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The Mayonnaise System is a manuscript classification system developed for The Brautigan Library. It catalogs manuscripts according to thirteen general categories, the year of submission, and the order of receipt.


The categories of The Mayonnaise System are
1). Adventure (ADV)
2). All the Rest (ALL)
3). Family (FAM)
4). Future (FUT)
5). Humor (HUM)
6). Love (LOV)
7). Meaning of Life (MEA)
8). Natural World (NAT)
9). Poetry (POE)
10). Social/Political/Cultural (SOC)
11). Spirituality (SPI)
12). Street Life (STR)
13). War and Peace (WAR)
14). Digital (DIG, added in 2013 for digital manuscripts)

As they were accepted into The Brautigan Library, individual manuscripts were cataloged by Mayonnaise System category, the year of their submission, and the order of their receipt. For example, LOV 1992.005 indicates the manuscript was the fifth one submitted in 1992 to the LOV(e) category of the library's collection.

Category sections of the library's shelves in the original Brautigan Library were marked by mayonnaise jars. The Mayonnaise System borrowed its name from the last chapter of Brautigan's best-known novel, Trout Fishing in America.

Numbers of manuscripts from the original collection cataloged under the various Mayonnaise Systems headings are
Adventure 25
All the Rest 44
Family 25
Future 4
Humor 19
Love 17
Meaning of Life 21
Natural World 20
Poetry 47
Social/Political/Cultural 55
Spirituality 14
Street Life 4
War and Peace 9