Student Theses

Date of Award

Spring 2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)





First Advisor

Thomas Ort

Second Advisor

Grace Davie


This capstone traces the history of “Subclass DJK: Eastern Europe (general)” to reveal how Cold War politics have shaped the way information is arranged and understood in libraries today. In 1976, Subclass DJK was added to the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) as just one of a series of revisions made in the mid-1970s and 1980s aimed at updating how American libraries organized and classified Eastern European historical information. As a result, the Cold War political landscape of Europe became inscribed in the LCC, including the existence of Eastern Europe, signified with Subclass DJK, as a political, social, and economic bloc. Inspired by both critical library scholarship and the intellectual history of Eastern Europe, this historical analysis illuminates the invented nature of the LCC, displaying the importance of understanding the historical context in which systems of classification and categorization are created, reused, and revised.


Some slight changes were made by the author of this capstone essay to enhance its clarity upon submission to the CUNY Academic Works repository in 2022. The author would like to note that this capstone was later adapted and published as a journal article. The citation for this article is as follows:

Carra, Regina. “DJK: (Re)Inventing Eastern Europe in the Library of Congress Classification.” Slavic & East European Information Resources 22, no. 1 (2021): 6–31.



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