What is the Full Form of UDC?

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UDC Full Form is Universal Decimal Classification. It is a comprehensive library classification system that provides a structured and coherent framework for organizing all branches of human knowledge. Developed in the late 19th century, it has evolved into a powerful tool for bibliographic indexing and information retrieval in libraries worldwide. This blog on UDC Full Form explores the key features and significance of the UDC.

A Truly International Classification System

Unlike many other library classification systems that originated as national schemes, the UDC was conceived as an international system from the start. Its adaptability to different languages has resulted in translations into over 40 languages, making it accessible to a global audience. Moreover, an abridged web version of the UDC, known as UDC Summary, is available in over 50 languages, facilitating its widespread use.

Historical Roots

The UDC owes its origins to Belgian bibliographers Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine, who envisioned a comprehensive classified index, known as the Universal Bibliographic Repertory (RBU), to catalog all published information. The UDC’s development included innovative features such as common auxiliary tables and an expressive notational system. The Mundaneum in Mons, Belgium, still preserves the catalog organized by UDC, showcasing its historical significance.

Wide Adoption in Libraries

UDC has found applications in approximately 150,000 libraries across 130 countries. It serves as the primary classification system for information exchange in many countries, including public, school, academic, and special libraries. Its versatility allows for various uses, including shelf arrangement and content indexing.

Utilized in National Bibliographies

Around 30 countries incorporate the UDC into their national bibliographies, making it an integral part of their information organization efforts. This widespread adoption underscores its role as a pivotal tool for knowledge management.

Facilitating Scientific Article Indexing

The UDC has historically played a crucial role in the indexing of scientific articles. Research collections worldwide have incorporated UDC codes to classify and organize scientific output efficiently. This has been particularly valuable in the era before electronic publishing.

The Structure of UDC

The UDC’s notation system uses Arabic numerals in a decimal arrangement, allowing for efficient mechanical sorting and filing of subjects. Its hierarchical and syntactical expressiveness enables the precise representation of complex concepts and relationships. Additionally, UDC includes common auxiliary tables and main schedules organized into nine main classes, further enhancing its flexibility and comprehensiveness.

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