Types and definition of Notation for library science

Definition of “Notation”

Notation is a term which is used in classification schedule. Notation is a series of symbols, which is used to representing a subject, and it is a very important features of book classification in a library.

Harrods Librarian Glossary (Tenth ed.) “The symbols which stand for the divisions in a scheme of classification.”

Harrods Librarian Glossary “A Notation is the ordered, series or symbol that stand for the ordered, series or terms in the classification schedule.”

W. Howard Phileps “A book notation is a series of symbols in which stand for  the name of a class or any division or subdivision of a class and forms of a convenient means of reference to the arrangement of a classification.”

H.E Bliss  “Notation as a system of marks and symbols in some order, denoting terms or member of a series or system of things.”

A book notation is a series of symbols which stands for the name of a class or any division or subdivision of a class, and forms a convenient means of reference to the arrangement of a classification.
The notation is an important addition to a classification scheduled; it has in no way determined its logic, its scope, or its sequence of development. It furnishes a convenient reference to the arrangement of a classification; the symbol is not assigned until after the schedule has been worked out. it has no more bearing on the preparation of the logic of a classification outline than the chapter numbers of a book have in fixing the t5hemes of those chapters.
In most book classifications the notation is a symbol that stands for either the subject of the book, or the style of writing. Since the notation is a sign translation of the classification, it usually ensures, when it is added to the backs of books, a book arrangement which represents the order of the schedules.
A notation then, is essential for the practical application of book classification; without notation it would be impossible to apply classification to books. As classification is the “foundation of librarianship”‘ it can be said that”notation is the basis of practical book classification”.

Types of Notation:
A notation may consist of any symbols, letters, figures, or arbitrary signs to represent terms. There are two types of notation:
  1. Pure Notation
  2. Mixed Notation


1. Pure Notation: Pure Notation is consist of only one type of symbol. i.e.Arabic numeral (0,1,2…..9) and Roman letter (A-Z). It found on DDC (Dewey Decimal Classification), and EC scheme.
For example:
  •  020 stands for Library & Information Science,
  • 510 stands for Mathematics, etc.
2.  Mixed Notation: Mixed notation consist of two or more type of notation. It is a mixture of letter and number, i.e. Arabic numeral and Roman letter (0-9) + (A-Z). it found in UDC, LC, CC, BC & SC scheme.
For example:
  • LCq- Science
  • QC- Physic
  • QC1- Periodicals.

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