Colon classification

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Colon classification (CC) is a system of library classification developed by S. R. Ranganathan. It was the first ever faceted (or analytico-synthetic) classification. The first edition was published in 1933. Since then six more editions have been published. It is especially used in libraries in India.

Its name "Colon classification" comes from the use of colons to separate facets in class numbers. However, many other classification schemes, some of which are completely unrelated, also use colons and other punctuation in various functions. They should not be confused with Colon classification.

As an example, the subject "research in the cure of tuberculosis of lungs by x-ray conducted in India in 1950" results in a call number


The components of this call number represent



[edit] Organization

The Colon Classification uses 42 main classes that are combined with other letters, numbers and marks in a manner resembling the Library of Congress Classification to sort a publication.

[edit] Facets

CC uses five primary categories, or facets to further specify the sorting of a publication collectively called "PMEST".

, [[personality]]
; [[matter]] or property
: [[energy]]
. [[space]]
' [[time]]

[edit] Classes

The following are the main classes of CC, with some subclasses, the main method used to sort the subclass using the PMEST scheme and examples showing application of PMEST.

z Generalia
1 Universe of Knowledge
2 Library Science
3 Book science
4 Journalism
B Mathematics
B1 Arithmetic
B13 Theory of numbers
B2 Algebra
B23 Algebraic equations
B25 Higher Algebra
B3 Analysis
B33 Differential Equations [equation] , [degree] , [order] : [problem]
B331,1,2:1 Numerical solutions (:1) of ordered (331) linear (,1) second order (,2) differential equations
B37 Real Variables
B38 Complex Variables
B4 Other Methods
B6 Geometry
B7 Mechanics
B8 Physico-Mathematics
B9 Astronomical Mathematics
C Physics
C1 Fundamentals of Physics
C2 Properties of Matter
C3 Sound
C4 Heat
C5 Light and Radiation
C6 Electricity
C7 Magnetism
C8 Cosmic Hypothesis
D Engineering
E Chemistry
 :1 General Chemistry
 :2 Physical Chemistry
 :3 Analytical Chemistry
 :33 Qualitative Chemistry
 :34 Quantitative Chemistry
 :35 Volumetric Chemistry
 :4 Synthetic Chemistry
 :5 Extraction Chemistry
E1 Inorganic Chemistry
E10 Group 0
E11 Group 1
E110 Hydrogen
E1109 Lithium
E111 Sodium
E2 Hydroxl (Base)
E3 Acid
E4 Salt
E5 Organic Substance
F Technology
G Biology
H Geology
H1 Mineralogy
H2 Petrology
H3 Structural Geology
H4 Dynamic Geology
H5 Stratigraphy
H6 Paleontology
H7 Economic Geology
H8 Cosmic Hypothesis
HX Mining
I Botany
J Agriculture
 :1 Soil
 :3 Propagation
 :4 Disease
 :5 Development
 :6 Breeding
 :7 Harvest
 :91 Nomenclature
 :92 Morphology
 :93 Physiology
 :95 Ecology
material facets
,2 Bulb
,3 Root
,4 Stem
,5 Leaf
,6 Flower
,7 Fruit
,8 Seed
,97 Whole Plant
J1 Horticulture
J2 Feed
J3 Food
J4 Stimulant
J5 Oil
J6 Drug
J7 Fabric
J8 Dye
K Zoology (same facet schedule as I Botany)
KZ Animal Husbandry (same facet schedule as I Botany)
L Medicine [organ]:[problem],[cause]:[handling]
LZ3 Pharmacology [substance].[action],[organ]
LZ5 Pharmacopoeia
M Useful arts
M7 Textiles [material]:[work]
Δ Spiritual experience and mysticism [religion],[entity]:[problem]
N Fine arts
NA Architecture [style] , [utility] , [part] : [technique]
ND Sculpture [style] , [figure] ; [material] : [technique]
NN Engraving
NQ Painting [style] , [figure] ; [material] : [technique]
NR Music [style] , [music] ; [instrument] : [technique]
O Literature
P Linguistics
Q Religion
R Philosophy
S Psychology
T Education
U Geography
V History
W Political science
X Economics
Y Sociology
Z Law

[edit] Example

The most commonly cited example of the Colon Classification is the classification for:

  • "Research in the cure of the tuberculosis of lungs by x-ray conducted in India in 1950s":
  • Main classification is Medicine
    • (Medicine)
  • Within Medicine, the Lungs are the main concern
    • (Medicine,Lungs)
  • The property of the Lungs is that they are afflicted with Tuberculosis
    • (Medicine,Lungs;Tuberculosis)
  • The Tuberculosis is being performed (:) on, that is the intent is to cure (Treatment)
    • (Medicine,Lungs;Tuberculosis:Treatment)
  • The matter that we are treating the Tuberculosis with are X-Rays
    • (Medicine,Lungs;Tuberculosis:Treatment;X-ray)
  • And this discussion of treatment is regarding the Research phase
    • (Medicine,Lungs;Tuberculosis:Treatment;X-ray:Research)
  • This Research is performed within a geographical space (.) namely India
    • (Medicine,Lungs;Tuberculosis:Treatment;X-ray:Research.India)
  • During the time (') of 1950
    • (Medicine,Lungs;Tuberculosis:Treatment;X-ray:Research.India'1950)
  • And translating into the codes listed for each subject and facet the classification becomes
    • L,45;421:6;253:f.44'N5

[edit] Publication info

Colon Classification (6th Edition) by Dr. S.R. Ranganathan is being published by Ess Ess Publications, Delhi, India. For more info visit

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  • Chan, Lois Mai. Cataloging and Classification: An Introduction. 2nd ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, c1994. ISBN 0070105065.

[edit] External links

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