Back in October, a pair of trumpeter swans showed up by the pond at OCLC headquarters in Dublin, Ohio, and they seem to have made their home there. OCLC held a company-wide survey to name the swans, eventually narrowing it down to five pairs of names to choose from. And what was the result? Presenting . . . Dewey and Deci! We here at Dewey Manor were thrilled with the choice.
According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the trumpeter swan is the largest waterfowl native to North America, and the largest extant species of swan. Wondering where to class works on these elegant creatures? In general, swans belong at 598.418 Cygninae. Since we know Dewey and Deci’s species, we can get more specific and go to 598.4184 Cygnus buccinator. And a work specifically on trumpeter swans in Dublin, Ohio, would get the Table 2 notation for the county, T2—77156 Franklin County, for a complete number of 598.41840977156.
We’re glad Dewey and Deci have decided to settle down at OCLC, but they’re still wild creatures and may move on. What if they were domesticated? The DDC has separate numbers for zoology, incorporating wild animals and their natural history, and for animal husbandry, encompassing topics such as domesticated animals, livestock, breeding, etc. Interdisciplinary works belong in the 590s, but many animals are also provided for in the 630s. Swans have their own number there at 636.681 Swans, without further classification by species.
Sharp-eyed—dare I say eagle-eyed?—readers may notice that the captions for 598.418 and 598.4184 in WebDewey have changed since the print version of DDC 23. This was part of a systemic update of 579 and 585-599, partially in conjunction with the recent changes to angiosperms at 583-584, though not as extensive a revision as that. One of the primary goals of these changes was to separate scientific (Latin) names and common names instead of having them mixed in the same note or heading. The previous heading for 598.4184, for example, was “Cygnus buccinator (Trumpeter swan).” We’ll explore those changes in greater depth in a later post.