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The Czech National Library and UDC application in the Czech Republic

  • Over the years, the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) has become the most widely used classification in Czech libraries
  • Its first application appeared in the 1930s and different UDC versions have been translated and used:
    • the full edition
    • the abridged (middle) edition
    • the widely popular version utilising only selected UDC numbers (top level)

  • This last version, created at the National Library of the Czech Republic (NL), gained popularity among Czech librarians as automation was being introduced in the country's libraries. This version is now the mandatory minimal level subject cataloguing standard for all libraries contributing their records to the Czech Union Catalogue
  • Further milestones
    • 1997 publication of Czech version of MRF on CDROM
    • 1998 English-Czech version of UDC MRF on CDROM
    • 2000 English-Czech version of UDC MRF on CDROM (update)
    • 2001 publication via Internet

The main goal of Czech NL activities in subject indexing and classification area

  • to create a national subject authority file in Cupertino with other libraries: public, research, special, documentation centres
  • to create a national form/genre authority file
  • to unify and harmonise indexing languages establishing links between several controlled vocabularies on special subject areas used in the Czech Republic
  • to contribute to building multilingual and hierarchically organised subject access to bibliographical databases with the support of the UDC classification system as a switching language
  • to improve multidimensional searching for OPAC users linking topical subject headings, main headings/topical subdivision combinations and form/genre headings in the authority files to the appropriate UDC notations and
  • to use medium level of UDC notations, since the UDC selected points (top level) currently used in most libraries do not identify topics in their entirety

We respect an expanding role of the UDC classification which could serve as

  • organising tool for subject browsing and navigation in Web environments
  • switching language in multi/cross-culture and multi-lingual environment
  • organising tool in OPACS and bibliographies
  • an access point to metadata records


It is our intention to support the development of a multi-lingual version of MRF on CD-ROM in order to make the UDC classification system more suitable for online environments

The contact person for UDC matters at the Czech National Library is:

Mrs Marie Baliková, Mgr.
Head of Subject Cataloguing Department
National Library of the Czech Republic
Klementinum 190
110 01 PRAGUE 1
Czech Republic

Tel.: +420 2 21663352
Fax: +420 2 21663301

E-mail: marie.balikova@nkp.cz

Last updated: 15 December 2006    ^^Top