S.R. Ranganathan, the author of CC, was well aware that a
scheme of classification should be able to meet the challenge
of ever growing universe of knowledge and it should be able to
accommodate, at an appropriate place, any new subject
without disturbing the arrays already formed.
• Dr. S. R. Ranganathan become the Librarian of Madras
University and soon deputed and got a chance to visit Britain
to experience Library Practices in the year 1924.
• Realization and Findings of the limitation in
• Evolution of the Idea of Colon
• Making the Idea of CC into Invention.
Genealogy of Colon
• Rigidly-Faceted Classification - that is,
Classification with the Pre-determined
• Freely Faceted Classification - that is,
guided by Postulates and Principles.
Edition 1: It has three Distinct part:
127 pages of rules explaining the underlying principles
135 pages of schedules
and 106 pages Of
Edition 2: Added a Part 4 which contained about 3000 examples , which were illustrative of the rules given in
A new main class 8 Spiritual experience and Mysticism came into exist.
Edition 3: Different kinds of phase relation each with specific connecting symbol were introduced.
Edition 4: The five fundamental categories along with the separate connecting symbols were
used for facet analysis.
Edition 5: A new schedules giving details for phase and Inter-facet relation was given as Chapter-7.
Empty and emptying digits were introduced.
Edition 6: A main class NZ Language and Literature was introduced.
Greek letters representing some main classes were replaced by Roman Capitals.
Edition 7: The present volume CC7 is comprised of 5 Parts
Part. A Introduction
Part. B Guidance to the Beginner
Part. C General Rules
Part. D General Division and Common
Isolate Part E Special Isolate
Structure of Colon
Mapping of (US) in
Broad format: z,1,2,3,4 and 8 are in the base of the
• The MS falling between B and M are known as
• The MS (D, F, J) are applied sciences. So, It has been
placed near to Natural Sci.
• The M holds all the residual applied sciences.
The Peak: ∆ (spiritual experience and mysticism)It’s the
point where ascending and descending phases meet.
Descension Phase: The MS (N to Z) have been
arranged according to decreasing naturalness and
Basic Principles in
“The CC, like- other schemes of classification, starts with a
set of main classes which form the first order array, of
classes. Each main class is divided into facets. All facets are
regarded as manifestations of five fundamental categories.”
• Postulates of Basic Facet
• Planes of Work
• Rounds and Levels
• Postulates of Facet Sequence
Main classes: The main class in CC are like disciplines in DDC and theoretical subjects in UDC. They are
subjects, like mathematics, physics, history, political science and so on.
Array: “Asystematic arrangement of numbers or symbols in an orderly manner”. The numbers, in a
classification refer to a division of a subject on the basis of a single characteristics.
Example: In Medicine, the organs of the human body form the array of organs.
Facet: A facet is a characteristics by which a class is divided/grouped. Each main class is divided into facets to
whole series of arrays based on, a set of related characteristics of division.
Example: In main class Literature, all enumerated languages are the language facet of that class. And all
literary forms (poetry, drama, fiction, etc.) constitute another facet. univers
; (Semi colon)
Energy [E] : (Colon)
Space [S] . (dot)
Time [t] ‘ (inverted
There are 5 FC, Personality [P], Matter [M], Energy [E], Space [S], and Time[T], PMEST for short.
According to Ranganathan, in any given subject, there may be a maximum of 5 FC. There can be less, but
in no case more than five. They also come in order of PMEST a/c to their decreasing concreteness.
Again each FC is represented by a distinct symbol and connecting symbol representing it. These are:
Time and Space:
A century, a decade, a year, a month, a day, an
Continent, country, city, village, etc. Indicators of
Example1: Economics conditions of India in the 19th century
Example2: Economic condition during the reign of Akbar ( here FC time is concealed, but
Energy: Energy refers to some type of Action.
In MS Medicine- diagnosis or treatment falls under energy facet. Similarly,
In MS Agriculture- ploughing
In MS Education- Teaching is energy.
Matter: With a major change in the 7th ed., Matter is distinguished as Matter property [MP], Matter
material [MMt], Matter Method [MM]. Matter property almost replaced the FC Energy.
In MS Library sci.-
cataloguing and In
etc. are treated as
In MS Technology,
Product, and in MS
are manifestation of
In MS Fine arts,
under the class
Personality: Recognize Personality by the method of residue, i.e., when it can not be any other FC,
it is assigned to personality. Apart from this, its possible to identify a core concept in compound
subject, such as- ‘Human Body’ in Medicine.
1. Postulates of Basic Facet:
Once we determine the different Fundamental Categories, they are to be attached to a Basic class in the
order of P M E S T.A basic Facet in the traditional meaning stands for Main classes or Basic class existed in
CC. originally there were 30 Main classes, which rose to 47 in the 6th edition.
Examples: Philosophy, psychology, chemistry, literature, history, etc..
2. Planes of Work:
3.Round and Levels
The FC (P M E) may manifest themselves more than one in a subject in different round
Round 1 personality [2P] Round 2
[1M] Round 1 Matter [2M] Round 1 Matter
[1E] End Round 1 [2E] End Round 2
Round 1 level 1 personality
[1M1] Round 1 level 1 matter
[1P2] Round 1 level 2 personality
[1M2] Round 1 level 2 matter
[2P1] Round 2 level 1 personality
[2M1] Round 2 level 1 matter
[S] and [T] manifest only in the last round but, may be in different levels of a
[S1] Level 1 space facet [T1] Level 1 Time
[S2] Level 2 space facet [T2] Level 1 Time
Isolates are Literature English Drama Shakespeare Hamle
[P1] [P2] [P3] [P4]
(Literature) O 111 2 J64 1
Now the Sequence is: Basic facet [1P1] [1P2] [1P3]
1st round 1 level
1st round 2nd level
1st round 3rd
4.Postulates of Facet Sequence
1. Postulate of First Facet
In any Compound subject, the first facet should be the Basic facet. Means, there should be a
Basic class or Main class even if it is not stated explicitly in the title of the document.
Example: If we take Treatment of cancer as our subject, the Basic facet is not stated. But by
the facet in this case is Medicine
4.3 Postulate of Facet Sequence Within a
In a Compound Subject, if any P,M and E occur in any round, they
should be arranged in the order of P,M, E.
For Example: Preparation of soil for growing grapes
And the sequence of the facets will be: Agriculture (BF), Grapes [P], Soil [M], and
4.4 Postulate of Facet Sequence Within the last
(Basic Facet) [P] [M]
The 4th postulate states that in the last round of facets of a compound
subject, in which each of the Fundamental categories other than Energy
may occur, and occur only once, the sequence of facets should be P,M, S,
For Example: A Study of Emotions of adults in 20th century,USA
In this, there is no manifestation of energy. Hence, the sequence
should be: Psychology (BF), Adults [P], Emotions [M], USA [S], 20th
It states that different levels of the same fundamental category within a round
should be kept together.
Example: Succession rights of minors in Hindu law
Law(BF) Hindu Law[1P1] Minor[1P2] succession [1P3]
4.5 Postulate of level
Notation used in
1. Mixed Notation- Indicator Digits: It consists of
1) Indo-Arabic numerals, 1-9
2)Roman alphabet -both capitals and lower case, A to Z and a
to z. 1.3) Parentheses ( }
1.4) Indicator digits
2. Empty Digit: To increase the capacity of an array, CC has introduced what is called an
Empty digit. It has no semantic value, but it retains the ordinal value.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
91, 92, 93 . . . . . .98
991, 992, 993 . . . . .998 and so
a b c d e f g h . . . . . .
A B C D E . . . . . .T U V X
Digit/Symbol Name of the indicator digit Role of the indicator digit
* Asterisk indicates agglomeration and Interpolation
← Backward arrow indicates backward range
" Double inverted comma indicates common isolates
& Ampersand indicates phase relation
‘ Single inverted comma indicates time facet
. Dot indicates space facet
: Colon indicates energy facet
; Semi-colon indicates matter facet
, Comma indicates personality facet
- Hyphen indicates spectator of kind 1
= Equal sign indicates speciator of kind 2
+ Plus sign and, addition
→ Forward arrow indicates forward range
The Indicator digits used in the 7th ed.
The purpose of a device is to form a new isolate or to sharpen an existing isolate in an array. This
method has considerably reduced the size of the scheme.
The 4 major devices used in CC are:
1) Chronological device
2) Geographical device
3) Subject device
4) Alphabetical device
Used in Library science, mathematics, medicine, fine arts, psychology,
education, economics, etc.
Mechanism: employing a chronological number from schedule of time
All numbers of authors in (MS) Literature derived through this
device. Example: The number for Rabindranath Tagore is O,
1861( Yr. of birth)
Mechanism: employing a geographical number from
schedule of space isolates
Example: The formation of an isolate using this device is as
152= d4437 means Rajasthani Hindi,
where 152 is Hindi
= is the connecting
symbol d is the symbol
4437 is Rajasthan from the schedule of space
Mechanism: To form a facet by adding to it (facet) another
class number elsewhere in the scheme.
Part of the No. derived by the subject device should be
enclosed in parenthesis i.e., ().
Example1: Medical college library is 2, J3 (L)
where, 2, J3 is ‘college libraries’ from MS
Library sci. & L is added from MS
Example2: Hindu law is Z, (Q,2)
where, Z is Law and (Q,2) is Hindu religion
from MS Q Religion
Mechanism: Taking the 1st or the 1st two or three letters of the
names of persons, or objects, or products widely accepted as
O, 157, 3M61, G Gora, a novel by Rabindranath Tagore
Maruti motor car. D93C is for motor cars
and M stands for Maruti.
S1 interact with
S1 interact with S2 or
A phase relation may occur between 2 or more main classes; within 1 and
the same facet of a main class; or within one and the same array isolates.
Besides, there are 6 kinds of phase relations indicated in CC. Connecting symbols composed of ‘&’ and
a relation indicator as shown in the below table:
Kind of phase relation Inter-subject Intra-facet Intra-array
General a j t
Bias b k u
Comparison c m v
Difference d n w
Tool e p x
Examples to show the diff. kinds of phase relation:
A general study of special and university libraries- type: intra-facet, Kind: general, No.
Psychology for teachers- Type: inter-subject, Kind: Bias, No. S&bT
Comparison of Jainism and Buddhism- Type: intra-facet, Kind” comparison, No.
Difference between UG and PG education- Type: intra-array, Kind: difference, No. T,
Merits and demerits of colon
i) provision of a helpful order in each class
ii) facility in locating a given topic whether
it is simple, compound or complex.
i. There exists no machinery to keep up the
revision work as in the case of DDC and
ii. The guidance provided in the recently
published 7th ed. is not enough and lacks
clarity at places.
Practical work in
Transplanting rice seedlings in India in the
- J(main class BS/BF)
- Plant [1PI] - 381
- Organ [IP2] - 91
- Action or energy [E] -
- Space [S] - 44
- Time [T] - v
The number is, therefore
Pain(part of the disease)-
Hence, the final 'number is L,18;
William Shakespeare : Merchant of Venice
- English'[IP1] - III (from the language
- Drama [1P2] - 2
- Shakespeare, 1564 [1P3] -
J64 (chronological device)
- Merchant of Venice [1P4] - M+V
The final number is, therefore 0,111,2J64, M+V 67