Classification is a crucial skill for all information workers involved in organizing collections, but it is a difficult concept to grasp - and is even more difficult to put into practice. Essential Classification offers full guidance on how to go about classifying a document from scratch. This much-needed text leads the novice classifier step by step through the basics of subject cataloguing, with an emphasis on practical document analysis and classification. It deals with fundamental questions of the purpose of classification in different situations, and the needs and expectations of end users. The novice is introduced to the ways in which document content can be assessed, and how this can best be expressed for translation into the language of specific indexing and classification systems. The characteristics of the major general schemes of classification are discussed, together with their suitability for different classification needs. After reading this book the novice will have an understanding of the function of classification, will be able to choose the best classification scheme for a particular purpose, and will have practical experience of the application of schemes using real documents, exercises and worked examples. This guide is essential reading for library school students, novice cataloguers and all information workers who need to classify but have not formally been taught how. It also offers practical guidance to computer scientists, internet and intranet managers, and all others concerned with the design and maintenance of subject tools.