Library Classification Systems and Organization of Islamic Knowledge

Haroon Idrees


Standard library classification systems like Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), U.S. Library of Congress Classification (LCC), and Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) are internationally known and widely used by libraries as the tools for organizing information. Charles Ammi Cutter’s Expansive Classification (EC), James Duff Brown’s Subject Classification (SC), Henry E. Bliss’ Bibliographic Classification (BC), and S. R. Ranganathan’s Colon Classification (CC) also are standard classification systems, but they are less commonly used compared to aforementioned three systems. All these systems are easy to use and convenient for most general collection libraries. However, these systems are not adequate for some special collections. Libraries with rich collections on Islam also face problems while using these systems, although such libraries often use expansions in the original systems for their collections. This paper examines this problem and presents a potential optimal solution. The author collected data, using a semistructured interview technique, from a representative sample of thirty libraries in eight countries with strong collections in Islam. These data were analyzed employing qualitative methods.

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