To the right of the decimal?? Dewey Decimal classification question?

What are the numbers to the right of the decimal called in the dewey decimal system?

Is there an official name? I am not having luck finding one online, to do a proper search.

I am able to find the main call numbers [000s - 900s] and their ten subcategories [such as 001, 002 and so on] and their meanings. But I am unable to find a full list of the categories that are "to the right" of the decimal. [EXAMPLE: 813.54 Liternature, specifically American in english]

- I have done various Google, Bing and Yahoo searches under: Dewey Decimal classification/ system, subcategories, right of the decimal, call numbers, accession numbers, Library of Congress, and so on....

- I have not been able to find them on the OCLC site. (if i missed, please share link or search word(s). Nor any other library site nation wide.

- I have found specific parts on the net, but never a full or edition type listing. Even out-dated or old version.

- I asked a librarian at my local library who said there is an type of official book that is printed every couple of years, but she did not think it was easily obtained by the public (mostly due to non-interest. Theirs was from the 90s). As far as a name for the numbers, she just referred to them as specified categories. Her understanding was of no one knowing all the sub/subcategories. A computer just assigns them for her.

- a small search found a number of old books. Learn Dewey Decimal Classification (Edition 22) First North American Edition (Library Education Series) by Mary Mortimer (2007) -or- Cataloging and Classification: An Introduction (2nd Edition). Similar books had reviews that did not state weather it had the "to the right" of the decimal lists. Most other books I researched, go in depth about the Dewey Decimal system itself.

If anyone knows, please share.

The only thing I have found that comes close is:

Even this is not a full listing. Though very detailed. Thank you for any information.


@Martha- Thanks! Its frustrating a more complete listing is not freely available. I'd even take an out-dated one. Or if the OCLC would just say all the sub-sub categories are not available. I just wanted to know what all the numbers meant/ represented.... I guess I'll have a few. Again thanks!

3 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Best Answer

    The numbers “to the right “ as you call them, are consecutive subdivisions of main classes and subclasses. In the example you referred: 813.54, each of the digits represents, or denotes a concept that is carried once it is established:

    8 denotes ‘literature’

    1 denotes ‘in American English’

    3 denotes ‘fiction’

    5 denotes ‘20th century’

    4 denotes ‘the span of time 1945-1999’

    So, 813.54 represents “American fiction written between 1945 and 1999”

    In fact, Dewey Decimal Classification is available online At <>, but unfortunately you have to pay to access it, you probably won’t find all the subdivisions on the internet for free. There are also printed copies. The 23rd edition was issued in 2011. OCLC is responsible for new editions.

    You can find some more information at <>

    I hope I have helped.


  • 3 years ago

    Dewey Decimal Classification 23rd Edition

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Melvil Dewey devised a system to sort non-fiction books into categories to organize them and make it easier to locate them. The 000's are reference books 100's include books of philosphy and help answer the question "Who am I?". 200s = Religion, Who made me? 300s = Social Science, Who are the people next to me? 400s = Language, How do I communicate with them? 500s = Natural Science, What is in nature? 600s = Applied Science, How do I use what is in nature? 700s = Arts/Recreation, How do I use my free time? 800s = Literature, How do I share stories and legends? 900s = History/Geography, How do I keep a record for the future?

    • Stupid Name
      Lv 5
      4 years agoReport

      Thx. Yes I understood the main categories, but the subsets (found to the right of the decimal) art not widely printed. Those are what I was looking for.
      Seems a completed or up-to-date list/ listings are not publicly shared. Stingy librarians.... j/k

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