Thursday, February 12, 2009


I was just processing a book for ECVHS about pyramids from around the world, Pyramids by Charles George (1601520271). The publisher assigned number is 909 for world history, but this seems way too broad and that the book would just get buried (no pun intended) there. Since it features pyramids from more than just Egypt, it can't take a 932 number. In looking in our catalog, it looks like people have also used 726.8, an architecture number for mortuary chapels and tombs. Another number is 690.68, which is also for mortuary chapels and tombs, but from the discipline of building planning, engineering, construction, etc. I decided to spring for 726.8.


  1. Hi Suzanne! This Dewey Blog is a great idea. I agree with your thinking on the pyramids book... and then, of course, your thoughts took me on a little tour of our shelves and I discovered this book in 913.32: Pyramids by Anne Millard / ISBN: 1-85697-674-2. Am I correct that 913 is the ancient world and the .32 identifies it as ancient Egypt? If so, then this book is out of place, since in addition to Egyptian pyramids, it also covers "Pyramids of the Americas"--Myan, Incan, etc.--and pyramids from Sumer, Assyria, Babylon, Nubia, Myanmar, etc. Since the book discusses both the architectural and religious/symbolic aspects of pyramids, should it also go in 726.8? (By the way, the publishers suggest 932 on the copyright page!). This can be both frustrating and delightfully intriguing!

  2. Yes, you were correct about the 913.32 meaning "Geography of and travel in" ancient Egypt. The 932 would be for "history of" ancient Egypt. But, if the book covers pyramids from all over, then it could possibly go in another place. If there are only 2 different subjects covered, then interestingly, you pick the Dewey number for the subject that comes first numerically. But, if the book covers 3 or more different "areas," then it takes the most general encompassing heading...which is why the book I had looked at took 909. But, while there are the "rules," it seems our libraries often pick numbers based on where students will most likely find and use the books and that often means grouping books that technically may end up divided.