Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Home Library Organization, Part 5: Some classification ideas

Need to catch up on the series?
Home Library Organization, Part 1
Home Library Organization, Part 2
Home Library Organization, Part 3
Home Library Organization, Part 4

Should I use LOC? Dewey? My Own?
Don’t feel tied to either. Your private library may not have the same emphasis as a public institution. Here are some ideas to structure your launch. Be creative—whatever you do, make it your own!

Alphabetical Book Classification Scheme (sample headings)
A - Art
B - Biography
C - Cooking (properly "cookery")
D -
E - Education
F - Fine arts, recreation
G - Geography, travel, customs
H - History
I -
J - Juvenile
K -
L - Literature
M - Music
N - Natural Science
O -
P - Poetry
Q - Quotations
R - Religion
S - Science
T - Tonsils
UV -
W -
XYZ - Zoology

Library of Congress
A – General Works
B – Philosophy. Psychology. Religion
C – Auxiliary Sciences of History
D – History (General) and History of Europe
E – History: America
F – History: America
G – Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
H – Social Sciences
J – Political Science
K – Law
L – Education
M – Music and Books on Music
N – Fine Arts
P – Language and Literature
Q – Science
R – Medicine
S – Agriculture
T – Technology
U – Military Science
V – Naval Science
Z – Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources (General)

000 - Generalities (reference, computers, museums, etc.)
100 - Philosophy and psychology (ethics, paranormal phenomena)
200 - Religion (Bibles, religions of the world)
300 - Social sciences (sociology, anthropology, politics, economics, government,
education, customs, and especially folklore and fairy tales)
400 - Language (linguistics, language learning, specific languages)
500 - Natural sciences and mathematics (general science, mathematics, astronomy,
physics, chemistry, earth sciences, palaeontology, biology, genetics, botany,
600 - Technology (applied sciences) (medicine, psychiatry, applied physics, engineering,
agriculture, home economics, management, accounting, chemical engineering, etc.)
700 - The arts (art, architecture, photography, music, games, sport)
800 - Literature and rhetoric
900 - Geography and history

Other Possibilities:
Science/Creation Module
I found this model on the Internet several years ago, organized by a woman whose family library must be substantial. She is a Christian, mom and homeschooler, and I appreciate her original and very detailed planning. She organizes her non-fiction by the seven Days of Creation. Just another example of how you can be comprehensive through other approaches.

Me? To tell the truth, although I love classifying and cataloging, I haven't yet organized my entire collection, though I'm working on my Mom's when I go home to visit. Of all of the above, I would probably use some Dewey, but mostly broad categories, as long as authors and fairy tales are grouped together. Let me know what works for you!

Next: Shelf labeling and acquisition. We're almost done!

Home Library Organization Conclusion


  1. My shelves are in shambles and a good classifications system would probably do them good. However, I think we need more shelf space as well!

  2. For organization Philip and I just laid out all of our books and figured out what categories we had the most of. This took a few hours but it was so worth it! I had no idea we had so many religion books and we now have four subcategories.


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