United States. War Dept.

War department correspondence file (rev. ed.). A subjective decimal classification with a complete alphabetical index for use of the War department and the United States army online

. (page 1 of 37)
Online LibraryUnited States. War DeptWar department correspondence file (rev. ed.). A subjective decimal classification with a complete alphabetical index for use of the War department and the United States army → online text (page 1 of 37)
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WAR DEPARTMENT
CORRESPONDENCE FILE

(Revised Edition)

A SUBJECTIVE DECIMAL CLASSIFICATION WITH

A COMPLETE ALPHABETICAL INDEX FOR

USE OF THE WAR DEPARTMENT AND

THE UNITED STATES ARMY

COMPILED UNDER THE
DIRECTION OF

THE ADJUTANT GENERAL OF THE ARMY

From data furnished by the various bureaus of the War Department, the

initial classification published January, 1914, reprints of June, 1915,

and July, 1917, and abridged edition, September, 1917

By
Maj. MARCEL S. KEENE

Aijulanl General

Mr. CLAY S. WORICK

Army Field Clerk,

Mr. RALPH G. HERSEY

Army Field Clerk

Mr. H. M. McLARIN

Office of the Quartermaster General of the Army



MAY. 1918




WASHINGTON

GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE

1918






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War Department,
The Adjutant General's Office,

Washington, D. C, May 1, 1918.

Instructions as to the application of the War Department Cor-
respondence File, a subjective, decimal classification for arranging
and fiUng correspondence of the Military EstabUshment as contained
in the initial classification pubhshed January, 1914, reprints of June,
1915, and July, 1917, and the Abridged Edition, September, 1917,
are rescinded and in heu thereof the following instructions are pub-
lished for the information and guidance of all concerned.

By order of the Secretary of War:

Peyton C. March,

Major General, Acting Chief of Staff.
Official:

H. P. McCain,

The Adjutant General.

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PREFACE.



Successful filing involves not only the actual operation of placing
papers in a file or other receptacle, according to a simple and, eco-
nomical system, until such time as they may be called for, but more
especially the production of such specific papers, upon request or call
therefor, with the minimum time involved. It is primarily for the
latter purpose that files and systems of filing are introduced. Filing
may thus now be appropriately called a science and no longer a knack,
as it was formerly when papers were theoretically thrown into a "bar-
rel," the then so-caUed best file, without systematic arrangement,
with the only assurance of finding the papers being the fact that
they were at one time placed therein.

The method of numbering and arranging the subjects in this classi-
fication is based upon the Dewey Decimal System of Library Classi-
fication devised by Mr. Melville Dewey. His system divided the
subjects of human knowledge into not more than 10 main classes,
represented by the Arabic numerals to 9, both inclusive. These
10 classes were each in turn subdivided into not more than 10 sub-
classes, and in turn the 100 subclasses thus created were each divided
into not more than 10 divisions and so on. The numerals repre-
senting the 10 main classes in this volume are expressed in numbers
of three digits, as 000, 100, 200, 300, and so on to 900. The first
digit to the left represents a main class, the second digit represents a
subclass of the main class, and the third digit a division of the sub-
class. After the subdivision of these numbers as hereinbefore pro-
vided has been exhausted, further subdivision of the divisions is
effected by affixing additional digits to each number, separated there-
from by a decimal point. Therefore, each digit added to the right of
a number represents a subdivision of the subject, represented by all
the digits to the left. The general subjects have first been treated,
and then the detailed features thereof derived in sequence as sub-
classes, divisions, and subdivisions.

The two simplest symbols that can be used in systems of filing
may be said to be the Arabic 1, 2, 3, 4, and the alphabetical a, b, c.
This edition of the War Department Correspondence FUe is based
upon the use of both, and in this connection it will be noted that
while the underlying principles are based upon the use of Arabic
characters, resort to the use of alphabetical fifing, within the groups

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of subjects represented by numerical characters, is had in many
instances. This procedure is not a departure from the basic prin-
ciples of decimal classification. The results produced thereby are
twofold, viz, first, it makes a closer subdivision, and second, it gives
much more elasticity to the system, which at this tune is imperatively
necessary, due to the multiplicity of subjects already involved and
the addition of many new ones in correspondence handled by the
War Department and its adjunct offices.

The chief merits of the decimal system of classification lie in the
fact that the subject of correspondence determines the exact location;
that it is applicable to the most varied subjects; that, by analogy,
subjects, provisions for which have not been specifically made, can
be associated with correlated subjects for which provisions have
been specifically made; that not only are all papers on one subject
found together, but those closely allied therewith precede or follow,
they in turn being preceded and followed by other aUied subjects as
far as possible.

In the compilation of this book it has been the aim to upset as
few of the prior classifications as was compatible with the principles
governing, viz, improvement, simplicity and flexibility, and in cases
where changes have been made it is beheved that the same will pro-
duce more satisfactory results than if they had not been effected.



INTRODUCTORY REMARKS AS TO THE USE AND
APPLICATION OF THE SYSTEM.

1 . The classifications that are hereinafter set forth ^^^P^f^ ^^
have been constructed with the view of their representing cations.

a general subject index to the files of each office. The
subject matter of the paper determines the classification
thereof (its file number) and therefore its location in
the file.

2. The nine (9) general classes of the War Department General

^-^ -, -r-^.•| Classes of

Correspondence l^ile are: the Corres-

Class 000— General. pondence

Class 100 — Finance and accounting.

Class 200 — Personnel.

Class 300 — Administration.

Class 400 — Supplies and equipment.

Class 500 — Transportation.

Class 600 — Buildings and grounds.

Class 700 — Medicine, hygiene, and sanitation.

Class 800 — Rivers and harbors.

Class 900—

3. A brief resume as to the character of the subjects Character of
assigned to the general headings or divisions of the File, eluded In ^"
referred to in the preceding paragraph, follows: Each Class.

Class 000, GENERAL.

The general class is, what the name implies, a class
for filing general correspondence; by this is meant cor-
respondence which is so general in its nature that it can
not be properly classified into one of the other eight
classes. A paper should never be classified under this
gi'oup until it has been definitely determined that there
is no suitable number in one of the specific groups. The
subjects in this group are not confined to civil matters
but apply to mihtary as well. The subjects which neces-
sarily fall in this group because of their general nature
are, primarily: politics, religion, historical, crimes and
criminals, penal institutions other than those of the
Army, educational institutioi;s other than the Army
schools and colleges, convention-, fdire, soldiers' homes,

(7)



8

weights and measures, enterprises of all kinds, either
civil or militar}'', including Liberty loans, war-risk insur-
ance, factories and photography; gratuity, charity, holi-
days, fine arts, laws and legal matters which include
legal instruments, civil matters, courts and persons con-
nected therewith; jurisdiction of the War Department,
the President and Congress, the Executive Departments
of the Government, statistics, maps, inventions, societies
and associations, such as the Red Cross and the Y. M. C.
A. Provision is also made for the filing of indexes per-
taining to cities, towns, counties, countries, mountains,
etc. There is also a place provided in the general group
for filing indexes of new subjects which may arise, and a
precedent file for decisions and papers which form
precedents.

Class 100, FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING.

To this class belong all subjects of a fiscal nature, such
as appropriations, disbursements, accounting for funds,
accounting for property and supplies, claims of all kinds,
accounts, contracts and all subjects incidental to con-
tracts. Although the subjects in this class are used
primarily for index purposes, they may be used also for
the purpose of filing correspondence of a general nature;
in other words, correspondence aflfecting the method or
manner of making contracts, or general instructions
relative to the letting or making of contracts. If it is
simply a contract for supplies or buildings or accessories
for a riv^er or harbor, the papers may be classified under
the particular kind of supplies or the particular kind of
buildings, etc., processed with the process number in the
process groups of 400, 600, or 800, for contracts.

Class 200, PERSONNEL.

This class is designed to include all subjects pertaining
to persons, either commissioned officers^ enlisted men,
civilian employees, or civilians. The number 201 is used
to file papers or indexes relative to a particular indi-
vidual, either an officer, enlisted man, or civilian, and
within the number referred to, the file is arranged alpha-
betically by names of individuals. The 200 group takes
in all matters affecting pay and allowances, discipline,
including morals and conduct, trials by courts-martial,
militarv prisons, questions of race, funerals and burials.



9

Class 300, ADMINISTRATION.

This class takes iii all matters on administration of the
Army except discipline, including business methods and
procedure, such as record systems, methods and forms of
correspondence, means of communication; organization
of the Army, including tactical and geographical organ-
ization; military control, efficiency of troops, muster
rolls and returns, inspections, boards and councils, honors
and ceremonies, foreign and international affairs ; recruit-
ment, recruits, assignment and enlistment of, and identi-
fication of; education and training of all branches of the
Army, including the Army schools and staff colleges,
target practice, practice marches, maneuvers, athletics,
amusements, aviation, aeronautics, employment and
movement of troops, plans and preparations for war and
peace.

Class 400, SUPPLIES, EQUIPMENT AND SERVICES.

The first part of the 400 class is used for the different
things that may happen to supphes and equipment, such
as selection, adoption, sale, purchase, manufacture and
distribution, and may be processed with the latter part of
400, which deals with the concrete supplies, such as
building material, hardware, machines, tools, instruments,
clothing, personal equipment, subsistence supphes, clean-
ing supplies, medical supphes, dental and laboratory sup-
phes, veterinary supphes and instruments, suppUes and
equipment for transportation, including horses, vehicles,
airplanes and harness, packing supphes, and supphes for
boats; books, office and school supphes, fuel, forage, ice,
supplies for funerals, armament and ammunition of all
kinds, submarine mine equipment, rental services, tele-
phone and telegraph services, sanitary services and
various other services.

Class 500, TRANSPORTATION.

This group comprises all subjects pertaining to trans-
portation of persons or supphes, either by land or water;
tariff rates, transportation accounts and contracts. Army
Transport Service and harbor boat service.

Class 600, BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS.

The 600 class is similar to the 400, in that the first
part of the classification is taken up with the different
things which may happen to buildings and groimds, such



10

as construction, repair, and protection of; and the latter
part deals with the specific kinds of buildings and grounds,
such as grounds, target ranges, etc., barracks and quarters
for officers, enlisted men, and civilians; post buildings,
hospitals, bakeries, kitchens, factories and shops, minor
construction, fortifications, plants, and systems of various
kinds, and reservations.

Class 700, MEDICINE, HYGIENE AND SANITATION.

This class deals with all matters affecting the health
and sanitation of the Army, including medical examina-
tions, surgical operations, admission of patients to hos-
pitals, hygiene of the air and ground, ventilation, veter-
inary sanitation, diseases of all kinds, treatment for and
prevention of; special treatments and practices, physi-
ology and anatomy.

Class 800, RIVERS AND HARBORS.

The 800 class is also similar to the 400, in that the first
part comprises the things that are done to rivers and
harbors, and the latter part treats of the specific things,
such as rivers, lakes, harbors, piers, bridges, wharves,
etc.
Extent of 4. The use of any or all classes is not restricted to any

cfasses. office, or division thereof, in which the system is author-
ized or prescribed, and no attempt should be made by
any office to conffiie the classification of its correspond-
ence to any one class, to the exclusion of the other eight.
Study of the 5. UNLESS THE INDIVIDUAL WHO IS TO DE-
System. TERMINE THE CLASSIFICATION TO BE AS-
SIGNED TO A PARTICULAR PAPER UNDER-
STANDS THE SUBJECTS PRESENTED THEREIN
AND IS SCHOOLED IN THE PROCEDURE OF
ASSIGNING CLASSIFICATIONS, HE WILL NOT
BE ABLE TO INTELLIGENTLY OPERATE THE
SYSTEM, AND ANY ATTEMPT TO ASSIGN
CLASSIFICATIONS UNDER SUCH CONDITIONS
WILL RESULT IN CONFUSION AND THE FIL-
ING OF RECORDS UNDER ERRONEOUS CLASSI-
FICATIONS. TO OBVIATE THE POSSIBILITY
OF SUCH CONDITIONS ARISING, OFFICERS
AND CLERKS CHARGED WITH THE OPERA-
TION OF THIS SYSTEM SHOULD MAKE A
CAREFUL STUDY OF THE PRINCIPLES AND



11

THE PROCEDURE OF OPERATION AS HEREIN
PRESCRIBED.

The system is simple, and by careful study and appli-
cation the principles can be grasped and understood in
a few days.

6. A Ivnowledge of the ten (10) principal classes of the^^^^'r'^S
classification should be acquired by all concerned, prior to of the ten
their attempting to operate the system, so that a subject Pjj'nclpal
will readily suggest a general class number under which

it falls, without reference to the table in paragraph 2.

7. In thinking or speaking of the class numbers, to Method
avoid confusion always divide at the decimal point speaking of
and name it, e. g., 470.4 should be read "four seventy Classiflca-
point four." If "point" was omitted the ear might ^j^^g^
readily interpret 470.4 as 474, while "four seventy point

four" can never be misunderstood.

8. There are many subjects introduced in the classifi-U^e of Sub-
cation that are primarily intended for index purposes, dex Pur-
although no attempt can be made to specifically define P



Online LibraryUnited States. War DeptWar department correspondence file (rev. ed.). A subjective decimal classification with a complete alphabetical index for use of the War department and the United States army → online text (page 1 of 37)