About Universal Decimal Classification (UDC)

What is UDC?

The UDC is the world's foremost multilingual classification scheme for all fields of knowledge and a sophisticated indexing and retrieval tool. It is a highly flexible classification system for all kinds of information in any medium.

Because of its logical hierarchical arrangement and analytico-synthetic nature, it is suitable for physical organization of collections as well as document browsing and searching. The UDC is structured in such a way that new developments and new fields of knowledge can be readily incorporated. The code itself is independent of any particular language or script (consisting of arabic numerals and common punctuation marks), and the accompanying class descriptions have appeared in many translated versions.

Who is using UDC?

The scheme is in worldwide use, and has been published in whole or in part in over 40 different languages (see bibliography of UDC editions). It is used in bibliographic services, documentation centres and libraries in around 130 countries world-wide. Library collections indexed by UDC can be found in library OPACs and databases (see information about larger collections).

Who is managing UDC?

The International Federation for Information and Documentation (FID) managed the UDC, from its creation around the year 1900 until 1992, when it became clear that a more broadly based and financially autonomous organization was needed to administer and exploit UDC. FID, together with the publishers of the Dutch, English, French, Japanese and Spanish editions, became the founder members of a new body: the UDC Consortium (UDCC). The Consortium assumed ownership of UDC on 1 January 1992.

How is UDC maintained?

The UDCC appoints the UDC Editorial Team and the UDC Advisory Board with international membership to oversee the content of UDC and contribute to its revision.