How are the books arranged on the shelves?


The University of Bedfordshire uses the Dewey classification scheme to arrange the books on the shelves in a logical easy to access way.

Dewey is a subject based scheme, which means the books on the shelves are arranged in a numerical order by subject. The ten broad subjects are:

000 Computer science, information and general work
100 Philosophy and psychology
200 Religion
300 Social sciences
400 Language
500 Science
600 Technology
700 Art and recreation
800 Literature
900 History and geography


Each book is issued a classmark number, usually found on the spine of the book. The classmark is made up of:

  • Three numbers before decimal point
  • Numbers after the decimal point
  • Three letters, usually the first three letter of the author or editor.

The first three digits refer to broad subject area, and are shelved in numerical order, e.g. 801 is shelved before 802.

The numbers after the decimal point show the sub section of the subject. Again they are shelved in numerical order, e.g. 801.46 is shelved before 801.4631

Once the book is in the right place numerically, the books with the same classmark are arranged alphabetically by the three letters.

The next step is to check on which floor the books with that classmark are shelved. Check the red signs to see which floor you need to go to.

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