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Melvil Dewey


Born: 10 December 1851
Died: 26 December 1931 (stroke)
Birthplace: Adams Center, New York
Best known as: Inventor of the Dewey Decimal Classification System

Name at birth: Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey

While working as a librarian at Amherst College, Melvil Dewey developed a system of book classification using numbers from 000-999, dividing nonfiction books into 10 broad categories. By the time of his death, the system was being used in over 96% of all American libraries. Dewey helped found the American Library Association and is credited with creating the world's first library science curriculum.

Extra credit: Dewey also founded the Spelling Reform Association and preferred to spell his name Melvil Dui.

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