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.
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
Arrivals and departures. Includes schemes such as Fairbridge
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
Including crime and criminals
A large section, which includes Western Australian and eastern states convicts, Convict Group files, First Fleet material
Including histories of particular schools, staffing etc.
380’s Communication and transport
Includes railways, shipping, post offices, etc. - general and specific material.
Contains a small section of language dictionaries
600 Technology and Applied Sciences
Including nursing histories
Mining disciplines of engineering , especially gold, etc.
Includes books on farming, timber industry, forestry, etc.
640’s Home economics
Includes hotels and publicans
Includes works relating to heritage, public buildings
770’s Photography and photographs
Includes works on the camera, dating of photographs, etc.
Including histories of sporting clubs, etc.
Includes family history, life stories
900 History Geography Biography
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
Includes collected and individual biographies, the Western Australian Biographical Dictionaries, ADB, etc.
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
929.7 Burke’s Peerage, Debrett’s and similar works
Includes history of battles, battalion histories, etc.
Includes WW1 and WW2 material
General then subdivided by counties
General then subdivided by counties
General then subdivided by counties - arranged by geographical areas, not alphabetically
973 United States of America
990 Australasia and Oceania
993 New Zealand
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
994.5 Victoria and subdivisions
994.6 Tasmania and subdivisions