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DDC in libraries and projects in the German-speaking countries

Below is a selection of libraries and projects in Germany, Austria and Switzerland that work in some way with DDC. Do you, too, use DDC? If so, please send an e-mail to . We would be delighted to include you in our list. (merger of "ViFaArt - Virtual Library for Contemporary Art" and "" in 2012) is a joint portal of the Saxon State and University Library Dresden (SLUB) and the Heidelberg University Library. It was developed in collaboration with the Institut für Kunstgeschichte at the LMU in Munich (chair Prof. Dr. Hubertus Kohle) as well as other partners. Theme-based websites on various art topics are indexed in a specialist catalogue: beginning with the medieval and modern art history of European countries and European-influenced art in the USA, Canada and Australia, arranged chronologically from the early Christian era to 1945, it also includes contemporary art (from 1945), photography, graphic and industrial design (no time restriction). DDC numbers are also issued for subject cataloguing. Some of the keys from auxiliary table 1 and auxiliary table 2 are also used for browsing by geographic region as well as by the period covered by the website.Ausstellung DDC-DACHS

DDC-DACHS exhibition

Marking the completion of the first German edition of the Dewey Decimal Classification in 2005, a traveling exhibition about Melvil Dewey and the DDC entitled DDC-DACHS – Dewey Decimal Classification and the German-speaking countries – was developed by the University Library of Vienna. The aim of the exhibition is to acquaint both the specialist and the general public in the German-speaking countries with the "Dewey dot". (Link zur Ausstellungswebsite)
Contact: Dr. Margit Sandner

Library of the Max Planck Institute for Educational Research

The library of the Max Planck Institute for Educational Research, Berlin, is a specialist scientific library. It contains printed and electronic media for pure research in the fields of adaptive behaviour and cognition, developmental psychology, education and educational systems, the history of emotions, the sociology of the course of life and related fields. There are currently roughly 211,000 monographs in the collection. DDC has been used for classificatory cataloguing since 2003; books in the reference library are shelved by DDC.


Bibliothek des Museums zu Allerheiligen Schaffhausen

The Bibliothek des Museums zu Allerheiligen Schaffhausen is an internal museum library covering the themes of art, history, archaeology, natural sciences, coins/medals as well as museology and education services. It has a large special collection of media relating to playing cards.

Its approximately 20,000 holdings are DDC-classified; the offline catalogue and part of the Museum+ database are subject catalogued using DDC.


Libraries of the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies at the University of Bonn

The Institut of Oriental and Asian studies at the University of Bonn consists of nine departments (Indology, Islamic studies, Japanese and Korean Studies, Mongolian and Tibetan studies, Asian and Islamic Art History, Oriental and Asian languages, Religious Studies, Chinese Language and History, South-East Asia Studies), as well as 12 accompanying libraries with total holdings of more than 250,000 volumes. The Institute is one of the larger university facilities of its kind in Germany. DDC 22 has been used across all departments since May 2009 for ordering the holdings.



bioDDC is used at the Frankfurt am Main University Library in the special subject collections of biology, botany and zoology to catalogue new acquisitions and in the virtual biology specialist library (vifabio) for cataloguing Internet resources and is a variant of the DDC Abridged 14 which has been specifically adapted for this purpose. It is fully compatible with DDC, but dispenses with complex built numbers. The numbers used are limited to approx. 400 base numbers plus approx. 130 geographic keys.


DIPF – Educational Research Library Frankfurt of the German Institute for International Educational Research

With its roughly 220,000 media holdings, the Educational Research Library Frankfurt of the German Institute for International Educational Research (DIPF) is one of the largest specialist pedagogical libraries in the German-speaking countries. Its main focus is on empirical and comparative education research, educational science and pedagogical psychology. From 2013 onwards, classificatory cataloguing and the shelving of the open-access reference library holdings have gradually been changed from Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) to DDC.


Freie Universität Berlin: Library of the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies

The Library of John-F.-Kennedy-Institute for North American Studies has the largest North American-related collection in Germany with approximately 900,000 media units. The breadth of the subjects covered is unique in Europe. In addition to philological titles it also collects media on the sociological, political, historical, cultural and economic aspects of the United States and Canada. There is a particular focus on microforms. With the support of the German Research Foundation (DFG) it has collected a wide variety of newspapers which were archived on microfilm.

Nearly all the holdings are systematically ordered and are freely accessible. DDC has been used for this since 2000. The majority of the holdings can be borrowed. The library also participates in nationwide interlibrary loans.


hbz – Digitised prints

Search portal of the Hochschulbibliothekszentrum des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Cologne (hbz). Provides access to digitised documents also via DDC browsing. The first three DDC levels are used. (hbz digitised prints website)

History Guide of the Göttingen State and University Library.

The History Guide, a specialist catalogue for the cataloguing of history-related Internet resources of the Göttingen State and University Library, catalogues websites which are dedicated to historical topics. Base DDC numbers (without built numbers) as well as keys from auxiliary table 1 and auxiliary table 2 are issued for subject cataloguing.


Hochschulbibliothek Mittweida

The Hochschulbibliothek Mittweida allows DDC number-based searches to be carried out in its online-catalogue. These numbers were not issued for the individual publications, rather these are numbers which were linked with the subject headings assigned to the publication from the GND (previously the SWD) as part of the CrissCross project. In the full display of the title, the DDC numbers are shown together with the respective subject heading and they can be used to specify the search query. DDC number-based searches can also be made across all fields of the local resources in the Primo library portal. DDC is used additionally as the resource shelving system.


Hochschulbibliothek ZHAW

The university library of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) consists of eight specialist libraries dedicated to Architecture and Civil Engineering, Health, Applied Linguistics, Life Sciences and Facility Management, Applied Psychology, Social Work, Engineering, Management and Business Law.

The open access holdings have been classified and shelved using DDC in three of these libraries since 2005. The holdings of three other individual libraries will follow in the next few years.


Kantonsbibliothek Thurgau

The Kantonsbibliothek Thurgau in Frauenfeld has classified its open access holdings since August 2003 using DDC, which it also uses as the basis for shelving its holdings.

Contact: Emanuel Weissen

Krünitzsche Enzyklopädie

As part of a digitisation project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Trier university library has created a full-text electronic version of the economic encyclopaedia published in 242 volumes by Johann Georg Krünitz from 1773 to 1858.

It uses DDC to classify all the headwords and images of this work which spans more than 140,000 pages. This permits clear structuring of the subjects and provides an overview of related content, neither of which is possible in the print version due to the volume of material and the length of time over which it was published.

In 2005 the Trier university library began to catalogue another historical technical work (Das Buch der Erfindungen, Gewerbe und Industrien, Leipzig 1896 – 1901) using DDC. It also used the DDC to set up an information portal on the history of encyclopaedic reference works. (Link zur Projektseite)



N-Zyklop is a project of the Trier university library which is continuously being extended. It documents encyclopaedias from all ages and all countries in a database. Secondary forms (reprints, microfiche, microfilm, CD-ROM, DVD and online editions) are linked to the printed originals.

In addition to formal searches by author, title keyword, publisher and place and year of publication, N Zyklop offers a number of subject-based searches: all records contain German and English subject headings and have been catalogued using the first thousand classes of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) system.


Upper Austrian State Library in Linz

The Upper Austrian State Library in Linz (founded 1774, known until 1998 as the Bundesstaatliche Studienbibliothek) is a general scientific library currently containing about 400,000 media items. It was extensively rebuilt and expanded from 2007-2009. Since its reopening it has shelved its open access holdings based on DDC. The decision to do so was made in the summer of 2006. Nearly all additions - alongside older reference works - have been made open-access since then (growth: approximately 10,000 volumes per year).



OPUS (Online Publikationsverbund Universität Stuttgart) is software which manages electronic publications for university publication servers and institutional repositories. Users can choose between different access options, including DDC.

CrissCross project

CrissCross was a project funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and conducted by the Cologne University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with the German National Library. Its objective was to create a multilingual thesaurus-based and user-oriented search vocabulary for heterogeneously catalogued documents. For this, one-way links were established between subject headings of the Subject Headings Authority File (SWD) and Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) numbers in the period 2006-2010 in Cologne.

Contact person at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences:
Contact person at the German National Library:

BASE search engine

BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) is a service provided by the Bielefeld university library which enables DDC browsing of the first three levels of the DDC hierarchy in document searches. When browsing by document type, the search results can be narrowed further e.g. by using DDC numbers. The DDC numbers are obtained using an automated classification procedure, but data sources which already contain DDC numbers are also used.

Mainz university library: USA-Bibliothek

The USA-Bibliothek of the Mainz University Library collects cross-disciplinary literature and information on the United States of America with a focus on social, cultural and historical aspects. The core holdings came from the former Camp Lindsey Library in Wiesbaden, which were gifted to the University of Mainz in 1993.

The reference library currently contains approx. 60,000 monographs which are systematically arranged according to the DDC and are freely accessible. It also has an extensive range of mostly electronic magazines, newspapers and databases.


Last update: 17.08.2017

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