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DataBank: How to Map Collections to Academic Units

Tools for Mapping Collections

There is not always—if there ever was—a straight line between the interests of academic departments and a range of Dewey or LC classification numbers. This is true even in the case of traditional fields; some English departments now emphasize film as well as written literature. For less traditional fields, the move from academic interest to library classification system is even more difficult; the needs and interests of Cognitive Sciences cannot be captured within a single classification range. Hence, if you want to assess your collection via call numbers, it may be desirable to re-map classifications to match the needs of departments rather than rely on the broad ranges set out by LC and Dewey.

All endeavors to map call numbers to collections must be local, reflecting the local interests of the academic departments involved. The mapping projects below will not fit every library. On the other hand, why reinvent the wheel? These sources can assist you in getting a good start on identifying call numbers for specific collections. Depending on the situation at your library, you might also have an interest in mapping Dewey to LC or vice versa; these resources can assist you in that work, too.

  1. Northwestern University Library: Map of NU Collections to NU Academic Departments For each academic department or program, includes Dewey, LC and other coded characteristics in the cataloging records of library resources.
  2. University of Michigan Library This site maps UM academic subjects to LC call numbers. Not all call numbers listed under subjects may be locally relevant.
  3. YBP Approval Plan Profiles and Harrassowitz and Casalini Many domestic and foreign approval plan profiles are constructed with call numbers (as well as other criteria, in some cases). Some profiles include both Dewey and LC matched to the subjects for which the library has automatic receipt.
  4. Conversion Tables This multi-volume work, by Mona Scott, provides conversions from LC to Dewey, vice versa, and from LC Subject Headings to LC and Dewey.
  5. Worldcat Collection Analysis If you subscribe to the WCA, you should have access to the WCA conspectus which assigns call numbers (Dewey and LC) to subjects.
  6. Dewey Summaries online This is useful as a quick online reference, but covers only the broad summaries. You'll have to go to the latest Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index publication for details.
  7. LC Classification online This is an outline, but nonetheless does go deeper than the Dewey summaries above. Alternatives include a subscription to Classification Web or LC Classification Schedules, A-Z.