Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Melvil Decimal System View in Your books

We’ve just added some handy new browsing functions to our Melvil Decimal System (MDS).

What is MDS? MDS is the Dewey Decimal System, Melvil Dewey’s innovative classification system, as it has been applied to books in LibraryThing members’ books. The base system is the Free Decimal System, a public domain classification created by John Mark Ockerbloom. The wording comes from out-of-copyright sources.

Here are some examples:

What’s new? You can now easily examine the MDS classifications of the books in your library, using the Melvil Decimal System view (accessible via the “Your books” tab; click the little divot to the right of Tags to show the available views).

When you click on one of the ten top-tier MDS classifications, you’ll see the books in your library which have been assigned to that level, and the second tier of MDS classifications will also display. You can continue drilling down through all five tiers of MDS classification.

See Tim’s books by MDS view at, or yours at

We’ll probably be adding some bells and whistles to this feature as we go forward. We’re planning to add a similar Library of Congress view of your library soon, so watch for that as well!

Come discuss in Talk.

Dewey, Dewey Decimal, Dewey Decimal Classification, DDC and OCLC are registered trademarks of OCLC. Read more about OCLC and the DDC on their website. LibraryThing is not affiliated with OCLC, but we have the same hatter.

Labels: features, member projects, new features


  1. dakvid says:

    This is pretty neat.

    How difficult would it be to adapt this to MDS clouds? Perhaps a single “MDS cloud” page (cut off at some decimal depth).

    Or perhaps similar to what’s already there at /membermds/, a cloud of your books at the hundreds and when you click on one you get a cloud at that tens group. Similarly for going down to the ones, tenths etc. It’s nice to see the hierarchy in the current setup, but it’s also nice to visualise the number of items in each classification group.

  2. Linda Clark Benedict says:

    I love this. I might use it to get my books shelved in the right order. 🙂

  3. Alex Grigg says:

    What is different between the images in this post and the April Early Reviewers post that stops the images in this post from appearing in my Google Reader? All I get instead is a blank frame that is the size of the original image.

  4. Kevin Lindsey says:

    I think that this is great! I am using it to catalog my LT books and will probably adapt it to my actual library too!

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