edited by Birger Hjørland and Claudio Gnoli


Library-Bibliographical Classification (LBC)

by Eduard Sukiasyan

Table of contents:
1. Introduction
2. Historical overview
    2.1 Before the Great October Revolution (1917)
    2.2 Policy of the state and classification trends in libraries after the Revolution
    2.3 UDC schedules in Russian libraries
    2.4 Soviet classification: concept and development: 2.4.1 Temporary solution; 2.4.2 Organizational activity: first projects
    2.5 Soviet Library-Bibliographical Classification (LBC), first edition: 2.5.1 Scientific assistance; 2.5.2 Editorial board; 2.5.3 Overall results; 2.5.4 General structure of the LBC; 2.5.5 Contributors, authors, consultants and experts; 2.5.6 The notation problem and its solution
    2.6 Derived variants
    2.7 System of Extensions and Corrections
    2.8 Implementation in library practice
    2.9 The Soviet LBC abroad
    2.10 The Soviet LBC and ISKO
    2.11 1991: the new Russia and radical changes in its political and ideological system
    2.12 Why we decided to continue work on the LBC
    2.13 Saving a system: deideologization, political deliverance, and modernization
    2.14 First-priority decisions on deideologization
    2.15 Contemporary editions of LBC and variants in book and electronic forms
    2.16 Classification systems in Russia: status quo and prospects
3. Outline of the national Library-Bibliographical Classification (LBC)
    3.1 Contemporary structure (the first, main row of classes)
    3.2 The system of the LBC tables (standard subdivisions): 3.2.1 The general standard subdivisions; 3.2.2 The territorial standard subdivisions; 3.2.3 The standard subdivisions for languages; 3.2.4 The ethnic standard subdivisions
    3.3. The system of the LBC special standard subdivisions and plans of disposition
    3.4. The notation of the LBC
    3.5. Composition and structure of the classification division
    3.6. Instructional apparatus
    3.7. Synthetic possibilities
    3.8. The alphabetical subject index
4. Conclusion
Editorial comment

The history of the Library-Bibliographical Classification (LBC), developed in Russia, is presented. Prior classification schemes created in Russia are cited, as well as major systems used throughout the world, notably the Universal Decimal Classification. The Communist ideological components of the LBC are described, along with its deideologization after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Publication history of the LBC is detailed, including full, medium, and abridged editions — the last-mentioned for children's and school libraries. An outline of the classification and of its standard subdivision tables is provided, along with a description of the index to the scheme. Problems resulting from the use of Cyrillic letters in the notation are described. The potential for searching on the synthetic features of the LBC is discussed as well as maintenance of the schedules in electronic form. Recognition of the LBC by ISKO is noted.

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1. Introduction

The purpose of this article is to acquaint the reader with the Library-Bibliographic Classification (LBC), the national classification system of the Russian Federation. During the last century, this country twice (in 1917 and in 1991) suffered shocks that completely changed its political system and ideology, as well as its name and constitution. Naturally, Russian classification systems also changed.

The USSR, whose main territory is now called Russia (or the Russian Federation, which is one and the same) has always been distinguished by a special relationship to the classification used in libraries. Some libraries of the country had interesting systematic (classified) catalogs before the October Revolution of 1917. The Universal Decimal Classification (UDC), which was then called “Decimal Classification of the International Bibliographic Institute” (DC of IBI), was immediately studied. In 1896, a book with the classification number of this system on the cover was published in Odessa University.

Today we have Russian translations of the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC), the UDC, and S. R. Ranganathan's → Colon Classification (CC). But in the vast majority of Russian libraries, a system developed by specialists of the country is used.

Before describing how it was created, it is necessary to briefly report which classification systems were used in Russia before and after the October Revolution of 1917. Why could not the other systems widely used in the USSR suffice? How did the Russian libraries work for almost 40 years – in the period when the domestic system was being developed? How do we manage to save this system after 1991, when the era of Communist ideology in the USSR ended? The first part of this article briefly covers these questions.

The second part is a description of the modern Library-Bibliographical Classification, its structure and content, system of notation, and synthetic and technological features. This data is being published for the first time in the foreign press. Modern LBC schedules are published only in Russian; they were not translated to other languages. Therefore, all other publications become quickly out of date and have nothing to do with modern LBC. As the chief editor of the system since 1997, I state this with full authority.

The text of this article mentions publications in Russian, including more than 200 book-form schedules of various classification systems, and articles in journals published in the USSR and Russia. All this literature is covered in bibliographic manuals, and in catalogs and databases available in the Russian State Library; therefore, references to literature in Russian are not given at the end of this article. Publications in English, in contrast, are cited according to guidelines of this encyclopedia.

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2. Historical overview

2.1 Before the Great October Revolution (1917)

Libraries of the Russian Federation had not as a rule maintained systematic catalogues before the early 20th century. A few original classification systems, developed by the librarians of the largest libraries of Russia, were in use. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Librarian of the Imperial Public Library in Saint-Petersburg, A. N. Olenin (1763–1843), issued the “Practice of a new bibliographic order” (1808). In 1826, F. F. Reiss (1778–1852) submitted the “Disposition of the Library of the Imperial Moscow University”. In the foreign department collection of the Library of the Saint-Petersburg Academy of Sciences, the oldest library in the country, the system invented in 1841 by K. M. Baer (1792–1876), its Librarian, was in use. K. K. Foight (1808–1873) developed the “Plan of library disposition” (1834) for the Kazan University Library. All these systems differed from one another fundamentally in their structure; their authors had developed them without any methodological basis, and the requirements of library technology had not been taken into account. In fact, these systems were classifications of the sciences, but not of documents. Joint recommendations on stock organization for the network of libraries of «zemstvo» (a district council in Russia, 1864–1918) had not been developed. Published guidelines of that period said that “books should be arranged on the shelves according to the branches of science; textbooks separate from novels and narratives.”

Having been born in the USA, the DDC never came to Russia, but use of the later UDC, began to spread quickly from the beginning of the 20th century as a result of the advocacy of B. S. Bodnarsky (1874–1968), an outstanding Russian bibliographer.

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2.2 Policy of the state and classification trends in libraries after the Revolution

After the Great October Socialist Revolution, the libraries of Russia were under the jurisdiction of the Main Department of Political and Educational Work (the Glavpolitprosvet), led by N. K. Krupskaya (1869–1939). The Glavolitprosvet was part of the People’s Commissariat (Ministry) of Enlightenment. A. V. Lunacharsky (1875–1933) was its People’s Commissar. In accordance with the governmental decree on Centralization of librarianship in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR) dated 3 November 1920, all libraries formed a network. On the 21st of January 1921, the Glavpolitprosvet decreed that the DC of IBI become obligatory for all libraries of the republic. A «Special Committee» of the Glavpolitprosvet prepared an abridged version of the DC of IBI (55 pages). In 1927, the 2nd edition (75 pages) appeared; and in 1931 the 3rd edition (67 pages). The reaction of libraries was negative (the Glavpolitprosvet received letters beginning with statements such as “It is not what we need” or “We want a Soviet classification”).

In a painful competition of that period between systematic and subject [alphabetical] catalogs, the latter, in which it was difficult to keep a track of ideology, was winning. But at the Meeting on Theoretical questions of librarianship and bibliography (December 1936), N. K. Krupskaya said that the main catalog of Soviet libraries is alphabetical, but the basic catalog for the reader is the systematic one. The subject catalog is an additional catalog; its organization is not required. In a short time after the meeting, almost all libraries’ subject catalogs were abolished, and many library employees became political prisoners.

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2.3 UDC schedules in Russian libraries

The decree of the Glavpolitprosvet (Central Committee of the Republic for Political Education) did not apply to libraries with large collections, or to scientific libraries of educational institutions (universities, etc.). Therefore, Russia began to publish Decimal Classification schedules, based on more complete versions of the UDC, as adapted by Russian librarians. The most prominent of these was the book entitled "Decimal Classification" (1924, 1930), by E.N. Dobrshinsky (1864–1938). From 1921 on, class numbers of the Decimal Classification appeared on printed catalog cards, issued by the All-Union Book Chamber. They were distributed through a network of libraries and facilitated the organization of systematic catalogs. The famous specialist N. V. Rusinov (1874-1940) worked as classifier for two decades in the Book Chamber. He corresponded with the International Federation for Documentation (FID) and received (until 1937) all the Extensions and Corrections to UDC. N. V. Rusinov's "Decimal Classification" (a book that consists of schedules and recommendations for classifiers) was published in 1944.

In the period since 1937, UDC schedules, as applied in the USSR, were developed in isolation from FID. In 1962, the government of Russia decided to introduce the UDC from 1963 on into technical information organizations and technical libraries. The first edition of the UDC attracted great resistance. The second edition (FID 447) was published in 9 books (1969-1970); the third edition, FID 572, in 11 volumes from 1982 to 1987. After the All-Russian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (VINITI) became a member of the UDC Consortium (2001), the fourth full Russian edition was published. VINITI also publishes Extensions and corrections to the UDC.

Despite the fact that UDC is used in about 700 libraries in Russia, it is studied in educational institutions as a classical classification system. UDC classification numbers are published in books and periodicals. In the past three decades, strong contacts and exchange of publications between the editors of UDC and LBC were established.

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2.4 Soviet classification: concept and development

In order to find a solution to the classification problem, N. K. Krupskaya contacted the prominent bibliographer L. N. Tropovsky (1885–1944), the head of the Department of Bibliography of the Moscow State Library Institute (MGBI). In 1930, L. N. Tropovsky wrote that the Soviet Republic had the right to have its own classification system, that this new classification system must be built in accordance with the principles of the classification of science, and that this question should be reviewed by specialist-philosophers. L. N. Tropovsky placed strong emphasis on the need for a connection between the general philosophical classification of science and library classification. Philosophers of the country began to work on this question. At the same time, library specialists had to understand the needs of library practice, analyze bad experiences with the use of other classifications, and take the best from the classification experiences of the world. The new classification could be designed only by a sizable group of specialists from some of the largest libraries. That group needed to get organized and be set on the right track. Those specialists required preliminary instruction. Russia did not have such a group. It would take years to accomplish such a serious task.

These statement of principle which were expressed by L. N. Tropovsky in 1930, enable us to regard Lev Naumovich Tropovsky as the prime mover of the future LBC, and 1930 as the year of commencement of the work on the new classification.

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2.4.1 Temporary solution

It was clear that the new classification would not be developed quickly. In 1933–1934, N. K. Krupskaya had numerous meetings with L. N. Tropovsky, and instructed him to prepare a variant of the Decimal Classification, which would help libraries work during the period until new Soviet classification would be prepared. L. N. Tropovsky was entrusted with urgent alteration of UDC.

L. N. Tropovsky’s project was published in 1934. Comments and suggestions from practicing librarians of various regions were arriving in Moscow. In 1938, L. N. Tropovsky’s schedules were published. They were also issued in 1939, 1942, 1944, and 1946 (posthumous edition). Z. N. Ambartsumyan (1903–1970), his successor, prepared schedules for children’s and school libraries (1941, 1947). For the rest of his life, Z. N. Ambartsumyan continued his teacher’s work; the schedules for «mass» (public [1]) libraries were republished under his editorship, with his corrections and amendments in 1955 and 1959; for regional libraries, in 1963. The schedules for children’s and school libraries were republished in 1960 and 1964. All these editions went down in history under the name “Tropovsky-Ambartsumyan Schedules of Library Classification.” Thus, the interval of time that provided an opportunity for the development of a new classification system had been formed.

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2.4.2 Organizational activity: first projects

In the early 1930s, the problem of creating a Soviet classification was constantly discussed at library meetings and conferences. The work was handed in the Moscow Public Rumyantsev Museum (since 1924, the Lenin State Library; later the Russian State Library), in the Library of the Academy of Sciences, and in the Saltykov-Schedrin State Public Library. These three largest libraries later shared the responsibility of designing the Soviet Library-Bibliographical Classification.

The first period of LBC’s history includes the years from 1930 to 1951 and is associated with the name E. I. Schamurin (1889–1962), a prominent Soviet library and book scientist. He was charged with coordinating and leading the allied collective of three libraries. E. I. Schamurin managed to persuade Communist Party bodies, cultural officials, librarians, and library specialists that there was no task more important to the country than the creation of a uniform library-bibliographical classification for all the libraries of the country. E. I. Schamurin said that we are developing a uniform, i.e., only one system for all libraries, from the smallest one to the largest, including special and subject fields’ libraries. We begin by planning the system’s structure, its first divisions, and then the system will be amplified, detailed, expanded, and developed.

E. I. Schamurin was strong-willed, resolute leader, able to select, qualify, and train personnel. He would dismiss by any means anyone who was skeptical, hindering the work, or academically weak, as well as those who were too strong and opposed to any of the leader’s principles and rules. E. I. Schamurin realized perfectly that he should first of all isolate himself from L. N. Tropovsky. In all his lectures and speeches, and in his numerous printed articles, E. I. Schamurin, although highly appreciative of the work of L. N. Tropovsky, pointed out that the latter was engaged in a different area of “socialist library construction”, providing libraries with schedules that they could use until the LBC was ready. E. I. Schamurin emphasized that there was no time for distractions. For this reason, neither L. N. Tropovsky nor his co-worker Z. N. Ambartsumyan ever took part in the LBC work of E. I. Schamurin. E. I. Schamurin’s authoritativeness bore fruit, and sometimes it was not positive.

In 1938-1940, under the direction of E. I. Schamurin, a research and practice seminar on classification questions was permanently operating in the Lenin State Library (LSL). Two times a week, a specially selected group (16-18 people) would assemble for four hours to listen to invited speakers. Almost no one in the group had library education. Olga Pankrat'evna Teslenko (1911–1974) was elected the group leader. Some of the invited speakers were from Leningrad. Those who completed the course would permanently remain on the staff of LSL.

During the Great Patriotic War (1941-1945), the work on the LBC paused. As early as in May 1947, however, a plan for cooperative work of the three libraries was discussed, and in January 1948, the general structure of the LBC was approved. The plan for the project was sent around libraries in 1949, 1951, and 1954. Many libraries wrote in comments that there were already good “Tropovsky-Ambartsumyan Schedules of Library Classification”. The need for a new classification was called into question.

The Central Committee of the Communist Party became acquainted with the project as well. All the libraries of the country were working using the Tropovsky-Ambartsumyan Sсhedules, and library institutes and schools were teaching their students those schedules. At a private meeting, a decision was made to dismiss the subject of “a uniform classification for all libraries” and to give up this project. It was recommended that the administration of the Lenin State Library disband the group of E. I. Schamurin and transfer its members to other departments assigning them to practical jobs. If the Library needed to solve its own classification problems, it could do this by keeping a small collective for that purpose. The network of public libraries should not be affected.

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2.5 Soviet Library-Bibliographical Classification (LBC), first edition

A new era of the development of the LBC is associated with the name of O. P. Teslenko, who had more than a dozen specialists rallying around her. Others had been “outplaced.” Many departments of the Lenin State Library were headed by the staff members who had been trained at the seminar before the war.

At first, O. P. Teslenko tried to prove that the creation of the LBC would not contradict the goals set for public libraries. Three libraries of the Moscow region (all of them are within the borders the city of Moscow today) carried out an experiment. In 1955, schedules for public libraries were published in an edition of 500 copies. The reaction of those in the highest ranks was strict: the administration of the Library was rebuked, and it was once again recommended that it focused attention on its own catalogs.

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2.5.1 Scientific assistance

Bonifatii Mikhailovich Kedrov (1903–1985), a famous scientist, gave the greatest assistance to O. P. Teslenko with “the LBC rescue.” In 1947, he started consulting with the group of developers. Kedrov contacted the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, and was advised to find in the Ministry of Culture of the RSFSR officials who could give some support to the project. Following his recommendations, O. P. Teslenko met Vasilii Mikhailovich Striganov (1920-1985), Deputy Minister of Culture of the RSFSR. Vasilii Mikhailovich visited the LSL, met with the collective, and fully grasped the difficulties of the project. The Presidium of the Academy of Sciences made the decision to fully support the development of the LBC.

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2.5.2 Editorial board

In February 1959, in accordance with the order of the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, the Editorial Board of the LBC publication was formed. V. M. Striganov agreed to become its president. He not only took responsibility for the LBC for several decades, but also quickly grasped classification theory along with the majority of specialists, perhaps even better than some. The library’s new director, Ivan Petrovich Kondakov (1905–1969), declared at his first meeting with colleagues that he considered the development and publication of the LBC the most important goal entrusted to the LSL. Member of the Editorial Board B. M. Kedrov, a corresponding member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, achieved favorable decisions of the Presidium of the Academy on principal points.

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2.5.3 Overall results

The first edition of the LBC was in development for almost ten years. I. P. Kondakov’s firm insistence and managerial abilities assured the success of the undertaking. O. P. Teslenko, LBC’s editor-in-chief, was in charge of the academic side of the work. The first edition (1960-1968) in 25 issues (30 books) took up more than 600 publishing sheets (1 p.s. = 40,000 typographical units).

No one noticed when the task set before the LBC developers changed: the development of “a uniform system for all libraries of the country” had been removed from the agenda. Efforts were made to create a detailed classification system that would be aimed at the largest general and special scientific libraries. Set later, the goal of creating abridged variants of the system became a real challenge and took many years.

The development of the LBC began in three libraries in Moscow and Leningrad (more than five hundred qualified library specialists participated). Administration of the huge team was led by the LSL’s deputy director, Feoktista Sergeevna Abrikosova (1907–1983). The Lenin State Library undertook the full range of activities relating to the text and alphabetical subject indexes – general editing and publication (the first edition was producted on the Library’s typographic equipment; technical editing, the typesetting and other polygraphic processes were all performed by the library staff).

Some divisions of the LBC administration were incorporated into the structure of the Processing and Catalogs Department of LSL. The Main Working Editorial Board (16 specialists), led by O. P. Teslenko, was formed. Moreover, most qualified specialists of the department, along with performance of their regular duties, participated in 10 specialized editorial councils. A list of the councils may be of interest: Editorial council on structure, Editorial council on theory and history, Editorial council on historical periods, Editorial council on special standard subdivisions and plans of dispositions, Editorial council on general standard subdivisions and overall divisions, Editorial council on territorial standard subdivisions, Editorial council on notation, Editorial council on recommendations and references, Editorial council of terminology, Editorial council of alphabetical subject indexes.

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2.5.4 General structure of the LBC

The general structure of the publication, with separation into issues, was approved (some issues were divided into parts):

1 Foreword to the LBC. Introduction
2  А Marxism-Leninism
3  Б/В Natural sciences as a whole. Physico-mathematical sciences
4  Г Chemical sciences
5  Д Earth sciences (geodesical, geophysical, geological, and geographical sciences)
6  Е Biological sciences
7, part 1  Ж Engineering and technology as a whole
7, part 2  З Energetics. Radioelectronics
8  И/К Mining engineering. Technology of metals. Machine building. Instrument making
9, part 1  Л Chemical technology. Chemical and food industry
9, part 2  М Technology of felled timber. Consumer goods industry. Printing production. Photographic and cinematographic engineering
10  Н Building industry
11  О Transport industry
12  П Agricultural industry and forestry. Agricultural and forestry sciences
13  Р Public health. Medical sciences
14, part 1  С/Т Social sciences as a whole. History. Historical sciences
14, part 2 History. Historical sciences. Т3(2) History of the USSR
14, part 3 History. Historical sciences. Т3(4/9) Foreign history
14, part 4 History. Historical sciences. Т4 Archeology. Т5 Ethnography
15  У Economics. Economical sciences
16  Ф6/7 Political parties. Other socio-political organizations
[In the first edition of the LBC, no other subdivision of political science was covered]
17  Х State and law. Juridical sciences
18  Ц Military science. Art of war
19  Ч Culture. Science. Enlightenment
20  Ш Philological sciences. Belles-lettres
21  Щ Art. Art studies
22  Э Religion. Atheism
23  Ю Philosophical sciences. Psychology
24  Я Universal content literature
25 Tables of standard subdivisions

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2.5.5 Contributors, authors, consultants and experts

In the first edition of the LBC, 219 persons from 15 organizations were listed as the book’s contributors. The Scientific Principle was the basis of the LBC’s development. From the outset, it had been decided that the schedules should conform to the level of science of the 1960s. To accomplish this task, scientists and specialists were needed. Schedules of a preliminarily classified (by professional librarians with a subject educational level) subject field were scrutinized by scientists. Over 800 scientists in total (academicians, corresponding members, doctors, practical specialists) acted as experts and reviewers. The introduction to each class of the schedules contains information about the experts, reviewers, and supervisors of the development project.

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2.5.6 The notation problem and its solution

When it became clear that the Russian letter notation of the main row (first divisions) of the LBC would be a serious obstacle to the use of the LBC schedules, especially in foreign countries, as well as and in some national Republics of the USSR, the Working Group on LBC notation (Z. N. Ambartsumyan became its chief) was created in the Lenin State Library by the order of the Ministry of Culture of the USSR. For a year and a half (1966-1967), a great deal of research was conducted; however, the Working Group was not able to achieve the ultimate solution. In 1969, a decision was made: the notation of the main row in the LBC schedules for public libraries should be numerical. The project was prepared by a member of the Working Group, E. R. Sukiasyan. The Russian letter notation of the main row was changed to numerical notation. The structure of the LBC was not changed. The two first figures of the classification number were followed by a separating point. The numerical notation was welcomed by libraries.

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2.6 Derived variants

By the middle of the ‘60s, the urgent question of the creation of schedules for special branch libraries, of which there were thousands in the country – while general or multidisciplinary libraries numbered no more than several hundred – arose. A decision was made to downsize the schedules to approximately a sixth of their full volume. The abridged LBC schedules for scientific libraries (in 5 issues, 6 books) were published in 1970-1972, and an alphabetical subject index to this variant of the full schedules was issued in 1975 as a separate volume. The entire printrun was purchased bought up despite the fact that the concept of this variant had almost never been discussed with librarians. It later became clear that foreign experience with classification, primarly the experience of the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC), had been learned poorly. UDC Special (subject field) Schedules were already well known. They united the full texts of the field-specific and related classes and the abridged (more or less, depending on practical requirements) texts of other classes.

At the beginning of 1967, the program on creation of an edition of the LBC schedules for regional and public libraries was enacted. The document directed the publication of abridged editions for regional and public libraries as unified schedules with numerical notation that would cover all fields of knowledge.

Z. N. Ambartsumyan initiated the decision to organize preliminary preparation for the LBC schedules’ implementation in public libraries of the state. For this purpose, the regular (third) edition of the “traditional” library classification schedules was prepared for public libraries, keeping the old structure and notation. The content of these schedules had been entirely revised, however; new issues had appeared, and some wording was changed. The new schedules were issued in 1968, and libraries immediately started revising their systematic card catalogs. Properly speaking, it was a “secretly” organized wide-ranging frontal activity for the forthcoming conversion of the catalogs to the LBC system.

In 1969-1971, projects on the schedules for public libraries were discussed many times. Only at the end of 1976, a one-volume LBC edition was approved for printing in a huge edition of 37 thousand copies (it was republished in 1986). The LBC schedules for children’s libraries were issued in 1977. The second edition, revised and enlarged, published in 1987, was addressed not only to children’s libraries but also to school libraries, which constituted the largest library network of the country. The LBC schedules for regional libraries appeared in print in 1980-1983 in four volumes with numerical notation. Lack of a cumulative alphabetical subject index for this edition caused great difficulties in its use (every volume has, as a rule, its own index).

At the initiative of local-lore bibliographers, the Working Group on creation of local-lore LBC schedules was formed in 1982 (i.e., specialized version for the literature of any regional unit, from village to republic). After many discussions and disputes, these schedules went to press in February 1989. This version was first proposed by Z. N. Ambartsumyan.

A translation of the LBC schedules for public libraries into the languages of various nationalities of the USSR was launched in all Soviet Republics in the 80s-90s. Taking into account languages of the peoples of Russia (for example, the Tatar, Armenian, and Georgian languages), 34 such editions are known.

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2.7 System of Extensions and Corrections

In the ‘70s-‘80s, more than 200 issues of Extensions and Corrections to variants of the LBC schedules were published. The schedules’ editors were quickly responding to actual events in domestic and foreign life, and to developments in science and technology. The sections of biology, philological sciences, and sociology; the schedules of special standard subdivisions; some parts of the schedules of general standard subdivisions; and some others were republished.

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2.8 Implementation in library practice

Since 1965, according to decisions of the libraries’ governance, the implementation of the first edition of the LBC schedules in library practice began across the country. The decision of the Ministry of Culture was supported by the Library Commission at the Presidium of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, by the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions, by the Ministry of Higher Education and Specialized Secondary Education of the USSR, and by the Chief Political Directorate of the Soviet Army and Navy. The Lenin State Library was charged with the scientific-methodological management of the project. Several All-Union and Republic meetings were held; practice seminars were organized in some regions of the county. Many manuals for libraries were published. Similar work took place right after the issuance of each derived variant of the schedules.

The State Award for Science for the series of works on “The Library-Bibliographical Classification” (1981) was a notable event in the history of Russian library-bibliographical science.

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2.9 The Soviet LBC abroad

In 1986, a special edition of the English-language journal Library World (London) dedicated to the libraries of the USSR was issued. The topics of the articles were determined by editors. The final part article by E. R. Sukiasyan, «Problems of classification in Soviet libraries» (Sukiasyan 1986) part dedicated to the LBC. It revealed the LBC’s synthetic characteristics, its capability to reflect in a single classification number a considerable number of attributes.

By the 1960s, groups of LBC supporters had already appeared in Bulgaria, in the GDR, and in Czechoslovakia; translation of selected parts of the schedules begun. In 1970, a decision was made in Bulgaria, to consider the LBC as a uniform information retrieval language for the scientific libraries of the country. The main problem was the graphical correspondence of eleven letters in the Cyrillic and Roman alphabets (А, В, Е, К, М, Н, О, Р, С, Т, Х), which caused basic problems in communication.

In 1974, Ingetraut Dahlberg (of Germany) published a monograph with the title (here translated into English) “Basic Foundations of Universal Knowledge Organization: Problems and Opportunities of the Creation of a Universal Knowledge Classification System”, which included a description of the principles and structure of the LBC and a list of its main divisions and gave high marks to its retrieval and technological features.

Beginning in 1974, international conferences at which specialists in the field of library classification from Bulgaria, Hungary, the GDR, Poland, Romania, the USSR, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia assembled were regularly held. Unfortunately, many recommendations put forward in the conference reports were not thoroughly analyzed later. Without a unified solution, each country had to solve the problem of Russian-letter notation in its own way. For example, in the Bulgarian and Vietnamese editions, the Russian letter Б was replaced by the Roman letter B; in the German edition, transcription was applied (the letter Щ was replaced by the combination Shch). The logical array of the LBC’s principal divisions thus was broken.

In the 80s, the LBC gained a firm foothold in many countries. Numerous countries implemented several editions of the LBC. The full schedules were translated and published in the GDR, Bulgaria, Slovakia, and Vietnam. A one-volume edition was issued in Cuba, while in Bulgaria an edition of 4-5 volumes was being made ready. There were reports that the LBC schedules were also being translated in Spain and Japan.

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2.10 The Soviet LBC and ISKO

In the late 1980s, international cooperation among specialists in classification systems reached a new level. In July 1989 in the Federal Republic of Germany, the International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO) was created; Soviet experts were invited to become members. E. R. Sukiasyan was elected a member of the Scientific Advisory Council and a consulting-editor of ISKO’s official organ International Classification. For the 1st International Conference of ISKO (Darmstadt, Germany, August 1990), E. R. Sukiasyan prepared a paper on the subject suggested by the Organizing Committee: “Description and Analysis of the Library-Bibliographical Classification” (Sukiasyan 1990). Demonstration of the LBC’s synthetic and searching possibilities aroused great interest on the part of the audience. ISKO experts included the LBC among the largest general classification systems of global importance. Sukiasyan’s paper was published in the Proceedings of the Conference.

In 1994, during the 3rd International Conference of ISKO (Copenhagen, Denmark), the Scientific Advisory Council formally designed the LBC as the National Classification System of the Russian Federation.

A description of LBC in both English and Russian was later published by the Italian chapter of ISKO (Sukiasyan 2016).

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2.11 1991: the new Russia and radical changes in its political and ideological system

Every classification system has to reflect the realities of the modern world, as well as the developments in science and contemporary practice. But the LBC was placed into the condition of a change in ideology of the target society, which complicated the task of its modernization. No classification system in the history of mankind has ever had to meet such a challenge.

In the early ‘90s, Russians found themselves in a “new” country. The LBC, having been created in the Soviet Union and satisfying the propaganda tasks of the socialist society, immediately became unsuitable for library practice. Ideological and content categories of the book output in Russia had changed; the new environment rendered made them mismatched with the assessments and formulations given in the LBC.

Some of the former Soviet Republics (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, Moldavia, and a part of the libraries of Ukraine) solved this problem radically: they converted their collections and catalogs into UDC. Other countries maintained the LBC, though the acquisition of corrections and extensions nearly ceased.

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2.12 Why we decided to continue work on the LBC

Attempts to represent the LBC as the product of an “ideological demand” are baseless because ideology was just one of the system’s characteristics. It is impossible to ignore the other characteristics of LBC: first of all, structural, technological, and synthetic features, as well as its informative value. The LBC’s technological capabilities are much great than the search possibilities of a card catalog. The LBC has powerful features that have not yet been implemented in computerized information searching.

All these characteristics brought the LBC to be counted among the largest general classification systems of the world. ISKO experts made the suggestion that the LBC followed practice of publishing printed schedules simultaneously with the creation of machine-readable master copy that could provide the basis for the creation of full, medium, and abridged editions of the schedules. We came to another logical decision: not to publish the full LBC schedules in book-form any more. For their storage, it is better to use modern electronic media. With the necessary programs and equipment, the full schedules can be gradually converted into the detailed ones (with synthesized classification numbers and complex concepts). In other countries, such a machine-readable master copy is called Master Reference File and is based on a classification format. We have the classification format within our domestic RUSMARC-format.

Recently, another opinion has appeared: “Why do we need a classification system at all? Keyword searching is enough”. This must probably mean that the books on open shelves will be arranged alphabetically by keyword (that is a real prospect by the way; there is no alternative in our information society).

We believe that future classification systems in the will retain both basic functions — as a system of organizing open-shelf book collections for readers, and as a system for searching and finding relevant information. We know how to implement a multidimensional search with high efficiency using structural elements of the LBC classification numbers. Sooner or later, our projects of automated search will be realized.

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2.13 Saving a system: deideologization, political deliverance, and modernization

In order to solve the problem of deideologization of the system, it was first necessary to conduct a thorough analysis to understand how ideology was reflected in the classification system. The ideological characteristics of the LBC are now briefly described.

The class "Marxism-Leninism” occupies the first place in the LBC with the classification number A or 1. This class has three main divisions:

A1 11 The Works of classics of Marxism-Leninism
A3 13 The life and work of K. Marx, F. Engels, V. I. Lenin
A5 15 Marxist-Leninist philosophy

In the class "Policy”, under the classification number 66.6 the main position was occupied by literature on the Communist party (CP) and the international Communist movement. The class on CP History was very detailed, including numbers for all periods (in a parallel series with the divisions of USSR history).

Independent sections in the LBC were the three component parts of Marxism: Marxist-Leninist philosophy (separately: dialectical and historical materialism), Marxist-Leninist political economy, and Scientific Communism. Scientific Communism was taught as an academic discipline in institutions of higher education since 1963, and was created as a separate set of problems related to social science. During the years of the Soviet system, thousands of works were written. They entered the libraries and made up a significant part of their collections.

Textbooks for all these academic disciplines (and also the history of the CP) were written by specially created scientific groups (and sometimes individual authors) and were approved by the Academy of Social Sciences under the CP Central Committee. It was common knowledge that the primary textbook on the history of the Communist Party was based on the book History of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks): Short Course, published in 1938 and written with the participation of J. Stalin.

Tables of general standard subdivisions were opened by the classification numbers:

а Classics of Marxism-Leninism concerning science

(Here are classed the decisions of the CP, as well as the resolutions of the party and state organs).

According to the rules of the organization of systematic catalogs, each division began with the works of K. Marx, F. Engels, V. I. Lenin, and the decisions of the CP.

We have listed only some of the characteristics of Marxist ideology in the LBC schedules. The task of deideologization was conducted from 1993 in parallel with the modernization of the system. All libraries of the state were informed of the decisions and recommendations in 1993. In 1997, the book entitled "LBC working schedules" was widely distributed. It has also enabled the libraries of the country to work for several years prior to the publication of the LBC Medium schedules.

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2.14 First-priority decisions on deideologization

The decision was made to close the first class of the system with the above content. In 1988 discussions began on the structure and content of a new class of the LBC "Interdisciplinary and General Scientific Knowledge," which would occupy the newly freed space. Schedules of the new class are being developed. The new class takes priority over natural, applied, and social and humanities sciences, but it should not lead to destruction of the system as a whole. We know that there will be schedules of semiotics; systems theory and systems analysis; cybernetics; synergetics; the theory of organization and management; informatics; and ecology.

A decision with respect to the works of K. Marx, F. Engels, and V. I. Lenin was made as well as the literature on their life and activities. For Marx and Engels, the "main place" is in the history of philosophy in Germany; for Lenin – in the corresponding period of Russian history. The decision that existed before 1991 on multiple classifying of the works of Marx, Engels, Lenin was cancelled. Earlier, some works were presented in the catalog in 5-12 divisions; the schedules had lists of recommended classification numbers.

Literature on philosophy, political economy, and history were transferred to the relevant parts of the LBC. Detailed schedules were developed for political science, social philosophy, and sociology. Changes were made in the tables of general standard subdivisions.

The organization of systematic catalogs has undergone major changes. Reverse chronology filing of the cards within each division began in 1984. New literature was placed in front. The language of publication is not taken into account: in Russia, the libraries usually collect literature in many languages other than Russian — in the national languages of the peoples living in the area, in foreign languages, that are taught in schools (English, German, French), and in other languages.

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2.15 Contemporary editions of LBC and variants in book and electronic forms

We now turn to the current system of LBC schedules. The most widely used editions are abridged schedules in one volume (first published in 2015). Their structure and notation is fully compatible with the Medium schedules (since 2001 published in 6 volumes, we are preparing the last 2 volumes. Each of the volumes has an alphabetical subject index and the series will be completed of cumulative alphabetical subject index, volumes 9-10).

Specialized LBC schedules for children’s and school libraries in one volume are prepared on the basis of the Medium schedules, in 2016 the 5th edition was released.

All these editions are also available in an electronic version using the RUSMARC format. The electronic version on CD–ROM becomes available 2-3 months after the release the print edition.

The LBC Master Reference File is kept on a server, and will not be published in book form. Currently, the base of the MRF is the text of the Medium schedules. Our goal is to gradually increase the size of the MRF to hold the full classification schedules with all reference data.

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2.16 Classification systems in Russia: status quo and prospects

Within the several next decades, the UDC, the LBC, and the State Rubricator of Scientific and Technical Information (STI) will maintain complete independence in the Russian Federation. These systems will develop and function separately from each other. This will not impede the effect on practice of the coordination of ideas, searching for methods of compatibility, and conversion from one system to another. There will be a broadening of the field of application of the STI Rubricator, which is acquiring the importance of a national coordination system, a “switching language” that provides for searching via classification numbers of other systems, primarily the UDC and the LBC. A version of the STI Rubricator with five levels will become accessible to everyone both in a book form and in a machine-readable form.

New editions of the STI Rubricator will be issued together with some methodical apparatus and reference tools; the design of classification subdivisions will significantly expand; and classification formulas will be brought in. The structure of the index will be represented as a thesaurus; the main schedules will be consistently transformed into an analytico-synthetic system with strong combinatorial and search capabilities.

Coordination between the organizations responsible for the development of classification systems that are in use in Russia is becoming stronger and more developed every year. The need to reestablish the interdepartmental collegiate body on classification systems is being felt.

It appears that beginning in 2020, with the second edition of the Medium schedules, it will be necessary to make some radical changes in the LBC, in its structure first of all. The retention of the main row of divisions created in the 1960s has become an obstacle to the LBC’s structural development. The system will be able to develop only if it converts its main row of divisions to a centesimal structure. Can we predict which tasks will come next? The preparation of the second extended and corrected edition of the Medium schedules and volume-by-volume publication of it will begin right away. We can already observe and record some new facts; it would be desirable to make some changes now. After publication of the new to the LBC class “Interdisciplinary and General Scientific Knowledge,” it will be necessary to reconsider many features of the schedules.

Development of the structure is complicated by tradition, most of all by libraries that apply both numerical and letter notations. For the schedules, it would be more logical to use centesimal notation (0099) instead of the decimal one . We now think that our system’s intrinsic logic, its step-structure and hierarchical build-up can and will provide for logical top-down search, from general to specific, both in manual (traditional card catalogs) and in automated conditions. We know how this should be done; however, we are constrained by the lack of programs that can fully comply with the principles of classification research. But it is only a matter of time; such programs will come.

We have to publicize the retrieval capabilities of the LBC, and to explain that the LBC is not a dictionary – not a set of concepts but a system that shows their paradigmatic and their internal (rather than external) essential relations.

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3. Outline of the national Library-Bibliographical Classification (LBC)

3.1 Contemporary structure (the first, main row of classes)

Laying aside philosophical foundations of the LBC structure, we now show its general structure, with contemporary interpretation:

1 General scientific and interdisciplinary knowledge
Publishing plan 2018

2 Natural sciences
Publishing plan 2017. Structure of last edition (1980)

20 Natural sciences in general

22 Physical and mathematical sciences

.1 Mathematics; .2 Mechanics; .3 Physics; .6 Astronomy
24 Chemical sciences
.1 General and inorganic chemistry; .2 Organic chemistry; .4 Analytical chemistry; .5 Physical chemistry. Chemical physics; .6 Colloidal chemistry (physics-chemistry of disperse systems); .7 Chemistry of high-molecular connections (polymers)

26 Earth sciences (geodetic, geophysical, geological, and geographical sciences)

.0 Earth in general; .1 Geodetic sciences. Cartography; .11 Higher geodesy; .12 Geodesy. Topography; .13 Phototopography. Photogrammetry; .14 Applied geodesy; .17 Cartography; .18 Cartographic materials [special schedules]; .2 Geophysical sciences; .20 Geophysics in general; .21 Physics of the Earth’s interior; .22 Hydrology; .23 Meteorology; .3 Geological sciences; .301 Geochemistry; .303 Mineralogy; .304 Petrography; .308 Dynamic geology; .309 Tectonics (structural geology); .321 Volcanology; .323 Historical geology; .324 Geosynoptics; .325 Minerals; .326 Hydrogeology; .328 Permafrostology; .329 Engineering geology; .38 Marine geology; .8 Geographical sciences; .82 Physical geography; .89 Regional geography. Local studies; .9 Earth sciences – regional section

28 Biological sciences

.0 General biology; .1 Paleontology; .3 Virology; .4 Microbiology; .5 Botany; .6 Zoology; .7 Anthropology; .8 Embryology, Human anatomy and histology; .9 Biophysics, Biochemistry, Animal and human physiology

3 Engineering and technology. Technical sciences

30 Engineering and technology, technical sciences in general

.1 All engineering disciplines; .2 Design; .3 Raw and other materials. Materials science; .4 Construction; .6 General technology. Fundamentals of industrial production; .8 Installation, operation, repair of machinery and industrial equipment; .9 Reconstruction and modernization
31 Power engineering
32 Radio electronics
33 Mining
34 Technology of metals. Mechanical engineering. Tool engineering
35 Chemical technology. Chemical production
36 Food production
37 Wood technology. Light industry production. Housekeeping (home economics). Printing production. Photographic and cinematographic engineering
38 Construction engineering
39 Transport engineering

4 Agriculture and forestry. Agricultural and silvicultural sciences

40 Natural science and technical fundamentals of agriculture

.0 Agricultural biology (agrobiology). Agricultural ecology; .1 Agrophysics; .2 Agricultural meteorology; .3 Soil science; .4 Agrochemistry; .5 Agricultural microbiology; .6 Agricultural melioration; .7 Mechanization and automation of agriculture. Aircraft and space equipment in agriculture; .8 Agricultural constructions; .9 Agrogeography (agricultural geography)
41/44 Plant growing
41 General plant growing
42 Specific plant growing
43 Forestry. Silvicultural sciences
44 Protection of plants
45/46 Animal husbandry
45 General animal husbandry
46 Specific animal husbandry
47 Hunting
48 Veterinary science
49 Agriculture and forestry of certain areas

5 Health care. Medical sciences
51.1 Social medicine and the organization of health care
51.2 Hygiene
51.9 Epidemiology
52.5 General pathology
52.6 Medical virology, microbiology, and parasitology
52.7 Medical immunology. Immunopathology
52.8 Pharmacology. Pharmacy. Toxicology
53.0/57.8 Clinical medicine
53.0 Clinical medicine in general
53.1 Allergic and immunity-related diseases. Clinical immunology
53.2 Hereditary diseases
53.4 General diagnostics
53.5 General therapy
53.6 Medical radiology and roentgenology
53.7 Anesthesiology and resuscitation science
54.1 Internal diseases
54.5 Surgery
55.1 Infectious and parasitic diseases
55.4 phthisiology   (tuberculosis)
55.5 Rheumatology
55.6 Oncology
55.8 Dermatovenerology
56.1 Neuropathology. Neurosurgery. Psychiatry
56.6 Stomatology
56.7 Ophthalmology
56.8 Otorhinolaryngology
56.9 Urology
57.0 Medical sexology
57.1 Gynecology
57.3 Pediatrics
57.4 Geriatrics
57.8 Chronomedicine
58 Applied branches of medicine

.1 Forensic medicine; .2 Marine and undersea medicine; .3 Arctic and Antarctic medicine; .4 Tropical medicine; .5 Aviation medicine; .6 Space medicine; .9 Military medicine

6/8 Social and human sciences

60 Social sciences in general
60.0 Social philosophy
60.5 Sociology
60.6 Statistics
60.7 Demography
60.8 Social management
60.9 Social protection. Social work

63 History. Historical sciences

.0 Theoretical bases and methodology of the historical sciences; .1 History of the historical sciences; .2 Source study. Auxiliary historical disciplines (source study; archaeography; genealogy; heraldry, emblem studies; diplomatics; historical geography; historical metrology; numismatics; paleography; papyrology; sigillography; historical chronology; epigraphy)
63.3 History
63.3(0) World history
63.3(0)2 Primitive society
63.3(0)3 Ancient world
63.3(0)4 Middle Ages (from the 5th to the 15th century)
63.3(0)5 Modern History (from the 16th century to 1918)
63.3(0)6 Contemporary History (from 1918 to the present day)
63.3(0=…) History of peoples that live dispersed in various countries, e.g.: 63.3(0=51) History of the Armenians
63.3(051) History of Eurasia
63.3(2) History of Russia
63.3(4) History of Europe
63.3(5) History of Asia
63.6(6) History of Africa
63.3(7) History of America
63.3(8) History of Australia and Oceania
63.4 Archeology
0 Theory and history of archeology; 4 Archeology of certain historical periods; 8 Archeology of certain territories; 9 Comparative archeology
63.5 Ethnology (Ethnography)
0 Theory and history of ethnology; 1 Historical ethnology; 2 Ethnology of modern peoples; 7 Comparative ethnology; 8 Related ethnological disciplines (ethnopedagogics, ethnolinguistics, ethnosociology, ethnopolitical science, ethnoecology, ethnic religious studies, ethnogeography, etc.)
65 Economics. Economic sciences
.01 General economic theory; .02 History of economic thought; .03 Economic history (history of economy); .04 Economic geography and regional economy; .05 Management of economy. Economic statistics. Accounting. Audit. Economic analysis. Planning. Forecasting
65.2/4 Sectors and branches of economy. Interindustry complexes
65.20 Economic sectors
65.22 Real estate economy
65.24 Labor economy
65.25 Prices. Pricing
65.26 Finance
65.27 Insurance. Social insurance. Social security
65.28 Economy of natural resources, of environmental management, and of environmental protection
65.29 Business. Enterprise. Economy of organization of an enterprise (a firm)
65.30 Industrial economy
65.31 Construction economy
65.32 Agricultural economy
65.34 Economy of forestry. Economy of forest exploitation
65.35 Economy of fishery. Economy of fishing industry
65.37 Transport economy
65.38 Communication economy
65.41 Government procurements (state order)
65.42 Trade
65.43 Hospitality and tourism industry
65.44 Municipal economy
65.45 Melioration economy. Water economy
65.47 Advertising economy
65.49 Economy of social protection, social work. Economy of culture, science, education. Art economy
65.5 World economy. International economic relations
65.6 Economy of developed countries
65.7 Economy of developing countries
65.8 Economy of socialist countries
65.9 Economy of certain countries and regions. Economy of World Ocean p>66 Politics. Political science
66.0 Political science
66.1 History of political thought
66.2 Politics and the modern political situation in general
66.3 Domestic situation. Domestic policy
66.4 International relations. Foreign policy. Diplomacy
66.6 Political movements and parties
66.7 Social movements and organizations

67 Law. Legal sciences
67.0 General theory of law
67.1 History of legal thought
67.3 History of state and law
67.4 Branch (special) legal sciences and branches of law

00 Constitutional (state) law; 01 Administrative law; 02 Financial law; 04 Civil and commercial law. Family law; 05 Labor law and social security law; 07 Natural resources law. Environmental (ecological) law; 08 Criminal law; 09 Criminal-executive law; 10 Procedural law. Court procedure
67.5 Branches of knowledge adjacent to jurisprudence
67.7 Judicial authorities. Law-enforcement authorities in general. Legal profession
67.9 International law. Law of certain countries

68 Military arts. Military science
68.0 Military science in general
68.1 Military policy. Military doctrines
68.2 Theory of military art
68.3 Military historical science
68.4/7 Armed forces
68.4 Armed forces in general
68.5 Certain kinds of armed forces, branches of military forces and services

1 Land forces; 2 Air forces; 3 Naval forces; 4 Strategic missile forces; 5 Space forces; 6 Airborne-landing forces; 7 Border-security and internal-security forces; 8 Special forces (forces for special operations); 9 Other military services
68.7 War economy. Rear services and support of armed forces
68.8 Military equipment. Technical and special military sciences
1 Technical means of maintenance of troops and military equipment; 2 Military radio electronics. Technical means of military administration; 3 Geodesy in military science. Military topography. Photography in military science. Military photogrammetry; 4 Military meteorology; 5 Military geology; 8 Military geography; 9 Other technical and special military sciences (military ecology, military statistics, etc.)
68.9 Civil defense

7 Culture. Science. Education
71 Culture. Cultural science

.0 Theoretical (fundamental) cultural science; .1 Historical cultural science; 4 Applied cultural science
72 Science. Science studies
74 Education. Pedagogical sciences
.0 General pedagogics; .1 Preschool education. Preschool pedagogy; .2 General educational pedagogics. School pedagogics; .3 Education of adults. Andragogy; .4 Professional and special education; .5 Special schools. Correctional, special pedagogics: surdopedagogics, tiflopedagogics, oligophrenopedagogics, logopedics (speech raining), etc.); .6 Specialized branches of pedagogics (subject pedagogics, comparative pedagogics, ethnopedagogics, social pedagogics); .9 Family education. Family pedagogics
75 Sport and physical education
76 Mass Media (MM). Book industry
77 Cultural and leisure activities
78 Library, bibliographic, and scientific information activities
79 Protection of historical and cultural monuments. Museology. Exhibition business. Archiving

80/84 Philological sciences. Fiction
80 Philological sciences in general

.4 Special philologies; .7 Rhetoric; .9 Textual criticism
81 Linguistics
.0 General linguistics; .1 Applied linguistics; .2/.8 Special linguistics. World languages

82 Folklore. Folklore studies
.0 Theory of folklore; .3 World folklore. Folklore of certain countries and peoples
83 Literary studies (theory and history of literature). Literature of certain countries and peoples
84 Fiction (literary works)

85 Art. Art studies
85.03 Art history
85.1 Fine arts and architecture

0 Fine arts in general; 1 Architecture; 2 Arts and crafts; 3 Sculpture; 4 Painting; 5 Graphics; 6 Art photography; 9 Other forms of fine arts
85.3 Art of music. Performing arts
0 Art of music and performing arts in general; 1 Music; 2 Dance; 3 Theatre; 4 Mass performances and pageants; 5 Circus; 6 Variety art; 7 Motion picture art; 8 Artistic radio and television broadcasting
85.7 Other types and forms of art
85.8 Art editions [a special table]
85.9 Musical compositions (printed music) [a special table]

86 Religions
86.2 Religions in general. Religion studies
86.3 Individual religions

1 Early forms of religion. Religions of the Ancient world; 2 Mandaeism. Zoroastrianism. Yazidism. Manichaeism; 3 Hinduism. Jainism. Sikhism; 4 Confucianism. Taoism. Shintoism; 5 Buddhism; 6 Judaism; 7 Christianity; 8 Islam (Moslem); 9 Other religious movements, organizations, and sects
86.4 Mysticism. Magic. Esoterics and Occultism
86.7 Freethought

87 Philosophy
87.0 Philosophy in general
87.1 Metaphysics. Ontology
87.2 Gnoseology (epistemology). Philosophy of science
87.3 History of philosophy
87.4 Logic
87.5 Philosophical anthropology. Axiology
87.6 Social philosophy (Alternative. See 60.0)
87.7 Ethics
87.8 Esthetics

88 Psychology
88.1 History of psychology
88.2 General psychology
88.3 Psychology of personality
88.4 Developmental psychology
88.5 Social psychology
88.6 Pedagogical psychology
88.7 Medical (clinical) psychology
88.8 Psychology of labor and professional activity
88.9 Experimental (applied) psychology

9 Literature of universal content
Publishing plan 2018. Structure of last edition (1982)

1 Bibliographic aids; 2 Reference sources; 4 Series, collections; 5 Periodical and proceedings; 6 Illustrated resources and materials; 7 Training resources; 8 Standards and technical regulations; 9 Popular scientific editions

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3.2 The system of the LBC tables (standard subdivisions)

The standard subdivisions system was established by taking into account the achievements of foreign classification theory and practice, primary those of the UDC with its uniform structure. In order to convey some new concepts, the UDC’s auxiliaries were changed during the development of the LBC tables of general and special standard subdivisions. The system of standard subdivisions for general use and the quite extensive system of standard subdivisions for special use were created. A number of the UDC’s symbols were adopted by the LBC to perform similar functions.

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3.2.1 The general standard subdivisions

The general standard subdivisions are applied when it is necessary to reflect certain characteristics of a document in a classification number (in accordance with a classification formula). Their symbols are lowercase letters of the Russian alphabet followed by numeric endings. A demarcation point is placed between two successive letters, for example:

Г.я2 Reference Book of Chemistry.

Thematic general standard subdivisions

в Philosophy and methodology of science
в3 Terminology and nomenclature of science
в6 Methods of scientific research
в63 Methods of theoretical research
в633 Classification. Typology. Taxonomy
г History of science
д Personalia
е Organization of science
ж Scientific and cultural relations
и Science and production
к Management. Economics. Statistics
к1 Legislative and directive materials
к11 Laws
к2 Organization of management. Governing bodies
к4 Planning and forecasting
к6 Coordination
л Organizations and institutions
л0 Congresses, conventions, conferences, meetings
л611 Museums
л63 Archives
л8 Research trips (study tours)
м Festivals. Competitions. Holidays
м8 Significant dates. Calendar days. Celebration of anniversaries
н Organization and protection of labor
н6 Occupational health and safety
п Personnel and staff. Profession. Human resource management
п5 Professional ethics
п7 Bonuses and rewards. Honorary titles
р Study and teaching of a science, or discipline. Special education
р4 Training of scientific personnel
р7 Professional development
р8 Self-education
с; Technology and organization of research and practical activities. Material and technical support
у Invention and rationalization. Patenting
ф Scientific information activities. Popularization and promotion of achievements of science and technology
ц Standardization
ю Sources for study of a subject of research

Formal general standard subdivisions

я1 Bibliographic resources

The term ‘resource’ means either a document in book form, or in electronic form
я2 Reference resources
я3 Statistical resources
я4 Collections. Collected works
я5 Serial resources
я6 Non-text materials
я7 Educational resources
Special subdivisions for я7: -1 Textbooks; -2 Lectures, abstracts of lectures; -3 Chrestomathy, anthology. Collected books; -4 Exercise resources; -5 Resources for laboratory research and other practical training; -6 Educational resources for advanced study of a subject; -7 Educational resources for programmed study; -8 Educational resources for study of non-core disciplines; -9 Other educational resources (for correspondence training, etc.)
я70 Educational resources for preschool children
я701 ABC books
я71 Educational resources for elementary school
я72 Educational resources for secondary and high school
я73 Educational resources for higher school (universities, etc.)
я75 Educational resources for systems of courses, special schools for adults, and technical schools
я77 Educational resources for professional development
я78 Educational resources for self-education
я8 Technology regulations and standards
я9 Popular scientific resources

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3.2.2 The territorial standard subdivisions

The territorial standard subdivisions are applied to indicate physiographic or political characteristics of a document in a classification number (in accordance with the classification formula). Their symbols are digits and alphabetic characters in parentheses. Some selected examples:
(0) Whole world. All countries
(00) Polar countries
(001) The Arctic Region
(007) The Antarctic Region
(01) The Northern hemisphere
(03) The Western hemisphere
(2) Russia. The USSR (1922-91)
(2-2Мос) Moscow
(2-2Спб) St. Petersburg
(2Рос) The Russian Federation
(2Рос-4Мос) The Moscow Region (1929-)
(23) European Russia
(235.21Volga) Volga river
(3) Foreign countries in general
(4) Europe
(4Бол) Bulgaria
(4Вел) Great Britain
(5) Asia
(5Афг) Afghanistan
(5Инд) India
(6) Africa
(7) America
(7Арг) Argentina
(7Вен) Venezuela
(7Сое) The United States of America
(71) North America
(74) Central America
(77) South America
(8) Australia and Oceania
(9) The World Ocean. The oceans and seas
(91) The Arctic Ocean
(912.1) The Barents Sea

The special standard subdivisions attached by a hyphen - are applied to express certain administrative and territorial characteristics, for example:

(…-2) Cities and other inhabited localities
(…-4) Territories and regions (in foreign countries – lands, provinces, states, cantons, and so forth)
(…-6) Autonomies

Plans of disposition – name of LBC’s type of subdivision (‘final digit’ in UDC terminology). The plans of disposition attached by a comma , and are applied to express certain physiographic characteristics, for example:

(…,23) Lakes
(…,51) Oil- and gas-bearing basins
(…,85) Straits
(…,99) Islands

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3.2.3 The standard subdivisions for languages

The standard subdivisions for languages are applied to indicate in a classification number (in accordance with the classification formula) groups of languages or a single language. The symbol for them is [=], an equal sign followed by digits. Some examples:

=40 Indo-European languages as a whole
=412 Slavic languages
=411 Slavic languages
=411.2 Russian
=415 West Slavic languages
=415.3 Polish
=416 South Slavic languages
=416.2 Bulgarian
=42 Baltic languages
=43 German languages
=432 West German languages
=432.1 English
=432.4 German
=45 Greek
=461 Latin. National (vulgar) Latin in general
=47 Romance languages
=471.1 French
=472.1 Spanish
=473.1 Italian
=51 Armenian
=60 Caucasian languages
=601.1 Georgian
=754.2 Japanese
=80 Artificial (international, auxiliary) languages
=801 Esperanto

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3.2.4 The ethnic standard subdivisions

The ethnic standard subdivisions are applied to indicate in a classification number (in accordance with the classification formula) ethnic concept (peoples, nations). The symbol for them is an equal sign = followed by the number of the corresponding language from the Language Standard Subdivisions Table, all in parentheses. For example:

(=432.42) Germans (Bavarians, Gessenets, Saxons)

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3.3. The system of the LBC special standard subdivisions and plans of disposition

The LBC is a modern synthetic classification system. The system of standard subdivisions for general use is supplemented by many special standard subdivisions (with the symbol hyphen -) and plans of disposition (with symbol of comma ,). Application limits of the special standard subdivisions and the plans of disposition are clearly denoted (usually, right under the caption). Most detailed tables of special standard subdivisions are provided for the larger subject classes (history, politics, law, economics, etc.). These tables may occupy dozens of pages; they permit the creation of hundreds, if not thousands, of complex classification numbers.

The standard subdivisions enable to reduction in the size of the schedules and guarantee the uniformity of the methods of classifying and, consequently, of the practical aspects of indexing.

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3.4 The notation of the LBC

Notational features of the LBC include Arabic numerals, common punctuation and mathematical symbols, and letters of the Russian alphabet (the last editions include only lowercase letters in the general standard subdivisions). Just as in the UDC, every three numerals must be divided by a separating point (there is an exception for the first two numerals that substitute for a letter). The notational “load” may sometimes be uneven (the notation of the class technology and engineering is overloaded, especially in comparison with the one on agriculture).

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3.5 Composition and structure of the classification division

As it was expected that in the huge library network of Russia the LBC schedules would be used not only by well-trained classifiers, a decision was made to provide, if necessary, captions for subdivisions in the form of explicated word combinations (syntagmas) to reveal the meaning of the subdivision that is included in the classification number, for example:

63.3(7Сое)2 Territory of the USA before the European colonization

In some cases, the caption of the subdivision may perform referential functions as well (e.g., the years can be specified in parentheses):

63.3(2)612,13 The third stage of the Civil War (Spring – November 1920)

Short syntagmas can be repeated in the schedules (usually within a class) after different classification numbers, for examples:

74.02 Didactics
74.102 Didactics
74.202 Didactics
74.320.2 Didactics
74.480.2 Didactics

It is easy to clarify the content matter – one should use the higher division. Its index will show you the aspect (example from alphabetical subject index):

Didactics 74.02
adult education 74.320.2
general education 74.202
higher education 74.480.2
preschool education 74.102

Captions of classification subdivisions may include several common syntagmas:

47.287 Picturesque fishery. Aquarium

The classification subdivisions are provided with a system of instructional notes, mainly for the content of the division (the formulation of the note be either explanatory or enumerative), for example:

51.230.7 Food hygiene in special environmental and body conditions.
             Food hygiene in working conditions, in space conditions, etc.

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3.6 Instructional apparatus

Classification subdivisions may include, if necessary, one or several instructional notes performing various functions; these are usually brought into the text of the schedules by the use of some uniform (typical), repeatedly applied formulations. Following is a list of the main types of instructional notes:

  • Clarification instructional notes,
  • Demarcation instructional notes,
  • Instructional notes on using the repeated classification method,
  • Instructional notes on using certain subject classifying methods,
  • Instructional notes on methods of specification,
  • Instructional notes on subdivision grouping,
  • Instructional notes on combination rules for the main schedules’ classification numbers,
  • Instructional notes on alternative classes,
  • Limiting instructional notes,
  • Instructional notes that include the reference ‘see…’ with a classification number, which refers to another subdivision.

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3.7 Synthetic possibilities

The LBC schedules allow one to convey within a single classification number up to ten aspects of the contents of a document. Unfortunately, however, this feature seems to be ineffective, if not detrimental, in a card catalog. Only the first (left) elements of the classification number “work”; the rest becomes lost.

Consider an example of a classification number’s structure from the schedules for scientific libraries: К621-52.004.05-049.002,27-02(2)к6. This classification number means “Materials on the coordination of scientific research in the USSR in the field of projecting auxiliary equipment for the protection from oxidation in shops of mills of cold uninterrupted plate rolling of steel.” The following concepts are reflected this classification number:

Engineering and technology. Technical sciences Ж/О
Technology of metals. Mechanical engineering. Instrument making К
Certain processes and industries of mechanical engineering and metal working К6
Metal working by pressure К62
Plate rolling К621
Plate rolling equipment К621-5
Rolling mills К621-52
Cold metal working .004
Uninterrupted metal working .05
Auxiliary equipment -049
Metal oxidation – protection from it .002
Steel ,27
Projecting -02
The USSR (2)
Coordination of scientific research к6

In a card catalog, this document can be presented under the classification number К621-52. Other aspects can hardly be shown. The potential of the multi-aspect notation is unveiled through a feature-based classification search that can be realized only via an automated search. One may carry out the search using any combination of two (three, four, etc.) aspects of subject.

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3.8 The alphabetical subject index

The alphabetical subject index of the classification schedules reflects the schedules’ content adequately and with maximum fullness. The index is a necessary component of any edition of the classification schedules. A cumulative index was published in the abridged schedules for scientific libraries and is to be the final component of the medium edition.

The alphabetic subject index is an auxiliary instrument providing for verbal entry into the schedules. The asterisk symbol * in the indexes means that the preceding standard subdivisions number was taken from the table with the number indicated after the asterisk. For example:
architectural 85.110,5
in advertising 85.127.64
in art ,01*85
in juvenile literature 83.801.15
as a component of text 81.055.1; -51*81.2/8
of a frame in cinematography 37.950.20
in pictorial cinematography 85.370,770
in photography 37.940.2
in art photography 85.160,5
of a folklore work 82.01; -1*82.3
of a literary work 83.011.5; -11*83.3
of a musical work 85.310,58
technique of C. ,5*85

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4. Conclusion

The Library-Bibliographical Classification (LBC) which is the national classification system of the Russian Federation, is considered one of the largest general classification systems by the International Society for Knowledge Organization (ISKO). The LBC is the newest classification system applied in the world today. It appeared in the 1960s, whereas DDC was first published in 1876; UDC in 1895–1905; The Library of Congress Classification (LCC) in 1912; CC in 1933. In terms of its semantic power the LBC can be compared with UDC; its power cannot be measured by the number of main schedules’ division because of quantity of possible combinations with divisions of the auxiliary classification tables is immeasurable.

The system’s newness reflects science-based structure and the accord between its content and contemporary level of scientific development and social practice. The LBC is a continuously developing system. The LBC has a broad range of options available – for scientific, public, children’s and school, as well as regional libraries. Full, medium and abridged schedules are now available both in a printed in books and machine-readable (electronic) form.

No existing classification system could have survived the sort of severe social upheaval that was the lot of the LBC. Created in the USSR, it fully reflected the ideology of Soviet society. Only a few years were needed to accomplish the task of complete deideologization of its content and to ensure the process of modernization, in fact, the updating of the entire structure and contents. As a result, there arose a schedule different from the Soviet LBC in its structure and content. In 2001, the initial issue of the modern LBC schedules appeared (the publication is still proceeding: 6 of 10 parts have already being published). It is difficult for libraries to find the time to master each new section of the schedules: the changes are so significant that it can even be necessary to start new sections of catalogs, and to completely restructure the book collections.

As the national classification system of the Russian Federation, the LBC covers the history, philosophy, economics, and geography of Russia, and the art and culture of its peoples – completely as no foreign classification could do. The LBC is now used in 95% of the libraries of Russia.

The LBC has remained unknown to the classification community because of the language barrier; only a few Russian-speaking specialists abroad know the system. In this review, we have told our foreign colleagues about the LBC, the history of its development, dissemination, variants and editions, content and structure, as well as; synthetic and other capabilities.

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This article is prepared thanks to an initiative and persistence of professor Birger Hjørland. Two unknown reviewers have helped me to add corrections and reconstruct the text taking into account his representation to the foreign reader. I am infinitely grateful to professor Bella Hass Weinberg, my dear editor – she has carried out huge work with style, language and terminology, and given valuable remarks.

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Dahlberg, Ingetraut. 1974. Grundlagen universeller Wissensordnung: Probleme und Möglichkeiten eines universalen Klassifikationssystems des Wissens. Munchen: Verlag Documentation.

Sukiasian [Sukiasyan], Eduard R. 1968. “Problems of classification in Soviet libraries”. Library World: The Independent Monthly Journal for Librarians 69, no. 815: 275–279.

Sukiasyan, Eduard R. 1990. “Description and analysis of the Library-Bibliographical Classification (BBK / LBC)”. Advances in Knowledge Organization 1, 114–121.

Sukiasyan, Eduard R. 2016. “Library-Bibliographical Classification (LBC): the national classification system of the Russian Federation”. Russian version and English version. ISKO Italia. Documenti. Available at: http://www.iskoi.org/doc/lbc.htm.

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Editorial comment

It has not been possible to obtain a reference list of the cited works in Russian in this article. This is rather extraordinary for an academic paper, but we have estimated that it is better to have this article without those references that to have no article about the LBC in the encyclopedia.

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1. Public libraries were termed “mass” libraries in the USSR before 1991.

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Version 1.0; published 2017-12-07, last edited 2019-11-14
Article category: KOS, specific (general/universal)

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