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Colon Classification System. an Introduction

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  • abdul salam
    Dear Professional: An Introduction to Colon Classification; Colon classification (CC) is a system of library classification developed by S. R. Ranganathan. It
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1, 2007
      Dear Professional:

      An Introduction to Colon Classification;

      Colon classification (CC) is a system of library classification developed by S. R. Ranganathan. It was the first ever faceted (or analytico-synthetic) classification. It is especially used in libraries in India.
      Its name "Colon classification" comes from the use of colons to separate facets in class numbers. However, many other classification schemes, some of which are completely unrelated, also use colons and other punctuation in various functions. They should not be confused with Colon classification.
      As an example, the subject "research in the cure of tuberculosis of lungs by x-ray conducted in India in 1950" results in a call number
      The components of this call number represent
      Medicine, Lungs; Tuberculosis: Treatment; X-ray: Research.India’1950


      The Colon Classification uses 42 main classes that are combined with other letters, numbers and marks in a manner reminiscent of the Library of Congress Classification to sort a publication.


      CC uses five primary categories, or facets to further specify the sorting of a publication collectively called 'PMEST'.
      , [[Personality]]
      ; [[Matter]] or property
      : [[Energy]]
      . [[Space]]
      ' [[Time]]


      The following are the main classes of CC, with some subclasses, the main method used to sort the subclass using the PMEST scheme and examples showing application of PMEST.
      A Generalia
      1 Universe of Knowledge
      3 Book Science
      B13 Theory of Numbers
      B23 Algebraic Equations
      B25 Higher Algebra
      B33 Differential Equations [equation] , [degree] , [order] : [problem]
      B331,1,2:1 Numerical solutions (:1) of ordered (331) linear (,1) second order (,2) differential equations
      B37 Real Variables
      B38 Complex Variables
      B4 Other Methods
      B8 Physico-Mathematics
      B9 Astronomical Mathematics
      C1 Fundamentals of Physics
      C2 Properties of Matter
      C4 Heat
      C8 Cosmic Hypothesis
       :1 General Chemistry
       :2 Physical Chemistry
       :3 Analytical Chemistry
       :33 Qualitative Chemistry
       :34 Quantitative Chemistry
       :35 Volumetric Chemistry
       :4 Synthetic Chemistry
       :5 Extraction Chemistry
      E1 Inorganic Chemistry
      E10 Group 0
      E11 Group 1
      E1109 Lithium
      E111 Sodium
      E2 Hydroxl (Base)
      E3 Acid
      E4 Salt
      E5 Organic Substance
      H3 Structural Geology
      H4 Dynamic Geology
      H8 Cosmic Hypothesis
       :1 Soil
       :3 Propagation
       :4 Disease
       :5 Development
       :6 Breeding
       :7 Harvest
       :91 Nomenclature
       :95 Ecology
      Material facets
      ,2 Bulb
      ,3 Root
      ,4 Stem
      ,5 Leaf
      ,6 Flower
      ,7 Fruit
      ,8 Seed
      ,97 Whole Plant
      J2 Feed
      J3 Food
      J4 Stimulant
      J5 Oil
      J6 Drug
      J7 Fabric
      J8 Dye
      K Zoology (same facet schedule as I Botany)
      KZ Animal Husbandry (same facet schedule as I Botany)
      L Medicine [organ]:[problem],[cause]:[handling]
      LZ3 Pharmacology [substance].[action],[organ]
      M7 Textiles [material]:[work]
      Ð Spiritual experience and mysticism [religion],[entity]:[problem]
      NA Architecture [style] , [utility] , [part] : [technique]
      ND Sculpture [style] , [figure] ; [material] : [technique]
      NQ Painting [style] , [figure] ; [material] : [technique]
      NR Music [style] , [music] ; [instrument] : [technique]
      Z Law


      The most commonly cited example of the Colon Classification is the classification for:
      • "Research in the cure of the tuberculosis of lungs by x-ray conducted in India in 1950s":
      • Main classification is Medicine
        • (Medicine)
      • Within Medicine, the Lungs are the main concern
        • (Medicine, Lungs)
      • The property of the Lungs is that they are afflicted with Tuberculosis
        • (Medicine, Lungs; Tuberculosis)
      • The Tuberculosis is being performed (:) on, that is the intent is to cure (Treatment)
        • (Medicine, Lungs; Tuberculosis:Treatment)
      • The matter that we are treating the Tuberculosis with are X-Rays
        • (Medicine,Lungs;Tuberculosis:Treatment-ray)
      • And this discussion of treatment is regarding the Research phase
        • (Medicine, Lungs; Tuberculosis: Treatment; X-ray: Research)
      • This Research is performed within a geographical space (.) namely India
        • (Medicine, Lungs; Tuberculosis: Treatment; X-ray: Research.India)
      • During the time (') of 1950
        • (Medicine, Lungs; Tuberculosis: Treatment; X-ray: Research.India’1950)
      • And translating into the codes listed for each subject and facet the classification becomes
      L, 45; 421:6; 253:f.44’N5


      Abdus Salam
      Library of Congress Office.

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