Please help me understand the difference between 213 & 231.765 Dewey Decimal numbers for Creation. 


Example: "5 Reasons to Believe in Recent Creation" , by Henry M. Morris III  ---- where would you classify this book? 


My next primary focus (this upcoming year) is to streamline the Adult nonfiction section. We're a small library, and yet with apparent incosistencies by various librarians in classifications. 


Thanks so much for your help. 


Linda S 


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  • Mary,

    I have also wondered about the edition of DDC.  Since this is coming from the OCLC website, I assumed that it was the latest edition of DDC.  I just looked at the last page of the 900s to find that page number is 961.  That makes me think that it is the unabridged edition. 

    We bought the full, 4 volume edition only once because of the cost.  That hard copy is the unabridged, 22nd edition, copyright 2003.  The latest edition is the 23rd edition, copyright 2011.

    We also own the 14th edition of the abridged DDC, copyright 2004.  The latest edition is the abridged DDC, edition 15, copyright 2012.

    It is laziness on my part that I have not compared the online version to see which edition I am actually using.  

    It never occurred to me to print any of this online resource since we own hard copies.  So copyright is not an issue for me.   It is so easy to scroll through the pages to find what I want, I wouldn't think anyone would want to print the pages.  It would be cheaper to buy the books than print the pages.

    We have one of the earliest 200 Religion Class books.  Marlee can correct my poor memory if what I say next is inaccurate.  The book was first published as a special printing because the SBC Sunday School Board (now Lifeway) requested permission to do so to help church librarians.  It was a book that had just the 200 section of the unabridged DDC.

    This may not be helpful.

  • Mary --- until Pat can reply. 

    What Pat linked seems to be mostly like what I have in A Classification System for Church Libraries.

    I noticed a couple differences in which a number was ommitted in A Classification System for Church Libraries, but is in the OCLC list. Otherwise, the numbers seem to be the same. The copy I have of A Classification System for Church Libraries is copyrighted 1998, a revised edition of 2004, and is in its 6th printing of 2012.

    I'll stand easily corrected if someone else wishes to do so.

    Also, please note Marlee's post above & I quote:


    I got my wires crossed when I replied about the book  A Classification System for Church Libraries. Eva Nell is currently working on an article with information about the updates to Sears Subject Headings. Then she is going to research the changes with Dewey. We will send a broadcast when these are available.


    You can find a link for Sears Subject Headings on this forum site. 

    Link ---> Sears Subject Headings

    Hopefully, this helps.

  • My understanding is that 200-219 is for religion in general.  Christianity starts with 220.  In our library we would use 231.765 (God's place in creation).

    Here are two helpful sources for cataloging:

    1.  We use BING for our search engine.  Enter "Dewey 200".  In the results, choose [PDF] 200 - OCLC 

    Choose Open Normally.

    Save to your bookmarks, and it will be there in the future.  Repeat for 000s, 100s, 300s, etc.

    2.  Here is another one, a little weird, but helpful if you get used to it.  We use BING for our search engine and enter  "Dewey 232.765" .  From the results choose 

    MDS: 231.765 | LibraryThing

    Do this for any Dewey number you question.
    • Pat, this is a very late thank you. I do appreciate your input. I come back to this forum often as I process books such as this particular thread with helpful input. 

      I'm in process of dividing the Adult Non-fiction books & so this thread is quite useful. 


  • I got my wires crossed when I replied about the book  A Classification System for Church Libraries. Eva Nell is currently working on an article with information about the updates to Sears Subject Headings. Then she is going to research the changes with Dewey. We will send a broadcast when these are available.

    • Thank you ever so much! We look forward to all updates. 

  • For what it’s worth, here’s what the Manual in Dewey Abridged 15 says about the 231 or 213 issue:

    231.7 vs. 213, 500, 576.8
    Relation of scientific and Christian viewpoints of origin of universe vs. Creation in philosophy of religion vs. Natural sciences and mathematics vs. Evolution

    Evolution versus creation
    Use 231.7 for works on creation science or creationism written by Christians who assume that the Bible provides a chronology of natural history and who rely upon religious premises in responding to theories from the natural sciences. Similarly, use 231.7 for works that attempt to refute creation science, unless they take the writings of creationists as a starting point from which to demonstrate the case for evolution. On the other hand, use 500 for works by creationist authors that attempt to refute evolution theory by examining the writings, hypotheses, and findings of scientists.

    The difficulty stems from the fact that on the question of evolution the pro and con positions differ so radically that they normally belong in different disciplines, science and religion, respectively. However, when a religious author is trying to en- lighten scientists on a specific scientific matter, class the work with science, while if a scientist is trying to enlighten the religious on a specific religious matter, class the work with religion. The correct classification is determined by the intent of the author, and the interest of the readers that the author is seeking to reach, not by the truth, falsity, or validity of interpretations and premises.

    Use 231.7 for comprehensive works including both religion and science.

    Use 213 for works that consider the relation between divine creation and evolution as a philosophical problem, without appealing to a particular religion or scripture. If in doubt between 213 and 231.7, prefer 231.7.

    The most common focus of interest of works belonging in 500 is on biological evolution. Use 576.8 for these works. Use 523.8 if the emphasis of a work is main- ly on stellar evolution, 530 if on basic physical principles, 551.7 if on historical geology, and 560 if on paleontology. Use 500 if there is no clear emphasis on a specific branch of science.

    • Charles,

      Your reply is an awesome reply! I will remember this thread as I continue to work throught the Adult Non-fiction this year. I cannot thank you enough for your detailed input!!!  

      Marlee --- Updates coming? YAY! I'll keep my eye out for the new updated version. 

      To anyone involved in church library ministry -- I highly recommend A Classification System for Church Libraries! I have 2 copies --- one stays in the church library & one stays with me. It is a substantial help to me, a non-experienced librarian, in streamlining our small church library. And no -- Marlee did not request this plug.

      • Woops! 

        Sorry Morlee -- I incorrectly spelled your name. 

        • Unfortunately, we cannot do a completely updated edition. Eva Nell is working on update information that we will have in article format on the CLN. That way you can go in and update your copy of the book.

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