Subject Guides » Cutter Classification
Cutter Expansive Classification System
The Cutter Expansive Classification system exists as a series of increasingly subdivided versions, ranging from the First (simplest & for the smallest libraries) upward. Forbes Library uses Cutter's Seventh Classification. In the Children's Department, the Sixth Classification is used, except for History which follows the Seventh. For examples of how these classifications are used in the existing collection, you can look up any subject in the library's online catalog.
The system was developed by Charles Ammi Cutter (1837-1903), who was Librarian at the Forbes Library from 1894-1903. It lost popularity gradually to the Dewey Decimal system in public libraries; in academic libraries it has been replaced by the Library of Congress system, which was developed partly from Mr. Cutter’s ideas (hence the similarity).
Shelving Rules in Cutter (PDF)
Covers how to find a book given its call number, and how to put books in proper order. A second page summarizes the semantics of Expansive Classifications for those who are interested.
Expansive Classification: Part I: The First Six Classifications. EBook hosted by Archive.org (The formatting is crucial, so be sure to use the "read online" option or download the PDF.)
Includes schedules of the first six classifications, as well as extensive notes on the systems purpose and use. Note that schedules of the seventh classification are incomplete and are not available online at this time.
About Charles Ammi Cutter
Charles Ammi Cutter biography by Pip Stromgren, originally published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette.
Charles Ammi Cutter a short biography by Noah Sheola.
Miska, Francis L (ed.). Charles Ammi Cutter, Library Systematizer. Libraries Unlimited. 1977. (Forbes Catalog | WorldCat)
A collection of writings by Charles Ammi Cutter, including excerpts from his personal correspondence which which have not been published elsewhere. Also includes a biography and essays on Cutter's contributions to library science.
Miksa, Francis L. Charles Ammi Cutter: Nineteenth-Century Systematizer of Libraries. University of Chicago, June 1974. (Dissertation).