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Another Case of Dewey Being Overly-Sophisticated

   August 28th, 2014

both way arrowsI've pointed out things like this before, and they always amuse me.

Last week, my director was looking for summer cooking books for a display and program she was doing. Of course, books about grilling were included in her search, and she was surprised - as was I when she pointed it out - that we had identical-seeming grilling books in two entirely different Dewey numbers: 641.5784 and 641.76.

When our cataloger and I looked those up in DDC23 to see which was right, we found that they both were:


Dewey 641.578 4 - Cooking at an outdoor grill


Dewey 641.76 - Barbecuing, broiling, grilling

So, .76 is grilling in general, and .5784 is specifically grilling outdoors. Indeed very neat and precise, but perhaps to an unnecessary degree for our purposes.

We decided to consolidate everything into 641.76, to make it easier for patrons browsing the shelves. I'm sure there are lots more little Deweified topics like this, and I will enjoy consolidating each and every one of them as we discover them.

And finally, I thought a post about grilling was nice and Labor Day-related: I'm traveling to Ohio for a long Labor Day weekend, so there's won't be a reference question of the week this week. I hope everyone enjoys the holiday.

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2 Responses to “Another Case of Dewey Being Overly-Sophisticated”

  1. The Librarian With No Name Says:

    My favorite Dewey oddity is that there are subheadings for Turkey under both European and Asian history, which can lead to some revealing cataloging choices.

    In my library, Constantinople starts out in 949.6 (Europe – Balkan Peninsula) then Istanbul jumps over to 956.1 (Asia – Middle East – Turkey) for a few centuries, but then returns to 949.6 after the Ottoman Empire collapses.

    So according to our catalogers, the Ottoman Empire was so powerful that it moved an entire city from one continent to another and back again.

  2. Brian Herzog Says:

    @The Librarian: you know, I noticed that in the travel section, but not in the country section. I’ll have to double-check that, because it is ridiculous. Thanks for pointing that out!