Melvil Dewey

The first edition of the Dewey classification system was published in 1876. 2011 saw the publication of the twenty-third edition, reflecting the vitality of the decimal classification system developed by the American librarian Melvil Dewey. The article gives an account of his life and work, his thought, and his other achievements, which go well beyond the classification system that bears his name. The system remains his principal legacy, however: it is used widely in all types of library throughout France, and as the semantic web develops, new applications for it are constantly being discovered.