Thanks, David, that's interesting! I thought it might be public domain. So
is OCLC going to go after LC for copyright infringement now? LC is probably
protected because it's a government agency...
In number 5 below, what David is talking about is the second line of the
call number -- the first indicates the subject, and the second provides
organization within the subject, which is usually but not always by author.
For example, in my cookbook section at home, I use a general number for
"cooking from other countries and ethnic groups" on the first line, and the
name of the country or group on the second line, because that's the most
sensible arrangement for how I use them. (Yes, I know it's obsessive. My
spices are in alphabetical order, too.)
From: David S. Bratman [mailto:dbratman@...
Sent: Tuesday, September 23, 2003 6:32 PM
Subject: Re: [SPAM:#] RE: [mythsoc] Dewey Decimal Owner Sues 'Library' Hotel
I'd rather guess that the LC classification is in the public domain. For
one thing: Private companies, as well as LC itself, publish editions of it
in book form, with various enhancements.
All books cataloged by LC are given LC call numbers, which anyone is free
to use. In many books they can be found in the "cataloging in publication"
data, on the verso of the title page. Or, you can look them (and the rest
of the LC cataloging record) up online in the LC catalog at catalog.loc.gov
which is completely free - anyone can use it.
What's more, for some years LC has also supplied Dewey classification
numbers as a courtesy for those libraries that use Dewey. These can be
found in the same places as the LC numbers, and if OCLC thinks they can
stop anybody from using them, they need to join the RIAA.
In the spirit of disseminating as much info into the public domain as
possible: if you want to use a Dewey number from an LC record, know that -
1) If present, it's found in the "Full Record" display. (I'm not sending
non-professionals to the MARC tags display, Janet: it'd only make their
2) Slashes in the number are not part of the number; they're markers for
logical places to cut the number short if you don't need the full number
(smaller libraries often don't). Delete the slashes, and either cut the
number off there, or don't cut it.
3) A two-digit number at the end after a space, "21" or lower, is not part
of the number either. It's the edition of DDC that was used. It only
appears in relatively recent records, I think. New editions of old books
sometimes have different numbers from old editions, because of DDC
4) A "B" before the edition number isn't part of the number either. It
means "Biography" and is to be used instead of the number if you want to
keep all your biographical books together.
5) A DDC number only indicates classification. How you create call numbers
for individual books, indicating author or main entry, is up to you: first
three letters of the author's surname, alphanumerical systems, whatever.
If you want to use LC classification numbers, you need to learn the system
- it's much more complicated.
- David Bratman
At 02:35 PM 9/23/2003 , Janet wrote:
>That's a question for David -- I don't use LC. But since it's produced by
>the Library of Congress, maybe it's a government document and therefore
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