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Western Australian Genealogical Society Inc.

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The Dewey System

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WAGS Library and Dewey Classification - Outline of Relevant ClassesDewey Librarian

The Dewey classification originated in the nineteenth century, and knowledge has vastly expanded since then.

Although it is regularly updated, the main classes reflect their nineteenth century origins, and it was certainly not devised with genealogists in mind. However it is the most widely used general classification scheme in the world and does achieve its main purpose of bringing related material together, hence its continued use.

The main numbers relevant to the WAGS genealogical collection are set out below.

Most of the material is located in class 300 Social Sciences and class 900 History Geography Biography, with some items scattered throughout the other main classes.


200 Religion

Contains material about various religious groups such as Quakers, Catholics, Jews, as well as histories of specific churches

300 Social Sciences

300-309 Emigration / Immigration

and there is also related material in 325

325 Shipping

Arrivals and departures. Includes schemes such as Fairbridge

338 Industrial

Books about specific industries, such as timber, dairying, etc.

355 Military science

A large section containing much material relevant to genealogists: military history, marines, airforce, etc. Includes Broomhall’s The Veterans.

360’s Social services

Includes hospitals and charitable bodies

363 Police

Including crime and criminals

364 Convicts

A large section, which includes Western Australian and eastern states convicts, Convict Group files, First Fleet material

370’s Education

Including histories of particular schools, staffing etc.

380’s Communication and transport

Includes railways, shipping, post offices, etc. - general and specific material.

400 Language

Contains a small section of language dictionaries

600 Technology and Applied Sciences

610’s Medicine

Including nursing histories

620’s Engineering

622 Mining

Mining disciplines of engineering , especially gold, etc.

630’s Agriculture

Includes books on farming, timber industry, forestry, etc.

640’s Home economics

Includes hotels and publicans

700 Arts

720’s Architecture

Includes works relating to heritage, public buildings

770’s Photography and photographs

Includes works on the camera, dating of photographs, etc.

796 Sports

Including histories of sporting clubs, etc.

800 Literature

808 Writing

Includes family history, life stories

900 History Geography Biography

910’s Geography

Includes atlases, street directories, voyages, travels, shipwrecks, ships’ journals, Log of logs
(Note: Many atlases are shelved with oversize volumes at the start of the collection.)

914 Place names, gazetteers, topographical dictionaries

919 Shipwrecks

920’s Biography

Includes collected and individual biographies, the Western Australian Biographical Dictionaries, ADB, etc.

929.1 Genealogy

Including books about, indexes, guides, eg. Dead Reckoning, handbooks, etc. Guides to tracing your family tree, including online sources.

929.2 Family histories

Arranged alphabetically by name of family, not author of book. A large collection of works

929.3 Sources

929.4 Surnames

929.6 Heraldry

929.7 Burke’s Peerage, Debrett’s and similar works

940 War

Includes history of battles, battalion histories, etc.
Includes WW1 and WW2 material

941.1 Scotland

General then subdivided by counties

941.5 Ireland

General then subdivided by counties

942 England

General then subdivided by counties - arranged by geographical areas, not alphabetically

943 Germany

944 France

945 Italy

950 Asia

960 Africa

971 Canada

973 United States of America

990 Australasia and Oceania

993 New Zealand

994 Australia

994.1 Western Australia.

Includes Swan River Pioneers and EPG files, Group Settlement Scheme, and other general material.

994.11 Perth and suburbs

994.12 Wheatbelt and South West region

994.13 Murchison region and Pilbara

994.14 Kimberley region

994.16 Goldfields region and Yilgarn

994.17 Esperence region

994.2 South Australia and subdivisions

994.29 Northern Territory

994.3 Queensland and subdivisions

994.4 New South Wales and subdivisions

994.47 ACT

994.5 Victoria and subdivisions

994.6 Tasmania and subdivisions

994.82 Norfolk Island


Julie Martin
Hon Librarian
March, 2012

Last Updated on Monday, 18 November 2013 21:24

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