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Dewey, Melvil

Dewey, Melvil

Dewey, Melvil, 1851-1931, American library pioneer, originator of the Dewey decimal system, b. Adams Center, N.Y., grad. Amherst (B.A., 1874; M.A., 1877). A man of originality and of enormous energy, Dewey played an important role in the early days of library organization in the United States. He became acting librarian of Amherst in 1874, and there he evolved his system of classification, using numbers from 000 to 999 to cover the general fields of knowledge and designating more specific subjects by the use of decimal points. From 1883 to 1889 he was librarian of Columbia College where he established the first library training school (now defunct). As librarian (1889-1906) at the New York State Library at Albany he founded another important library school. His interests extended from spelling reform to organizing the Lake Placid Club, a resort in the Adirondacks. Dewey is credited with the invention of the vertical office file. He was a founder of the American Library Association, the New York State Library Association, and the Library Journal. The 20th edition of his Dewey Decimal Classification and Relative Index (1876) was published in 1989.

See G. Stevens and J. Kramer-Greene, ed., Melvil Dewey (1983).

Dewey may refer to:


Persons with the surname Dewey

Fictional characters

  • Ms. Dewey, a fictional avatar to Live Search.
  • Dewey Denouement, a fictional character from A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • Dewey Novak, a fictional character from the anime series Eureka Seven.
  • Dewey, a fictional character in Malcolm in the Middle played by Erik Per Sullivan.


  • Dewey (cat), the highly gregarious long-haired orange tabby cat of the Spencer Public Library (Spencer, Iowa); aka "Dewey Readmore Books" (c. November 18, 1987-November 29, 2006, age 19) [library mascot January 18, 1988-November 29, 2006].
  • Dewey (deer), white-tailed deer cloned from a dead buck by the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Huey, Dewey and Louie, Donald Duck's Nephews
  • The Dewey Decimal Classification by Melvil Dewey
  • Dwayne, which is sometimes the full version of the name Dewey.

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