives (often with some import to current debates). Prefer 973.0496 for works providing a traditional historical analysis (author frames his particular subject, i.e. LBJ’s Great Society legislation, within the broader scope of US history). DO NOT use 323.4XXX for books on a specific civil right (i.e., property rights, voting rights); group them all under the 323.1196 number. Use 323.092 for biographies of civil rights leaders.
Blacks, interdisciplinary works 305.896 Dewey guidance is to shelve interdisciplinary works on people of African descent here, so the number at three digits is not limited to the US. We do use this number as listed, however, for (1) books describing African American culture in general (2) memoirs by individual black Americans, provided a core feature of their narrative is their racial identity but (and this can be a fine distinction to make) not the specific experience of discrimination. Shelve books primarily about racism or race relations at the 305.8009 number listed on this page. DO NOT attach the -073 geographic facet to this 305.869 number to fit works on US race relations here.
Business enterprises, interdisciplinary works 338.761 Use for works on the socio-economic aspects of particular industries and production methods. Business histories often come in with this number. Use it so long as the item-in-hand is more analytical than instructional (CEO memoirs with a “success in business” or “lessons learned” approach are more suited to the 65Xs). NOTE: Although Dewey guidance is to shunt enterprises in the commerce, communications, or transportation sectors off to the 38Xs, there does seem to be room for those industries here (WebDewey lists 338.7/610053– Computer software industry as a built number example under 338). Local practice: avoid placing works on frequently covered industries (i.e., silicon valley startups) in the 38Xs; keep them together here at 338.761.
Computers, social effects 303.4834 Favor this number for works addressing computer technology as a cause of social change. Titles here should take a macro-level approach, looking at how computers have shaped culture and society broadly. Sample topic: how applications built around “big data” and algorithmic logic effect consumer behavior or the development of public institutions. Most of our titles on the social aspects of computer technology are here. To maintain this grouping over time, avoid using either 302.3028 or 306.46, numbers with similar topical scopes. For works narrowly focused on computer science (hardware or software), social media platforms, or the history of a particular tech company, see the entries at 004-006, 302.231, and 338.761.
COVID-19, interdisciplinary works 362.1962 Put books approaching COVID from a sociological perspective here. These should address specific social, economic, or political effects of the pandemic or relate individual experiences coping with the disease. See 614 for works that are heavy on scientific themes and see the 800s for literary collections. Also see the Dewey breakdown of the 300s and 600s options here.
Criminal justice system, race 363.2092
We’ve tried to corral works examining racial disparities in the justice administration into two main shelving areas, both under 36X (Social problems and services). Before consolidating them in this way, they were spread out across 34X (Law), 35X (Public Administration), and 36X (Criminology), depending on which specific area of the judicial system they addressed. To maintain our more stream-lined current practice, consider each new title in light of the opening lines from Law and order (“In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups. The police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.”) and assign one of the following numbers:

  • If it’s a memoir about police work or a collective biography of cops, use 363.2092
  • If it’s about policing (racial profiling, no-knock warrants, or related aspects of patrol and surveillance) use the 363.232 number.
  • If it’s about the legal side of the justice system (prosecution and defense, sentencing guidelines, mass incarceration, etc.) use the 364.089 number.
Espionage, US 327.1273 Use this number for interdisciplinary works on US espionage, subversion, and intelligence gathering activities. Also use it for general works on US intelligence agencies and covert action policy. For titles narrowly focused on CIA/military intelligence operations during a particular conflict, consider the number for the conflict. Examples: (1) many GWOT (global war on terror) books are at 363.325 (Social conflict >> Terrorism) (2) Cold War related ones are frequently classed in 9XX under the number for a specific administration, depending on which “hot” proxy war or Cold War era policy they address. Rule of thumb: prefer 9XX for more historical works; prefer 327.XXXX for titles covering the intelligence community in its own right or addressing current topics in international relations.
Ethnology 305.8 We have many books on race relations in the US and quite a few on the ethnic and national groups of other parts of the world. Specific areas of study such as these often have numbers of their own (see some of the entries on this page). For comprehensive works on ethnology, or ones offering a comparative perspective on various groups, prefer this number. Wade Davis’s Light at the end of the world: a journey through the realm of vanishing cultures is an example of what to include here at 305.8.
Fashion, interdisciplinary works 391.009 Class interdisciplinary works on “costume” here. Look for subject headings like fashion–history, fashion–social aspects, clothing and dress–history. Fashion related works in the 300s should focus on the wearers of clothing more than the designers (put the latter in 746). If the book provides an answer to the question “Who wore what in a particular time or place?” favor this number over alternates in the 640s or 740s.
Food supply, economic aspects 338.19XX Class here comprehensive works on the economics of food production, storage, or distribution. Include works on the causes or effects of changes to the food supply. Basically, if a title’s about the food industry broadly, favor this number over alternates at 664 (commercial food preparation/preservation/packaging) or 381.41 (commerce, agriculture). We’re not currently relocating commodity specific works (i.e., salt, cod, sugar) to this number; leave those at resource economics (333) or agricultural products (338.17XX) if they come in with those numbers. Also note: do add the -73 US geographic facet to this 338.19 “food supply” number if the title warrants it and it’s not already printed on the spine.
Food supply, interdisciplinary works 363.8
Place truly interdisciplinary works on food at one of these three numbers. Look at what we’ve got in each shelving area and make a judgment call as to which matches the new title. Some guidelines:

  • general works on the food supply and nutrition go well at 363.8
  • 394 is a good home for cultural analyses of eating and drinking (customs, habits, institutions)
  • lighter narratives on food-related topics are usually best at 641.3XXX
Food safety 363.192X Consider this our default number for works on genetically modified foods (GMOs), the effects of pesticides/plastics/and other chemical products on human health, the impact of industrial agriculture on the environment, and related topics. If the item-in-hand is explicitly about food safety standards — meaning it covers FDA policy and regulations or makes an argument for modifying them — then retain (or add) a “6” (363.1926). Otherwise, just stop after three digits. DO move “food supply” books that come in under 363.7XXX (Environmental problems, including pesticides and other toxic chemicals) here. We should, over time, have few if any food books at 363.7XXX
Foreign policy, US biographies 327.730092 Put biographies of US intelligence officers, secretaries of state, and other figures involved in the country’s FP establishment here. Use the broader 327.092 biography number for memoirs by non-US statesmen.
Foreign policy, US 327.73XXXX Use the base 327.73 number for general works on US foreign relations. To group the many titles we have here, go long on works addressing relations with a specific country or region — i.e., US relations with China: 327.73051, US relations with Central America: 327.730728. Use as many digits as necessary to represent the geographic area that is the focus of the work. Class specific topics in international relations, such as arms control treaties or intelligence gathering activities, in 327.11-327.17. NOTE: Avoid 303.482 (Social change >> Contact between cultures) for works on any of these topics; aim to keep the geopolitics material at 327.
Gun control 363.33 Use for interdisciplinary works on the civilian use of firearms, as well as books more narrowly focused on gun control policy (including histories of the 2nd Amendment or the NRA). Dewey guidance is to class the latter in 323.43 (Civil and political rights > Personal security). Do not shelve material on the 2nd Amendment or the NRA there; for simplicity’s sake, put them with our other works on gun policy in the 363 number.
Hispanic groups, interdisciplinary works 305.868 Use for interdisciplinary works on Latin Americans (people of Spanish, Portuguese, or Galician descent). See the “Blacks, interdisciplinary works” entry on this page for similar scope notes. Remember to prefer 973.0468 for comprehensive works on Hispanic American history.
Migration, illegal population movements 364.137 Avoid this number unless the item-in-hand addresses explicitly criminal behavior. Sample topics: coyotes moving people along the US-Mexico border or transnational criminal groups engaged in human trafficking. Prefer one of the migration numbers below for people who have relocated to a country to pursue a better quality of life (i.e., to escape war or extreme poverty) and whose only crime is to have done so by not going through the official legal channels.
Migration, immigrant/refugee experience 305.906912
Favor 305.9069XX numbers for interdisciplinary works about people who have experienced some kind of major change in their place of residence. Most of our “immigrant experience” memoirs are in this shelving area. Dewey includes separate numbers for groups such as nomads and the homeless, but we’re most concerned with the two covering immigrants (-906912) and refugees/stateless persons (-906914). Put memoirs by those voluntary relocating to another country under the first number, and those displaced for reasons outside of their control under the second. (Note that “victims of war” get their own number (-90695) and shouldn’t automatically be placed under the one for refugees; many civilians victimized by rape or WMD attacks suffer the effects of war without having been displaced.) Also use the -906914 refugees number for works on the provision of services to these people; avoid 362.87 for titles on that topic. Consider the 900s for analytical books drawing on broader historical themes rather than individual stories.
Migration, political aspects (US) 325.73 Use for titles focusing on United States immigration policy. Texts here should address topics such as citizenship programs, federal legislation on undocumented workers, specific enforcement agencies, etc. Do not shelve works describing the individual immigrant experience here (see the 304 and 305 numbers for those).
Migration, sociological aspects 304.873 Use for works on the factors driving migration, such as climate change, organized crime (gangs/cartels), dysfunctional national governments, etc. Also consider this number for narrowly focused immigrant/refugee memoirs, ones specifically relating the journey across an international border rather than the longer acculturation process after relocation (use the 305.9069XX number for those).
Military, mental health 355.0019 Class here general works on the psychological aspects of war, the mental health of active-duty service members and veterans, and related topics. Consider numbers in other classes for more narrowly focused books – i.e., the 900s for specific wars, the 600s for specific medical conditions (i.e., PTSD), or the 100s for explicitly ethical/moral treatments of military psychology.
Nuclear warfare 355.0217 Dewey has several numbers for books on the bomb, spread out across the 300s (military science, international relations), 600s (military engineering), and 900s (WWII, the Truman and Kennedy administrations). To ease browsing, group most of our books on nuclear weapons and warfare here; the Dewey notes for 355.0217: Military science > War and warfare > Nuclear warfare are most comprehensive and the bulk of the titles we acquire will fit under the number just fine. If a title is very narrowly focused, try to restrict classification to just a few other spots: 355.8251 rather than 623.4511 for the development and engineering of nuclear bombs (works at 355.8251 should focus on Oppenheimer, Los Alamos, etc.) and 940.5425 for titles providing a historical analysis of the role of the bomb in the Asian theater during WWII.
Race relations, US 305.8009 Use this as our default number for general works on race and ethnicity in American society (the actual Dewey number for this topic includes the geographical facet for the US: 305.8009/73; since we have far more books on American race relations than race relations in other countries, only include the geographical facet for those works not focused on the US). For works addressing the experience of a particular minority group in the US in its own right and not necessarily vis-a-vis its relations with other groups, prefer the number for the group; for example, put works on Latin Americans in 305.868, on African Americans in 305.896. For general works on cultural groups, consider the number for ethnology (entry above).
Retirement planning 332.024014 Use for personal finance guides offering practical advice on retirement. Look for pages with “Do” and “Don’t” sections, bullet-pointed lists of tips, worksheets, and other features common in self-help books and guides. Use the related “Retirement” number in the 300s (306.38) for narrative works that analyze the topic in sociological terms. Reserve 646.79 for more comprehensive retirement planning books, titles that take a “big picture” approach to well-being in later life rather than focusing on financial security.
Slavery 306.362 There are several numbers for slavery in Dewey, including: 306.362 (Cultural institutions > Economic institutions), 326 (Political science > Slavery and emancipation), 331.11/734 (Labor economics > Compulsory labor), 973.7/11X (Lincoln administration > Causes of secession). Prefer 306.362 for all titles on the slave trade, except those addressing the topic in relation to the US Civil War (use the 973 number for those) or in the narrow geographic context of New England (use 974.00496). On the rare occasion that we get a book discussing another form of forced labor, such as drafted workers, consider 331.
Social media 302.231 Dewey guidance is to class “social media, user-generated content; digital audio, digital video; sociology of the Internet, sociology of the World Wide Web” here. Follow this instruction for narrative texts analyzing Facebook, Twitter, etc. from a sociological perspective, especially if they discuss the effect of those platforms on individual life or small group dynamics, not society as whole (favor 303.4834 for those broader-scope works). Remember to use the COMPUTERS neighborhood for practical books on using specific computer applications.
Veterans, problems/services 362.868 Prefer this number for works on PTSD, readjustment to civilian society, veterans’ rights and benefits, etc. Many titles on the mental health and social readjustment of service members are interdisciplinary and fit well here. Keep an eye out for titles on these topics that come in with different numbers (i.e., 355.345 for military health services , 174.9355 for ethics in military affairs); avoid the 174 and 355 numbers and try to keep all our veterans’ health care titles together at 362. The 355 number is appropriate for works on health care services to active duty personnel.
White supremacy 320.569 For works on white supremacy or white nationalism as ideologies and/or political movements, prefer this number over 305.8XXX, 320.54XX, or other numbers in the 300s. Look for subject headings such as White nationalism–United States or White supremacy movements–United States. Also shelve works on the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) here. Put general race relations titles in the broader 305 number. Consider other numbers on this page for more narrowly focused works on ethnicity and race – i.e., 323.1196 for the African Americans civil rights movement.